Guitar Hero is a legendary game, an undisputed champion of crossover gaming and late night fun for the non-gamer gamer. DJ Hero was kind of dope but just didn't have the same mass appeal, but hey just because we like EDM doesn't mean we are anti-guitar. Guitar Hero and Rock Band turned house parties in the early '00's their head and lead to many a drunken nights of ridiculous behavior.
Now a days it's just one of your wanna be DJ buddies slamming big room tracks together on his iPad while you are are all wishing you had just gone out. Guitar Hero Live is back to save the house party.
Once you strap on Activision Guitar Hero Live, you are going all in, so break out the beer and buckle up because it's show time. We got the chance to test out the new Guitar Hero Live for XBox One over the holiday break so here are the results of our experience.
Guitar Hero Live is not the Guitar Hero you remember; the game has some new twists and features that will surprise you. The only thing that are the same is the Guitar Hero is the button and strumming action, which is addictive once you get to channeling your inner rock star.
The guitar is now a lot more "real" with it's six buttons set up on the neck of the guitar. Two rows of three buttons broken into white and black notes can be played in a variety of ways to more realistically simulate playing the instrument. From single open strums to power chords the variety creates a more fun and more challenging gameplay.
You can quickly get to a very sophisticated level of fake guitar playing that makes achieving expert status a little bit more formidable. You will probably not rock right out of the box, but don't worry you will eventually get the hang of it with a little practice. For the more serious gamers, that like intense challenges, Guitar Hero Live can easily wreck you so don't worry.
For you party people that are intoxicated strumming weekend warriors, there is also a setting for you so don't worry how many PBR's you have, you got this... kind of.
For you GH veterans you will also notice that your plastic axe is just overall a lot nicer. The buttons have a better feel; the strum bar has a click when you strum it, and the controller is just hefty enough to feel satisfying when you are rocking out.
The new modes are Live and TV, at first, it's a little confusing to get it all straight, but the learning curve is short.
In Live mode, you assume the role of the lead guitar player with a well done POV style perspective while playing. You find yourself looking over at your fictional band mates and out into the crowd while you are playing, which at times can be a little distracting so be wary or you will bonk. The better you play, the better reactions you'll get, the more you screw up, the more hater faces will come out.
The hardest thing is keeping your eyes on the notes coming down the runway, there is almost too much going on with this new POV style, but you will get used to it after a while.
Although you are playing the actual songs from bands like The Lumineers and The Killers, the bands on screen are just look-alikes but they do a good job with it. You can even get to know these fictional bands as you become better at the game, maybe a little too much detail but they go all the way here.
The music is ok in the Live version, you have mostly newer songs from the '00's and '10's that are for the most part pop music. You will find some that you like but probably a lot that you don't.
In the TV version of the game, you get a lot more choice, and it's kind of what makes this game extra dope. You can choose from three channels that rotate genres so you can find something you will dig. I had a little trouble getting it to work at first but most likely because my internet was running a little slow.
Once you choose a channel you can just hop in and start playing along; you get to battle it out with matched up opponents. TV mode is a lot of fun when you are playing alone and also allows you to build up high scores and unlock Hero Powers and graphic options.
The overall interface is not as trick as the Live mode but I actually kind of liked it a little more toned down and the music is better, much better.
One of the things I don't love is that you can't own a song you like, you have to either use real currency or earned gaming currency that you get from leveling up. So if you are having a party, you will want to opt for the 24 hour Party Pass that will let you have access to everything.
You can get the earned currency or Plays pretty easily but gone are the days of owning your favorite tune and perfecting it. After you play in this mode for a while you just kind of get over it and enjoy all the variety that you have and I'm sure that will keep growing at the game gets more fans.
As a casual gamer, I think this is a great buy and an enormous amount of fun for little gatherings or playing with your significant other that might hate gaming... aka your girlfriend. If you are a serious competitive nerd that wants to win some Guitar Hero championship, you might not dig some of the new changes. I like to think Activision is watching out for your social life here, don't get too serious dude it's just a fake guitar game, not chess.