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Posted by Raine Hutchens on Sep 30, 2010

Review – Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock (PS3)

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So my whole day was compromised today when we received a large box at the office. I had a lot of things planned, and a lot of work to do, but when we stopped to open the box I realized that my day had, at that moment, been lost. Ladies and gentlemen, introducing the most amazing, teeth-gritting, hard rocking game we all know as Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock. Needless to say, I absolutely lost my mind when I saw it come out of the box.  I sat down, plugged in, turned the volume up to eleven, and prepared myself to rock. Get your rig, get your gig, and strap in because here’s our review for Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock.

Out Of The Box

We received our copy (which was for the PS3) and were struck in awe of it’s might glory, still inside of its packaging. The package we received came with a brand new guitar, and a copy of the game. The whole package came with the guitar, a strap, a set of double-A batteries, and a sealed copy of the game. Next, let’s talk about the brand new, redesigned guitar that becomes the axe in your hands.

The new guitar is sweet. Pictured above is the guitar with the secondary set of attachments. That’s right, the new guitar is customizable. On the left and right sides of the guitar there are removable “wings” that can be changed with other sets, changing the look of the guitar to suit the player’s personal likeness. The original set is designed with flames on it, and the second set we received are these blade-like wings you see above. This is a great way to make your experience with the game even more personal.

The buttons are better spaced on the new guitar. I found myself being more able to hit those complicated strings of notes with this controller versus older versions. Also, the slider bar has been done away with. In game the “holographic” notes that normally were hit using the slider bar still appeared, but you are only required to hammer-on all of them instead of sliding wildly around the guitar, losing hand placement. I also found that the whammy bar is a bit more sturdy this time around. It’s easier to locate it and keep it near your fingers while playing, which makes for a better gameplay experience.

The lower part of the fretboard is removed in order to put the batteries in, release the lock to change the side wings, and to get the wireless USB controller connector. All of these features are easy to locate, and quite handily wrapped in one spot which is very convenient. All you need to do to play is remove the plate -which slides off, put the batteries in, take the USB connector out and plug it into the system (unless you’re using the Wii in which case you just plug the Wiimote right in), and assume the rocking position.

Overall, the new guitar is a sweet redesign and addition to the Guitar Hero series. It felt comfortable in my hands, and I honestly felt that I had a great tool which granted me the power to rock.

Gameplay and Fun Facts

Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock introduced quite a few new features to the Guitar Hero series. With over 90 master tracks, the game delivers a one-of-a-kind music experience through an amazing set list that is focused on challenging, hard-hitting rock songs that are fun for serious hammer-on fans, smashing drummers, and fearless frontmen alike. The new set list features some huge names in rock, such as KISS, Slipknot, Megadeth, Queen, Black Sabbath, and even Rammstein. With some major names in rock contributing to the set list, as well as exclusive live tracks being included, Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock is a must-have for all fans of the series.

Some of the features from Guitar Hero 5 make an appearance into the new game as well. Players can jump in and rock out with friends right from the start with the Party Play mode, or prove who is the better rocker with the Competitive mode, the four-player local and up to eight-player online competitive battle mode that includes unique gameplay challenges like Streakers, Momentum+, and Do or Die. It was insanely fun to be able to create a sort-of band of friends to rock out with, and just have an amazing time. Quick Play returns, like always, so you can just jump in, rock out, and get a feel for the new game.

A brand new sort-of story mode makes an appearance in Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock – Quest mode. In Quest mode players embark on a journey to help guide 8 different rock heroes to their destiny, and ultimate transformations in the world of rock. This mode allows players to unlock songs, gear, and sets all while enjoying dozens of challenging songs. The goal is to take the role of each individual hero and play through a set, collecting Power Stars in the pursuit of the hero’s ultimate rock transformation. For example, Johnny Napalm is at a low point in his life, and wants to get back into the chaotic life on stage. You assume the role of this punk prince and you see that there are 28 Power Stars needed to transform. So the player must play through songs, using the hero’s special ability to earn Power Stars from every gig. Each hero has a special ability to aid them in playing on stage, which attunes to their own personality. Johnny’s special ability is the Speed Demon ability. As long as your muliplier stays above x3, you will earn 2 extra Power Stars at the end of the song. Once you make it to 28 stars, something rockingly magical happens. I sat in awe as I hit the Power star limit and watched Johnny become the epitome of the rock legend that he saw himself as, which also is the case for each other hero. Once Johnny transformed, so did his band members, and before I knew it I was playing the theme from Spiderman. (Of course at this point I ran and got Chris and explained to him, “Dude,  my band just turned into demons and then we played the Spiderman theme song.” Needless to say he came running.)

