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Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock, previously referred to as Guitar Hero 6, is an upcoming music video game and the sixth main entry in the Guitar Hero series for the PlayStation 3, Wii, and Xbox 360 consoles. The game is expected to be released September 24, 2010 in the United Kingdom and September 28, 2010 in North America. Due to significant issues with poor sales of rhythm games in 2009, Activision, Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock's publisher, has since dissolved RedOctane[1] and Neversoft's Guitar Hero division;[2] however, Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock represents the last game in the series to be developed by Neversoft prior to the dissolution. Vicarious Visions developed the Wii port of the game which utilizes additional Nintendo DS functionality, though at present there is no stand-alone DS version of the game.

Gameplay

As with previous games in the series, Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock will let up to four people play in a band on vocals, lead and bass/rhythm guitar, and drums, to successfully match notes as they scroll down the screen as appropriate for their instrument (or matching relative pitch, in the case of vocals), in order to perform well and complete each song. Official Xbox Magazine (UK) noted that the only change to the core gameplay appears to be the addition of a sustained open-string bass note that was lacking in previous games.[3]

File:Gh wor 2112 starman venue.jpg

The major game mode in Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock is called "Quest Mode", which will be narrated to the players by Gene Simmons. Quest Mode is a career mode where the players attempt to complete songs and challenges to advance the story and game. It is based on a story where the players of the band are attempting to release the "Demigod of Rock" and his guitar from his imprisonment by "The Beast", gaining strength through bringing new members aboard the band.[4] The Quest Mode culminates into a story section loosely based on "2112" from Rush, playable in its entirety within the game, where the player finds the Demigod's guitar and uses it to overcome the Beast; these elements will be narrated by Rush members Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson using portions of the album's original liner notes.[5][6] The game's story culminates with a battle against The Beast, and is set to a new 2-part arrangement by Megadeth entitled "Sudden Death"; Megadeth's Dave Mustaine co-composed the song as a means of "challenging the Guitar Hero community",[7] and contains portions that he believed were "the most difficult parts" he has written in his life.[8] Gaming journalists have noted thematic similarities between the story details of Warriors of Rock and Brütal Legend, an action video game with a world based on heavy metal, developed by Tim Schafer and Double Fine which Activision, at one point, would have published but later dropped the rights.[9][10][11][8] Project lead Brian Bright commented that their inspiration for the game's story was the covers of metal albums, the same material that led to the world of Brütal Legend.[12]

File:Ghwow gameplay.JPG

Due to ongoing legal issues with the likenesses of musician celebrities in Guitar Hero 5 and Band Hero, Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock will feature only eight fictional characters, including those previously included in the series.[5] As part of Quest Mode, players unlock these characters by completing specific songs for the characters, which can also unlock alter-egos for each character that have further influence on the game. One example is the character of Lars Umlaut, who can become "Warrior Lars" on completing his challenges, allowing for a maximum 6x scoring multipliers instead of a 4x one. The game will include a perk system comparable to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, in which the player can select two of any of the unlocked play bonuses for future songs.[13] With the combination of these bonuses, it will now be possible to score up to 40 stars per song, instead of the usual 5 stars.[13] In addition, all venues will be fictional except for the now-defunct CBGB Club in New York City.[3] Some venues will be based on Rush's "2112" song, including the caves where the player finds the Demigod's guitar, and a venue based on the "Starman" emblem used first on the 2112 album.[5]

"Party Play", where the game will automatically play songs and allow for players to jump in at any time, remains in the game.[4] The game also includes an improved "Quickplay+" mode to play any of the songs in the game or from previous downloadable content directly; the Quickplay+ mode will include some of the features from Guitar Hero 5's Career mode, such as song challenges, that will otherwise not be incorporated into the Quest mode. Each song, both on-disc and from previous downloaded content, will have thirteen different challenges to be completed. Players will have the opportunity to use the unlocked Warrior form of the game's characters within Quickplay+ mode in order to take advantage of their gameplay benefits as necessary to complete some of these challenges.[14] The competitive modes introduced in Guitar Hero 5 will also carry over into Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock.[3] The Wii version will improve the "Roadie" game version introduced in Guitar Hero 5. In this mode, up to four additional players with their own Nintendo DS wirelessly connected to the Wii (the "Roadies") can assist the other players using instrument controllers. The Roadies can create setlists from the DS, or engage in gameplay through "spells" that improve the performance of the player they are assigned to. Alternatively, in Roadie Battle mode, the Roadies can attempt to distract another player while at the same time removing the distractions placed on their player by another Roadie.[4]

