The modern gamer is forced to spend a lot of money if they're looking to keep up to date with the biggest AAA titles of the industry. That's not even referencing the microtransactions, DLC packs, and countless expansions that pervade this art form in the modern age. It sucks. That's why taking an initial look at Guitar Hero Live and its hefty $100 price tag in the US can seem steep, but that's not to say it isn't worth it.
The first Guitar Hero was released back in 2005 and started a musical revolution in Video Games! Everyone was playing Activision's product, and as the band expanded to include more instruments, many of us followed suit.
However, the series disappeared following the release of Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock in 2011, and many of us had lost interest at this point in the franchise's development. Now suddenly, 2015 has seen the release of Guitar Hero Live, a fresh take on the well-established legend, and there's something that's hard to admit about Activision's return.
Guitar Hero Live Review
For any of you who've been following Guitar Hero Live, you'll know that there are two noticeable updates to the franchise: one is obviously the guitar, and the other is the whole "live" aspect. The latter only comes to life in a rather lackluster campaign, one that you could completely avoid and lose nothing for doing so. The idea is that you're playing on stages of various size with different bands, and based on your performance there are recorded band and audience reactions. They'll boo if you miss too many notes, and cheer with joy if you succeed throughout. It's a simple and fun idea, but it's not always very effective.
You feel no attachments to the bands that you play with and the crowd can be quick to turn on you - even if you achieve 95% overall in a song, and then miss a few notes at the end, the song will end like you failed. Bit harsh. But all of this can be overlooked for Guitar Hero TV.
Guitar Hero TV is Far Too Addictive!
In this part of Guitar Hero Live, you'll be able to switch on a music channel, like you once did with MTV, and simply play through the online setlist of songs. They're split up into categories, or shows, which generally last for about half an hour and focus on a genre, be it indie, rock, metal, etc. This mode is dangerously addictive, as you can literally just sit there and play song after song, not knowing what's going to come up next. You're also competing against other players online with a small leader board on the side of the song - you can see this in the image above. Seeing you rise to the top during solo is thrilling and tremendously rewarding.
Additionally, performing well in songs grants you cash and experience points for leveling up online, or buying a few nice cosmetic upgrades. Of course you can put real money into the game and buy these things right away, but Guitar Hero Live does an excellent job of rewarding you with enough money for playing well that it never seems necessary to do so. Just keep playing this addictive game and you'll be rewarded well enough to buy whatever you desire!
Guitar Hero Live Is One of the Most Enjoyable Games I've Played All Year!
This is the bit that's hard to admit. In a year that's seen the release of The Witcher 3, Bloodborne, [Batman: Arkham Knight](tag:2683936), and [Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain](tag:2683985), Guitar Hero Live is still some of the most fun I've had with a video game all year. The price was intimidating, and I was afraid that this new formula wasn't going to work. But then you get that new guitar in your hands.
This new guitar almost renders the old games obsolete. With its new button layout system, you'll be shaping your hand in a way that closely resembles actual chords on a guitar. It's more satisfying, complicated, rewarding, and ultimately enjoyable. Old fans will be challenged at first, but will soon adapt to a new way of playing that'll change how you enjoy this franchise forever. Guitar Hero is back, and we're endlessly delighted to have it in our living room!