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I’ll tell you right now – I’m a Metal Head. When it comes to shrieking vocals, heavy guitar, and mythological album art, I’m your go-to guy; so as you can imagine, I was super excited to see Guitar Hero [6]: Warriors of Rock in action. What I saw was a demonstration that would make the Gods of Rock cry.

As Comic Book Guy would have said most appropriately at a video game tradeshow: worst…presentation…ever.

The main hook of the game is that you are now attempting to rescue the God of Rock, and take back the, well, Land of Rock, by rescuing the Axe of Rock, the only way to destroy the Destroyer of Rock. To do this, you must channel your inner rock strength through gaining star ranks on setlists, then change into a Rock Demi-God (rocked out yet?). The story is narrated by Gene Simmons of Kiss fame (who needs acting lessons – Ozzie would have been much better suited for this game), and really is just there to trick you into thinking you’re doing more than just setlists, like all the old games.

We got to see the world map, and how transformations work, and again, they’re essentially the same concept as the old game. Each character has their own themed list (Napalm has punk, etc), and after getting a certain amount of stars, you move onto the Encore song as your transformation, giving you an extra power to use. The problem is, the powers that we saw do not change anything in any way outside of the score modifiers. So for instance, Napalm will stay at 2x during the entire song – that’s literally it. Bored yet?

One of the saddest parts of the presentation was when the exhibitors boasted that the Guitar Hero DLC library would reach 500 songs by the time Warriors of Rock was released – like it was some sort of big accomplishment. Considering it was just announced that Rock Band 3 would have 2,000 songs available at launch, I was pretty shocked Activision isn’t trying to put more effort into defeating their direct competition.

That underwhelming factoid set the tone for the entire thirty minute presentation. After hyping up the game and telling us how the powers worked, the developers preceded to play Warriors of Rock. Now, imagine if your friends asked you “hey dude, do you want to watch us play Guitar Hero for a while?” – THAT was the presentation. To add insult to injury, they used two guitars to demonstrate the game – a dynamic that hasn’t changed since the series debuted in 2006. Two lengthy songs later, they asked if anyone in the room wanted to play; my colleague Kevin Miller was about to fall asleep, so we politely thanked them for the demo, and headed back to our hotel.

Why Activision wouldn’t attempt something new in light of their competitor’s dazzling new real live MIDI keyboard addition, real instrument mode, and a library that’s 1,500 songs larger, I’ll never know. As it stands, “super powers” that don’t change the way the game is played in any way other than scoring is not enough for me to bite: especially considering Rock Band 3’s setlist will probably encompass most of Warrior’s of Rock’s tunes by the end of the year.

  1. avatar toymachine

    tl;dr I hate guitar hero

    • Read it, so you’ll have more ammo for your arsenal when you make fun of it :P

    • avatar toymachine

      no I meant that’s what your article basically says. I hope they never invite you to another preview again- what a terrible write up.

      “hey dude, do you want to watch us play Guitar Hero for a while?” – THAT was the presentation.”

      That’s funny that was Harmonix’s presentation also. Fanboy much?

    • avatar Chris Carter

      No. Harmonix’s presentation was “do you want to play the keyboard, and real instruments that have never been seen before in any game?”

      Warriors of Rock showed nothing new – it wasn’t the same presentation, because it was literally guys playing two Guitars that were from the original in 2006 – no pro instruments, no keyboard, no anything. If anything it was a downgrade from GH5. It was literally nothing alike!

      Also, my job isn’t to make everything sound good so I can get free stuff or special treatment: it’s to report what I see.

    • avatar toymachine

      “that were from the original in 2006″

      Well they were two new guitaris but that is neither here nor there.

      This review mentions nothing about the fact that they played “Bat Country” for you which is an amazing guitar chart.

      Also as a metal and supposed “Guitar Hero Fan” you didn’t even want to play Chemical Warfare by Slayer or Children Of The Grave by Black Sabbath?

      Seems strange to me- after you were mesmerized by RB3′s 2 year dev cycle seems like you just said “fuck off” to Guitar Hero 6 going as far to call it “The worst game at E3″

      Saying it’s a step down from GH5 doesn’t make much sense either.

