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Hero: Warriors of Rock
Score: 7.0 / 10
The last two years have a seen a swathe of
music games released by both Rock Band developer Harmonix and Guitar
Hero developer Neversoft. The games released over the last two years
seem to have hit a peak in terms of creativity and innovation. Guitar
Hero Warriors of Rock (GHWOR) does little to change that impression as
it attempts to goes back to its roots and focus less on innovation.
The biggest change in this years game is the addition story driven
career called Quest Mode. The Quest Mode, narrated by Kiss’ Gene
Simmons, sees you on a
journey to save the DemiGod of Rock from a
creature called “The Beast”. On your journey you’ll recruit Rock’N’Roll
warriors who eventually transform into their monster alter ego. Each of
the characters features their own unique skill set. For example certain
characters maybe able to increase your score multiplier beyond the
normal limit or automatically increase your star count. Each
warrior features their own venue and setlist of songs that must be
beaten to advance through the story mode. Rather than playing through
the entire setlist of the songs for each venue, you’re merely required
to achieve a minimum number of stars per venue. This change is welcome
as you can work your way through the career mode much quicker. The
career is fairly open ended as you usually have several characters to
play as at one time.
The new changes to the career mode are welcome, but the story feels like
an unnecessary distraction. Most of the critiques regarding rhythm games
do not involve the lack of story. I got the feeling from playing the
story mode was that the time spent creating the story could have been
better used innovating and pushing the genre in a new direction much
like Harmonix did with Rock Band 3.
Quickplay+ is a welcome addition to the franchise. Quickplay+ assigns
multiple challenges to each song in your library and extends the replay
value for quite some time. Party Play, which was first featured in GH5
also makes an appearance.
My biggest complain with GH5 was the diversity of the tracklist. The
setlist was too varied for my liking as I have always been a fan of hard
rock. GHWOR goes back to its GH3 roots by focusing more heavily on hard
rock and metal. The tracklist is probably the best since GH3. Neversoft
largely focuses on songs that are aimed at guitar players first and
foremost. This approach largely pays off as most of the songs are
fantastic to play and present a formidable challenge.
The noteable artists included in this year’s game include Queen, Kiss,
Slipknot, Pantera, Avenged Sevenfold and Rise Against. There are several
on disc songs, which are strange choices, but all around the setlist is
solid. My only real complaint with the setlist is that some of the on
disc songs are already available for Rock Band.
Out of the gate, GHWOR supports weekly DLC, but the DLC pales in
comparison to Rock Band. At this point Rock Band has over 2000 DLC
songs, while GHWOR supports roughly 400-500 songs. GHWOR does allow you
to import some songs from previous Guitar Hero titles including
Metallica, GH5 and Band Hero. Unfortunately, GH Van Halen is not
supported at this time.
The presentation has a slightly darker tone than previous GH titles, but
generally everything else looks the same. The only real standout in the
game’s presentation is the choreographed performances during certain
songs such as Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody. Also gone are musician avatars,
which landed Activision in hot water last year. The musician avatars
felt more like a distraction and after Kurt Cobain’s appearance in GH 5,
it is probably best that Neversoft ended this practice.
GHWOR does little to change the minds of those who thought the series
was past its prime. Frankly, GHWOR could have existed as a track pack,
but for what it’s worth, Neversoft still manages to squeeze out some fun
gameplay even if it is to the same old tune.