Once you transform, like Johnny has here, then you will hear the amazing voice of the narrator explain that Johnny has reached his true self and joined the quest. The narrator just so happens to be Gene Simmons himself, which makes this game even more exciting. As you progress, you will complete the same series of events with each hero, playing through a different set list every time. The music is pretty much in-tune with the character’s personality so you can pretty much gauge what you’re getting into before you get into it. Eventually I reached the end of the Quest mode, with each hero having reached their ultimate transformation. I played through songs from Pantera, Queen, Rush, and many more rock legends. With each hero banding together, it is up to you to create two bands using the 8 heroes, and use their powers to take down a giant robot. Once the battle ensues, I find myself playing through amazingly tough Megadeth songs when a giant statue comes to life, saying that he is finally free to take on the beast. Using a guitar that I unlocked, the statue – who calls himself the Demigod of Rock (which is Simmons himself) – enters a brawl with the robot, all while another Megadeth song plays in front of me. Once I conquered the song, the Demigod spoke to me, explaining the fates of the heroes, and then the credits rolled.

After Quest mode has been tackled, players can then return to each hero, using all of the heroes’ combined powers to attempt to get 40 stars on every song that was previously played. It really opens up the game’s replay value, and it makes the game even more fun.

I almost forgot, the motion capture video behind the song has been detailed to a much higher note this time around. To me it felt like the song was put in one piece, and the motion capture was totally different. The characters sang along to the lyrics perfectly, and even danced around humorously on stage. When I played Bohemian Rhapsody from Queen, I almost fell on the floor laughing. It was that awesome.

Multiplayer on Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock is really fun. Here is a look at the different multiplayer game modes:

  • Pro Faceoff Players compete to see who can score the highest on a given song or songs.
  • Momentum All players begin at Medium difficulty. Miss notes and your difficulty (and scoring opportunities) decreases. Hit notes in a streak and your difficulty increases. The highest score wins.
  • Momentum+ This game introduces a little wrinkle to standard Momentum play: triggering Star Power drops the leader to Beginner difficulty level.
  • Streakers Maintain streaks. Before your multiplier changes, you’ll earn that number of points. Star power doubles your multiplier so use it to earn even more points. Highest score wins.
  • Do or Die Missed notes earn strikes. Three strikes and you’re out until the next section of the song. You earn one point for every section you survive. Star power removes strikes and renders players invincible while active. The player with the most points wins.
  • Perfectionist Try to play perfectly. The players with the highest percentage of notes hit for a section will earn points. Most points wins.
  • Elimination The player with the lowest score after each section of the song is eliminated from play. Be the last musician standing to win.
  • RockFest The ultimate Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock competition has you compete during a series of songs. Game rules change after every song. Players vote on which rules to use. RockFest includes Pro Faceoff, Momentum, Streakers, Do or Die, Perfectionist, and Elimination.
  • Team Games Every one of Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock’s competitive games can be played in Team mode, pitting band against band, on Xbox Live.

With competitive game modes like the ones listed above, the game is sure to provide hours upon hours of enjoyable gameplay for friends, and players who want to level their skills alike. Of course friends can help you in Career Play as well. Up to 3 friends can join you to take on the world of rock right from home. In Party Play players can jump in and out of songs on the fly, which makes for a perfect party gaming experience.

Other Features

Of course the game includes a character creation mode, which is simply awesome. I found myself playing around with the creator for almost 45 minutes before I even tackled the game because there was so much to do. Players can customize facial features, body type, tattoos, clothing, and even their character’s instruments. Also included in the game is the GH Studio, which is where players can make their own songs using the in-game recording studio.  With downloadable content and the addition of new songs, the game expands even more.

The Verdict

In my opinion this game is straight-up awesome. From the minute I got it out of the box to the minute I forced myself to set it down so I could write this, I was rocking out and having a great time. Guitar Hero: Warriors of rock provides a surprisingly new gameplay experience, all while keeping true to the roots of the series. I definitely say that if you are a fan of the series, or if you are looking for a great game to pick up and play with friends, let it be this one. With virtually no flaws that I could point out, this game will stay in my system for months to come. For now, I gotta get back. KISS needs me.

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