Guitar Hero is back!
Created by Harmonix all the way back in 2005, Guitar Hero revolutionised the peripheral-based music-playing genre by having a really cool guitar and the kind of moment to moment feedback which really made you feel like you were playing, rather than actually using a really big and awkward controller. After a a full five year hiatus, the franchise is back and its rocking many new things for Guitar Hero Live!
That includes an entirely new guitar, this time losing the primary coloured buttons and adding a few more inputs. The result is something which definitely looks a lot cooler and also provides a peripheral which will be just as challenging to old and new players alike, levelling that playing field. So you now have a button layout with six total inputs in a three-by-two vetical gird. That's designed to make it feel a bit more like a real guitar and also provides plenty of freedom when moving from one difficulty level to the next.
Another big change is that the game now plays out from a first person perspective. In previous titles, you would see a representation of the whole band which changed as the song progressed and gave you a look at what different band members were doing. This time, the perspective will be centred on the hero guitar player (that's you), including giving you a run up to actually taking the stage.. It's also live action, so there are actors playing the rest of the band and even the audience who are staring at you. Sometimes they'll be clapping, sometimes they'll be cheering, which doesn't sound at all intimidating.
If you want an idea of how that plays out, check out this video.
That's a really, really big crowd...
You'll see elements of the world changing if you do a good or bad job, with two versions of every performance shot with the actors and a motion controlled camera. Of course, most of the game will plaster the highway of notes right in the middle of that screen so you won't necessarily get a chance to watch most of the work going on in the background.
There's also a multiplayer element called Guitar Hero TV which lets you log into a channel of live streaming music which runs all the time where you can play along to earn points and compete against your friends. We're not totally sure how that will work yet but we're sure to get plenty more detail during E3 in June.
Honestly, the first person stuff looks like it could get a bit repetitive, and also potentially cause motion sickness in some users, but the redefined controller is a nice refresh for a long dead series. We don't have a full list of artist and tracks yet but bands like The Black Keys, Ed Sheeran, Fall Out Boy, My Chemical Romance, The Killers, The Rolling Stones and Skrillex have been confirmed. More as we get it.
Guitar Hero Live is coming to Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS4, PS3 and Wii U in late 2015 - you'll be able to get the game and new controller for around €100.