Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock Review
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Guitar Hero III is rockers wet dream; from everything to the stellar soundtrack to the addictive gameplay, Legends of Rock is a thrilling amalgam of everything you’ve come to expect from the series up to this point, along with some welcoming new additions. Make no mistake – this is a set list worthy of a double encore.
- Great soundtrack
- New online setup promises a lot of support
- The same familiar, addictive gameplay you have come to expect
- Guitar should have been Bluetooth
- Framerate drops occasionally
- Online mode currently was all but broken
It's once again time to rock and roll, as the fourth game to sport the Guitar Hero name has finally been released, this time hitting almost every platform imaginable. But does the game have enough to stand up against the massively hyped Rock Band?
Since the split up of Harmonix and Red Octane, many have worried that the series would suffer being developed by a new team. Well this certainly isn't the case as Neversoft, the studio behind the Tony Hawk games, has created a near perfect emulation of the experience that has been the backbone behind the Guitar Hero name. Although the game was built anew from the ground up, everything that you have come to love and expect from a Guitar Hero game is there, and many features that fans have been begging for have finally been added.
The developers have stuck to the original concept of the game, but have added a bit more depth to the story of your band. At the beginning of career mode, you choose the name of your band and being at a very modest setting. Throughout the game, your band will perform in one of eight venues ranging from the Backyard Bash to the Video Shoot, and ending in Lou's Inferno, a makeshift bar in hell. Along the way you will be signed to various sponsors and gain popularity and become a Legend of Rock, assuming you beat several rock stars throughout the game in battles and defeat Lou, a big bar owner who looks strangely like the dark one himself.
While there is no character customization to speak of, there are several returning rockers and some new faces to choose from, you can however, choose from a few styles and outfits for each. Favorites such as Lars Umlaut, Johnny Napalm and Axel Steel, and newcomer Midori just to name a few. In addition, there are two system specific characters that can be unlocked for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, The God of Rock and The Grim Reaper. Also, after beating them in battle mode, Tom Morello, Saul “Slash” Hudson, and Lou the Devil will be in the mix.
As any other game in the genre, the soundtrack makes the game. Activision spared no expense in this department. Where most of the songs in the previous games have been covers with a few master tracks scattered in the mix, Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock breaks out of this routine. There are more master tracks than covers this time around, with a few tracks that had been re-recorded specifically for the game. One such track is Anarchy in the UK by The Sex Pistols. After years apart, the group met back up in the studio to make this exclusive track, incorporating a brand new solo. With such devotion to the music, Activision has made a firm movement in the right direction for future games, giving the Guitar Hero name lasting power.
Over 70 tracks provide countless hours of gameplay and plenty of variety. This is only the beginning, however, as downloadable content gives way to an unknown number of tracks to come. As the title of the game suggests, the music comes from all areas rock, and from some of the biggest names. With tracks from Metallica, Rage Against the Machine, Alice Cooper, Poison, The Rolling Stones, and many many more, there is more than likely a song to please even the most picky of music lovers. This is, of course, not to mention the mother of all Guitar Hero tracks, "Through the Fire and the Flames" by DragonForce, a song that has quickly become notorious for its extreme difficulty, even on the easiest setting.
All in all, the set list is more than adequate. There are a few songs that, even on harder difficult, become tedious and feel a bit out of place, but hey, you have to get that 300-note streak somehow right? As with the games in the past, you will likely spend little time playing songs from the first few set lists and opt for the more challenging, and more fun, songs from the bottom of the list.
There are eight set lists in all, each with four tracks and ... (continued on next page)