Development

After weak sales in 2009 of several titles in the Guitar Hero series, Activision proceeded to make several changes with their internal development teams. The company dissolved RedOctane, bringing in some of the staff directly into Activision.[1] Activision further shuttered Neversoft's Guitar Hero division, pending the completion of Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock, with further development in the series to be created by some former Neversoft members and Vicarious Visions.[2] Brian Bright, former Neversoft and current project lead, noted that part of the poor sales of Guitar Hero in 2009 was a result of a loss of focus with Guitar Hero 5, stating that "we were trying to please everyone out there and I think in the end you end up not pleasing any one person a lot".[15] With Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock, Bright wanted to bring the game back to please the fans of the earlier Guitar Hero games, specifically the highly-successful Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock.[15] To that end, the team developed a soundtrack "more focused on rock 'n' roll" than the variety of genres within Guitar Hero 5.[3] The songs are more guitar-centric, as proven to be the most popular instrument choice based on Guitar Hero 5.[4] Bright noted they used player statistics from previous games to shape Warriors of Rock; for example, according to Bright, within a month of release, 40% of the players of Guitar Hero 5 were playing on Expert mode, and felt this was the audience they needed to cater to.[16] Bright also stated that the aim of Warriors of Rock was to create a game with "its own identity" from both previous Guitar Hero titles and other rhythm games; "Rather than go head-to-head with our own games and our competitors, we decided we wanted to make something different."[16]

File:Gh-wow-guitar-controller.jpg

A new guitar controller is being developed for the game to help with "shredding" and an art style to match the changes made in the game's visuals.[14] The guitar hardware has been significantly redesigned to locate most of the base electronics and wireless controls into the main fretboard of the unit, containing the colored fret buttons, strum and whammy bar, and other controls for interacting with the game console. As such, this allows the body of the guitar to be swappable with custom designs, allowing players to personalize the control to their wishes; one design will be exclusive to those that pre-order the game through GameStop.[17] The new guitar controller remains backwards compatible with previous games. Within North America, the new drum kit will also be sold individually or in bundles with Warriors of Rock. The kit had previously been packed with Band Hero in the United Kingdom and with the Wii version of Band Hero in North America, but otherwise was not sold separately. The drum kit is MIDI-enabled with a detachable "drum brain" allowing other drum kits to be used instead with the game, while the game's kit can be used with any MIDI-capable music editing system.[18]

A demo for the game was released on Xbox Live on September 7, 2010, and features four songs: "Children of the Grave" by Black Sabbath, "No Way Back" by the Foo Fighters, "Ghost" by Slash featuring Ian Astbury, and "Bloodlines" by Dethklok.[19]

The music video for Soundgarden's "Black Rain", is animated by Titmouse, Inc., the same studio that performs the in-game animations for Guitar Hero as well as Metalocalypse, and includes images of a young man playing Guitar Hero using the new guitar controller introduced in Warriors of Rock.[20]

The game may include features using camera technology, such as Kinect, into the future game, according to the development team.[21]

Main setlist

There are 93 songs on disc for Warriors of Rock.[22] According to Bright, all the songs have been selected to fit within a narrow set of music genres, "punk, alternative rock, and classic rock", to avoid dilution of the game's focus.[16] Two songs, Alice Cooper's "No More Mr. Nice Guy" and The Runaways' "Cherry Bomb", have been specifically re-recorded by the original bands for use in Warriors of Rock.[23] Megadeth's "Sudden Death" was specifically written as the final song within Warriors of Rock's setlist.[7]

Song Artist
"2112 Pt. 1 – Overture" Rush
"2112 Pt. 2 – The Temples of Syrinx" Rush
"2112 Pt. 3 – Discovery" Rush
"2112 Pt. 4 – Presentation" Rush
"2112 Pt. 5 – Oracle: The Dream" Rush
"2112 Pt. 6 – Soliloquy" Rush
"2112 Pt. 7 – Grand Finale" Rush
"Again" Flyleaf
"Aqualung" Jethro Tull
"Bat Country" Avenged Sevenfold
"Been Caught Stealing" Jane's Addiction
"Black Rain" Soundgarden
"Black Widow of La Porte" John 5 featuring Jim Root
"Bleed It Out" Linkin Park
"Bloodlines" Dethklok
"Bodies" Drowning Pool
"Bohemian Rhapsody" Queen
"Burn" Deep Purple
"Burnin' for You" Blue Öyster Cult
"Call Me the Breeze" (Live) Lynyrd Skynyrd
"Calling" Strung Out
"Chemical Warfare" Slayer
"Cherry Bomb" a The Runaways
"Children of the Grave" Black Sabbath
"Cryin'" Aerosmith
"Dance, Dance" Fall Out Boy
"Dancing Through Sunday" AFI
"Deadfall" Snot
"Fascination Street" The Cure
"The Feel Good Drag" Anberlin
"Feels Like the First Time" Foreigner
"Fortunate Son" Creedence Clearwater Revival
"Free Ride" The Edgar Winter Group
"Fury of the Storm" DragonForce
"Get Free" The Vines
"Ghost" Slash featuring Ian Astbury
"Graduate" Third Eye Blind
"Hard to See" Five Finger Death Punch
"Holy Wars… The Punishment Due" Megadeth
"How You Remind Me" Nickelback
"I Know What I Am" Band of Skulls
"I'm Broken" Pantera
"I'm Not Okay (I Promise)" My Chemical Romance
"If You Want Peace... Prepare for War" Children of Bodom
"Indians" Anthrax
"Interstate Love Song" Stone Temple Pilots
"It's Only Another Parsec..." RX Bandits
"Jet City Woman" Queensrÿche
"Lasso" Phoenix
"Listen to Her Heart" Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
"Losing My Religion" R.E.M.
"Love Gun" Kiss
"Lunatic Fringe" Red Rider
"Machinehead" Bush
"Modern Day Cowboy" Tesla
"Money for Nothing" (single version) Dire Straits
"Motivation" Sum 41
"Move It On Over" (Live) George Thorogood and the Destroyers
"Nemesis" Arch Enemy
"No More Mr. Nice Guy" a Alice Cooper
"No Way Back" Foo Fighters
"The Outsider" A Perfect Circle
"Paranoid" (Live) Metallica & Ozzy Osbourne
"Pour Some Sugar on Me" (Live) Def Leppard
"Psychosocial" Slipknot
"Ravenous" Atreyu
"Re-Ignition" (Live) Bad Brains
"Renegade" Styx
"(You Can Still) Rock in America" Night Ranger
"Rockin' in the Free World" Neil Young
"Savior" Rise Against
"Scumbag Blues" Them Crooked Vultures
"Self Esteem" The Offspring
"Setting Fire to Sleeping Giants" The Dillinger Escape Plan
"Seven Nation Army" The White Stripes
"Sharp Dressed Man" (Live) ZZ Top
"Slow Hands" Interpol
"Speeding" Steve Vai
"Stray Cat Blues" The Rolling Stones
"Sudden Death" Megadeth
"Suffocated" Orianthi
"Theme from Spider-Man" Ramones
"There's No Secrets This Year" Silversun Pickups
"This Day We Fight!" Megadeth
"Tick Tick Boom" The Hives
"Ties That Bind" Alter Bridge
"Tones of Home" Blind Melon
"Unskinny Bop" Poison
"Uprising" Muse
"Waidmanns Heil" Rammstein
"We're Not Gonna Take It" Twisted Sister
"What Do I Get?" Buzzcocks
"Wish" Nine Inch Nails

