You can almost tell that someone over at Activison was in a planning meeting, looking at sales charts and seeing that the best-selling games were in first person perspective, so why not make the next Guitar Hero in the same point of view?
So yes, that’s what we’ve got. Not only is there an official announcement to counter Rock Band 4’s earlier official announcement, this new game entitled Guitar Hero Live not only ditches the numbers, it actually DIFFERENTIATES itself from Rock Band rather than just being a Harmonix knock-off.
Here are the most important things you need to take away from the Guitar Hero Live reveal:
You WILL need to buy a new plastic guitar. The new play mechanic uses a six button design, a row of three buttons, with three MORE buttons on top of that. This is designed to more closely simulate fretting.
This Guitar Hero game is actually guitar only. No more drums and microphones, it’s back to basics.
The game doesn’t let you create your own band or choose from real time cartoon-y avatars. It’s actually using full motion, live action video, playing at different venues. When you rock, the crowd cheers and sings along. When you suck… they actually say so. Loudly. And your band mates will give you serious WTF expressions.
This is all done “Go Pro” style from the point of view of the guitarist, meaning you’ll see your band mates, take to the stage, and, when you’re not paying attention to the note highway, see everything in the background as if you were actually on stage, performing for a crowd.
Instead of just buying new songs, you’ll also be buying music videos. So when you’re playing a Weezer song you bought as DLC, the original Weezer video will be playing in the background.
In a lot of ways, I’m in favour of all these changes, though we’ll have to see how they actually play out in practice. When Guitar Hero simply started following in the footsteps of Rock Band, it hurt both franchises. Now, with Ubisoft’s Rocksmith as a guitar instructor, Rock Band doing the band thing, and Guitar Hero focusing on being a “Rock Guitarist simulator,” there’s enough variety in the rhythm genre that more people will find something that tickles their specific need. Of course, they’ll also need a decent setlist of songs, but since Activision has absurd amounts money to spend on licensing, I don’t think it’ll be a problem of finance, so much as hoping their acquisitions people actually have good taste, and don’t just resort to Top 40 pop songs.
It’s coming to all the major consoles (yes, that means you as well, Wii U), so if you’re the sort that feels there’s a distinct lack of new plastic instruments in your life and you were looking for an excuse to add to the pile, here it is, ladies and gentlemen. Now with trailer, too!