In the only Guitar Hero installment to come out this year, it turns a one-trick-pony into a prized stallion. In the 14th installment in the series the challenge goes from finding media, to keeping it fresh. While the addition of a quest-orientated storyline gives a new take on the genre, you want to know is it enough to rationalize buying another game? With its redundant track lists and issues with syncing, it’s hard to see how.
Let’s be clear that it’s almost impossible to see Guitar Hero: Warrior’s of Rock without attaching a band to go along with it. Arguably, the biggest part of rhythm gaming now is being able to play with a group of friends, in either competitive or co-op. That being said, there are still issues with syncing the Guitar Hero drumsets and a mic that severely lacks a sensitivity function slows down the fun.
At least the packing of the updated guitar works wonders to bring a new ascetic to the game, giving you the option to customize the controller with interchangeable parts, making it a demonic axe or sultry vixen depending on how funky you feel. It doesn’t give you any bonus for gameplay but at least it makes you feel like its your own while you play through your own quest.
At this point is where Quest mode seems to fall downhill. While the concept is a goodie – setting up the right customary characters and allowing them to access their inner warrior to unlock special abilities for bigger bonuses and better star powers’ – the set lists that are attached to them tend to get arduous as you perform. It seems almost impossible for a player to ever know all the song’s in a characters list, whether its Lars’ Industrial or Johnny Napalm’s all punk set. While some stylists will appeal to specific groups, you will never be satisfied with the full roster, making more than half the game an arduous task to complete..
It comes to a head when you face off against “The Machine,” the giant mechanic that trapped the demi-God of Rock and it’s your job to get him out. Splitting the possible 8 players into two teams of four, you go after the beast in two songs, striking him down with your awesome abilities, and saving rock- n’ roll.
While the storyline is something new to the genre, as are the abilities like Casey’s to keep you from losing your multiplayer or providing you extra starts the longer you save your shield, the dynamic bend it is lost: it’s all about hitting the right notes and getting them on time.
The setup for each character is painfully uncomfortable with each set list. You may find that out of the 90+ tracks you will know two or three songs, and even then only like one of them. The rest of the songs you may like are spread out so thin that you forget what you’re really doing this for: a 20-minute battle that has no interlude and literally thrusts you into a losing battle, if you’re not already prepared.
Thankfully, things like Quickplay, Party Move, and Competitive Mode come in to help ease the frustration. Letting you choose your set and allowing you to drop in and out as you please is always welcome, giving you time to freshen up that much needed drink, or trade out with friends. By adding in the additional content from the previous Guitar Hero Games makes it that much easier to find something for everyone.
Unfortunately, as much as High Octane tried in this last installment to walk in Rock Band’s shoes with a full-band aesthetic, they still fall horribly short of the real deal. With almost 60% of the game dedicated to the guitar and drums, the bass plays a simplistic rift while the vocals stand there and strain their voice trying to listen for the correct pitch or does nothing at all. It just simply doesn’t mesh together mesh together coherently.
Ultimately, how the soundtrack adds up to the rest of the genre and how it stacks up to the rest of the series is up to the player. Knowing that your in for a heavy-handed 2000s range metal list, with depressing live versions of some songs that have already made appearances in past GH games, can help make or break your opinion.
Perhaps a push for breaking boundaries like Rock Band and now DJ Hero 2 could have pushed this game to a whole new level. As it is, it becomes just another song pack, with a quaint story mode to slow down gameplay just enough to keep you interested.
ZoKnowsGaming gives Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock a 7 out of 10