Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock

By: Shaun Hunter    On: Xbox 360
Published: Friday 1 Oct 2010 8:00 AM
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The Guitar Hero franchise has taken a few steps back to collect its breath before stepping on stage once again. This, after the onslaught of musical rhythm games released by Activision last year – Guitar Hero 5, On Tour, Van Halen, Band Hero, Greatest Hits, and, if you count it, DJ Hero.

Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock marks the return of the series back to its former rock-star self. This is one for the old-school fans – those who want rock and roll songs over family-friendly hits. And I dare say it, but it’s for those who are going to stick to the guitar. Sure, the drums and vocals are ok, but these songs have been chosen for their wailing guitar riffs.

As with last year’s title, one of the major things you notice is that the drop-in and drop-out style of gameplay allows you to very easily keep playing the songs you want, changing around party members, and mixing up the gameplay modes without any large breaks. Even when choosing something like the quest mode, you’re presented with the band-creation screen where you have the ability to change the mode back to quickplay, competitive, or party play. Here you can also select the remaining members (human or AI controlled) of the band. A nice touch for those wanting to specify which characters will play alongside you.

The ultimate drop-in and -out experience is party mode, where mid-song players can join the band, leave, change difficulty, or if you wish to play lounge-politics, you can easily queue a playlist of your favourite tracks.

One of the major features touted in prior months has been the over-the-top story in the Quest mode. Narrated by Gene Simmons, the quest mode requires you to unlock the power of the warriors. Of rock. Warriors of Rock – you know, the title! Each character has a special power, usually attributed to gaining you more stars by playing better, which can only be unlocked by playing a series of songs. And I hate to say this, because the quest mode appeared that it could actually have a lot of potential, but it’s awfully repetitive.

Sure, you feel like you’re making progress when you unlock a newly powered-up warrior character (as well as their use in quickplay+; a mode where you can complete challenges with these new found powers to gain kudos) new venues and a few things for the create mode, but it is a long and arduous task. The rewards tracker does little to help – providing you details with the percentages of ‘stuff’ you’ve unlocked, and how you’ll need to keep progressing to get certain things. There was the chance to make the quest mode a bit more interesting than just playing through a list of songs, but that mark has been missed. Of course, this is fine if that’s all you want to do, but the various quickplay modes accomplish this already.

With that aside, the main selling point of the game has to be the tracklist. And as touched upon already, for the most part, it tries to be a fairly guitar-orientated rock and heavy metal affair. You’ve got bands like Megadeath, Slayer, Muse and Rush. There are a few tracks that seem slightly out of place, but given the fact that you can import hundreds of tracks from previous Guitar Hero titles, as well as perusing the online store to purchase even more, the on-disc tracklist becomes less-important.

It almost feels as if Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock is just the next game in the series. It’s not that there’s anything spectacular about it. It follows the formula that has already been set out by the games preceding it. The play modes don’t introduce anything broadly new, and the quest mode hasn’t been executed to its full potential. However, it’s still a decent addition to the collection, and the singleplayer and band modes work seamlessly. It’s very easy to jump right in and rock.

The Score

Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock
"Guitar Hero steps onto the stage for yet another encore performance."
Rating: PG   Difficulty: Medium   Learning Curve: 15 Min


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Comments (9)

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KatalystaKaos VIP VIP Bronze
On Friday 1 Oct 2010 9:12 AM Posted by KatalystaKaos
Its worth the admission price for the final song Mustaine madness alone
check this for a preview
Sidawg2 VIP VIP Bronze
On Friday 1 Oct 2010 11:49 AM Posted by Sidawg2
You say the last paragraph like you're surprised, the game hasn't evolved at all since GHWT. Bring on Rock Band 3.
stupidlikeafox VIP VIP Gold
On Friday 1 Oct 2010 12:40 PM Posted by stupidlikeafox
they really needed to re-invent gh a little as it has grown stale. i was hoping more out of the story. will be hiring just to try out sudden death.
emetic VIP VIP Silver
On Friday 1 Oct 2010 2:25 PM Posted by emetic
1 October 2010, 11:49 AM Reply to Sidawg2
You say the last paragraph like you're surprised, the game hasn't evolved at all since GHWT. Bring on Rock Band 3.
My thoughts exactly.
Soyerz VIP VIP Silver
On Friday 1 Oct 2010 6:21 PM Posted by Soyerz
The words 'Warriors of Rock' and 'Nickelback' simply do not work together.
stupidlikeafox VIP VIP Gold
On Friday 1 Oct 2010 11:32 PM Posted by stupidlikeafox
just played it and my arms now hurt. the megadeth stuff is insane!
Antmannz VIP VIP Bronze
On Saturday 2 Oct 2010 12:37 PM Posted by Antmannz
Let's face, Activision do nothing to progress this genre. All the hard work is done by Harmonix, so I'll be rewarding them with my money.
On Sunday 3 Oct 2010 9:38 AM Posted by Oliver
I'm not surprised by the score. But really, if Activision want to keep people playing this game, they need to impress us rather than simply entertain us. Some innovation or a bit more progression may have got the game a higher score and could then have brought people who were bored with the franchise back.
emetic VIP VIP Silver
On Monday 4 Oct 2010 11:29 AM Posted by emetic
It's really not a bad game though. As I was saying to myself a few days ago, if this exact same game had come out two years ago then it would be just as good as RB2.