      Thanks for the entertainment though.

    • avatar Anonymous

      “Bat Country” has been in Rock Band for, like, a year.

    • avatar toymachine

      Yeah complete with undercharted everything! :D

    • avatar pau no cu

      vai toma no seu cu filho da puta babaca

  2. Yeah, they’ve officially lost now, if they hadn’t once Rock Band 2 came out. Good riddance.

  3. The amazing part isn’t even how underwhelming the gameplay is, and certainly not the setlist (although Bohemian Rhapsody on this seems like a joke now that RB3 has shown it’s guns), but the DLC. Didn’t Harmonix have a poster outside their booth blatantly bashing GH’s pathetic DLC? Good job guys.

    I like GH, I look forward to this, but it feels like GH3 vs. RB all over again and that was not a pretty defeat for NSoft. Even better is how they’re actually trying to go back to GH3 as a point of reference. Bad Neversoft, bad. You had a pretty decent game with GH5 last year. This is the opportunity to take that engine and move forward. Not backward. Awful design choice. I’m not saying copy the RB3 formula, as inevitable as it may be, but don’t use a previous entry which was mediocre at best to begin with as your point of reference.

    *sigh* Two steps forward, one step back. With the GH5 engine it’ll be decent but beside RB3 it’ll get stomped in the gameplay department. I smell a rental. Very disappointed Neversoft. After last year I really thought you’d take the reins and impress me. You still have a decent setlist at least.

  4. It’s so good you almost have to. I wish that would explode into a full on marketing campaign with like scientist and stuff. That’d be amazing.

  5. Harmonix has balls. Gotta love that poster.

  6. I wasn’t impressed when I first read the announcement. Perhaps it’s time the Guitar Hero series is finally put to rest.

    • avatar Frankly

      Here’s an interesting fact: GH actually has more market share than RB. Overall, GH games comprise 50.5%. Everything else in the music genre combined has the other 49.5%.

      Never seen a game company put its market leader to rest.

      The truth: There are a lot of non-hardcore gamers who enjoy playing GH. They do not post comments to gamer blogs; they do not want to buy new expensive hardware. They just buy the game that looks funh, and they enjoy it.

      You may be bored and jaded, but that doesn’t mean everybody else is. Some of them — gasp — are happy.

    • @Frankly
      You do not need to purchase expensive new hardcore for Rock Band 3 – ALL the same stuff works from Guitar Hero – the new stuff is optional.

      Say there is no difference between Rock Band and Guitar Hero other than the fact that you have 2,000 songs with Rock Band, and 500 with Guitar Hero. Why *wouldn’t* you want to have a higher enjoyment factor with more songs you may like? Those “happy” people are missing out.

  7. Destroy the destroyer of rock? So Activision is the final boss?

  8. avatar Anonymous

    Yes, rock band as over 2000 poorly charted song you can play on cheap second rate instruments, thats fun

  9. avatar A.W.

    mmm, it is sad to see them run this series into the ground.

    And can i say i always thought this “Gods of Rock” pseudo “Heavy Metal” (meaning the movie, not the music form), shtick to be a little tiresome?

    Like for me its about great songs and fooling yourself into thinking you are playing them. i mean i can never play guitar. i have disabilities that will prevent that. But last thanksgiving at my brothers, I took on the beatles, doing vocals and guitar (i could only watch the guitar cues, had to do the vocals by memory), and felt like i was rocking out. It was awesome. Yeah, in truth i sounded pretty bad and i wasn’t really doing very much with the guitar, but i felt like I was really doing it.

    Btw, that is also why i am not getting on board with the new rock band either. I will never be able to play real guitar. its that simple. for those who can, more power to you. But that’s not me.

    Sigh.

  10. avatar Anonymous

    maybe GH is planning something. you see, rock band is putting everything out on the spot. They’re going to run out of ideas sooner or later, but not guitar hero. They’re putting in less effort until either rockband runs out of ideas, stops going up against gh, or just quits altogether. They’re probably just playing it low. Then, once rockband does either of these, guitar hero will just blow us out of the waters.

  11. avatar Random Fan

    SCREW GH RB all the way and that’s that

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