REVIEW: Guitar Hero still rocks, just not quite as hard

Ashley Nadeau

Publisher: Activision / Neversoft

System: Xbox 360 / Playstation 3 / Nintendo Wii

Release date: Sept. 28, 2010

SCORE: 8/10

What’s Good: 

  • Includes all the fun classic Guitar Hero elements
  • Improved graphics

What’s Not So Good:

  • New “quest” mode can be frustrating
  • Overall set-list lacks diversity and accessibility

What makes Guitar Hero great has always been simple, fun. Although not every song was your favorite, the set-list’s diversity and flexibility made progressing through the story an all around enjoyable experience. This flexibility is what’s lacking in Warriors of Rock.

The story mode, or “Quest”, has an epic, heavy metal visual feel matched with heavy voiceovers from Kiss front man Gene Simmons. Characters from past installments such as Johhny Napalm, Judy Nails and Lars Umlaut return as the playable characters in quest mode.

Unlike previous Guitar Hero game’s story modes that offer some leniency in song selection, the songs in Warriors of Rock are unlocked via character specific set-lists, which force you to play through nearly every single song before moving on. Each character set is dominated with songs that fit a particular genre.

Johhny Napalm’s set-list includes mainly punk inspired songs. This doesn’t seem like a bad idea in theory, but the songs included in these set-lists are, to put it simply, confusing. For example, of all classic, catchy, Ramones songs that would be fun to play with friends, they choose “Theme from Spiderman?”

Don’t get me wrong, Warriors of Rock includes many stand out songs that are great for the whole band, such as “Bohemian Rhapsody”, especially with the duel microphone option. But forcing you to complete songs that don’t appeal to you makes playing through the story feel more like work than play.

The prime example of this is in Rush’s 2112. As one of the final songs in the quest mode, you are forced to complete it, and complete it well, to proceed. The issue here is the song is delivered in a sort of medley style, interrupted with lengthy voiceovers and uninteresting cinemas. This pacing is nearly painful to sit through.

Even though Quest mode can be frustrating, Warriors of Rock still retains many of the best aspects of the series. Quickplay+ and Partyplay are still here and just as good as ever. Best of all, you can import hundreds of songs from previous titles on to the game, similar to Guitar Hero 5.

If you can get past all of the pacing and set-list issues in Quest mode, Warriors of Rock is a great party game. Thank the God’s of Rock for new challenges in Quickplay+ and the accessibility of Partyplay. Together these elements make Guitar Hero: Warriors of rock is fun regardless of your skill level or personal preference.