Since the Guitar Hero franchise started, it has given birth to thousands of gamers who now pay homage to their favorite tracks courtesy of a five button plastic guitar. When the game first came out, it became an almost instant success, and with the addition of other instruments in later installments of the franchise, the Guitar Hero saga lived on. Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock is the latest game in the franchise to be released, and while it is still a great game, there is hardly anything here to compel you to add another Guitar Hero game to your collection.
Warriors of Rock introduces a few new things to the mix, and one of them is the first ever inclusion of a story mode. The opening game cinematic shows an epic battle between a mechanical giant and a fabled rocker. To cut a long story short, the rocker slips up and is frozen (a-la Star Wars style) in granite, while his legendary guitar is lost forever. He calls out to rockers around the world to unite and help recover the lost artifact so that he can be freed at last. Yes, I too was scratching my head at this somewhat dim storyline. Nevertheless, the game has you visiting different venues and playing songs as different rockers, each with their own unique attributes. As you progress through songs, you earn stars for your performance – earn enough stars, and your rocker will transform into their ‘warrior’ form, after which you can recruit them to your cause. It’s a simple no-brainer concept that is similar to how you played through venues and earned reputation in previous Guitar Hero games.
Unfortunately, that about sums it up for what’s new in this version of Guitar Hero. While the track list is spot-on with the rock theme of the game, there is little here in terms of innovation. Guitar Hero is once again just re-selling the same formula that it setup from the first game, only this time around it’s being voiced by Gene Simmons. It would have been nice to see some new features or really any kind of change to the game’s formula, but it’s pretty much nonexistent. But don’t let that stall you playing through the game – you’re still in for one heck of an experience as you shred through track after track.
The “Party Play” is also a winner, which plays through random songs in the track list and lets other players jump in and jump out on various instruments at any time during the performance. This is really great as I’ve never managed to complete a song in its entirety when playing with my friends. The game also features the much loved Guitar Studio where you can craft and share your own musical tunes with other community members. There is the Quickplay option to put together a longer playlist of tunes to play through, or even import music from other compatible Guitar Hero titles. The sound and visuals are presented just like any other Guitar Hero game, so there’s not much improvement needed in either of these departments.
Guitar Hero Warriors of Rock is a great Guitar Hero game, but that’s just about it. While it does take the game back to its rock roots, there is little here that truly separates it from games gone by. Still, if you’re looking for a great rock experience, then this is surely the game to headbang to.