Guitar Hero Live is about as bold and ambitious a reimagining of the rock music game genre as we could realistically hope for, especially from an incumbent franchise. It’s a breath of fresh air. A true next-generation rhythm game. But it’s not going to be for everyone.
Guitar Hero Live adds some new ideas to the plastic instrument-driven music game genre, but it makes too many mistakes to overlook.
It’s not all new, though. You’ve still got the strum bar, which you’ll need to press to sound the notes, and a whammy bar for bending notes on a whim. Plus, Freestyle Games has made sure the Hero Power button is there within pinky’s reach if you’re not feeling rock enough to tilt the whole guitar to activate Hero Power.
Although the design changes are a welcome revamp to the Guitar Hero
series, the guitars themselves leave something to be desired.
Instead of using the same five-color controls as previous Guitar Hero games, and all Rock Band games, Guitar Hero Live uses a controller with two sets of three buttons each. The left set is black, and the right set is white. Now the game shows three columns of notes, each displaying a black or white gem (or both) to hit, instead of a single gem of a specific color across five columns.
In Guitar Hero Live you become the lead guitarist in a variety of fictional bands as they play their way through two festivals: Rock the Block and Sound Dial. You’ll move from smaller stages and make your way up to the headline spot.