Music games are back! No, seriously, they are.
I never thought I would say those words after years of not having a music title that didn’t involve me dancing around to pop hits. Publisher Activision and Developer FreeStyle Games, developers of DJ Hero, have brought back the rock classic video game and have added a few new twists to the core game.
Guitar Hero Live isn’t being marketed as a party style game. Most of the core gameplay is meant for a single player. It would have been nice to see a bit more depth or even an attempt at a legit single player experience though. You play as the lead guitarist in the group but end up switching bands after performing in every location. That alone loses my feel of even being apart of something special. The single player is marked as GH Live which takes you on the road from gig to gig with real live bands, performing tracks and earning points allowing you to unlock more songs for quick play. The real life aspect works for me. FreeStyle thought outside of the box and incorporated real life people instead of animated bands like in their previous titles. The feel of performing in front of a real crowd works, especially with how well they react to how ever you’re playing. Perform bad, the crowd boos, perform great and they will love you again. Only gripe is even with just missing a few notes, band mates give me the death stare which is a bit over exaggerated for me. Overall, the main progression is just playing through your gigs and getting familiar with all the songs.
Single Player doesn’t have co-op play, so if you intend on having a friend over, GHTV or Quick Play will be your only options. Guitar Hero Live does away with bassists and has both players playing the strings of the lead guitar, which kind of sucks. Would have been nice to add the battle mode or be able to split the highway of notes.
GHTV is the newest addition and is by far the best part of Guitar Hero Live. It’s essentially Guitar Hero’s version of an MTV channel. You are given two channels of a live music video broadcasts airing every half hour at a time. In this you will get programs like 90’s rock, Heavy Metal, Electric and more. GHTV is where you will find endless amount of music tracks that weren’t available in the GH Live portion of the game. You can jump into GHTV at anytime by pressing the GHTV button on your guitar, and immediately get placed in the middle of an ongoing music video. You can stop playing and the game recognizes it, and just keeps airing the music video like a live channel. On the left side of the screen is GHTV’s multiplayer aspect. You play through a song and are ranked among friends and other players in the world, forcing you to beat your personal best and striving for more.
Now while joining in and playing on GHTV, you will earn special in game currency which is used to purchase plays on demand, or to acquire items like custom note highways and more. You can also spend real money to purchase plays but you will gain a lot by just playing the game. Now Freestyle has mentioned special events that when played will be rewarded with special note highways only attainable through playing that event, giving you a bit of exclusivity. GHTV is the best way to enjoy what Guitar Hero Live has to offer and would love to see what Freestyle does with this feature moving forward. Here’s to hoping we get a bit more genres added to the channel schedules.
All New Guitar
The guitar controller has been updated to reflect the new style and realism of Guitar Hero Live. Equip one of the many newly available Hero Powers, and activate by using the guitar controller tilt sensor or the newly introduced Hero Power button. The new 6-button layout creates the feeling of switching between strings and provides an enhanced experience when playing chords. The classic whammy bar makes a triumphant return, to help you show off your flair. Why mess with perfection? The strum bar you know and love is back in all its clicky glory and last but not least, the GHTV Button lets you jump straight into GHTV from anywhere in the game. The overall construction of the guitar is the best it’s ever been.
Freestyle Games took a tired ole concept, flipped it, and it worked. Though the new button layout could intimidate new-comers or veterans, it’s the well crafted instrument, song selection and MTV like feature that keeps people coming back for more. Guitar Hero Live is now available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Mobile. There is also a special two guitar console bundle available which includes a USB microphone for vocal playback.
- Great song selection
- Well crafted instrument
- GHTV is a welcomed new feature
- Single player story lacks
- Not enough multiplayer features