^a Song has been re-recorded for the game

Downloadable content

All previous downloadable content that worked with Guitar Hero 5, including previous content from Guitar Hero World Tour, Guitar Hero: Smash Hits, and Band Hero, will work in Warriors of Rock. More than 500 tracks will be available to players at launch.[3] In addition, 39 songs from Guitar Hero: Metallica will be importable into Warriors of Rock.[24]

Initial shipments of the game in the United States will also be bundled with Soundgarden's latest album, Telephantasm: A Retrospective, which includes the new track "Black Rain" and other previous Soundgarden songs; "Black Rain" will be available on the Warriors of Rock disc to play, while the remaining eleven tracks on the album, songs from previous Soundgarden albums, will be available as downloadable content alongside release of the game.[25][26][27][28]

Song Artist Release Date Ref
"Hunted Down" Soundgarden Sept. 28, 2010 [25]
"Hands All Over" Soundgarden Sept. 28, 2010 [25]
"Outshined" Soundgarden Sept. 28, 2010 [25]
"Rusty Cage" Soundgarden Sept. 28, 2010 [25]
"Birth Ritual" Soundgarden Sept. 28, 2010 [25]
"Black Hole Sun" Soundgarden Sept. 28, 2010 [25]
"Spoonman" Soundgarden Sept. 28, 2010 [25]
"My Wave" Soundgarden Sept. 28, 2010 [25]
"Fell on Black Days" Soundgarden Sept. 28, 2010 [25]
"Burden in My Hand" Soundgarden Sept. 28, 2010 [25]
"Blow Up the Outside World" Soundgarden Sept. 28, 2010 [25]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Pereira, Chris (2010-02-11). Original Guitar Hero Publisher RedOctane Shut Down. 1UP.com. Retrieved on 2010-05-26.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Watts, Steve (2010-02-11). Activision Confirms Studio Layoffs. 1UP.com. Retrieved on 2010-05-26.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 King, Ryan (June 2010). "Guitar Hero 6". Official Xbox Magazine UK: pp. 56–57. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Change, Justin (July 2010). "Hero's Quest". Nintendo Power. pp. 58–59. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Barth, Chris (2010-07-20). [Geddy Lee and guitarist Alex Lifeson Video: Rush on Bringing "2112" to 'Guitar Hero']. Rolling Stone. Retrieved on 2010-07-20.
  6. Nunneley, Stephany (2010-07-21). Warrior’s of Rock: Quest Mode contains RUSH’s 2112 suite. VG247. Retrieved on 2010-07-21.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Dave Mustaine (speaker). (2010-09-01) (Flash video). Dave Mustang Talks Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock. [Trailer]. Activision. http://www.giantbomb.com/dave-mustaine-talks-guitar-hero-warriors-of-rock/17-3167/. Retrieved 2010-09-01. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 Gries, Arthur (2010-06-15). E3 2010: Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock Preview. IGN. Retrieved on 2010-06-15.
  9. Gaskill, Jake (2010-05-28). Activision Confirms Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock. G4TV. Retrieved on 2010-05-28.
  10. Grayson, Nathan (2010-05-28). Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock official, features a “rock ‘n’ roll fantasy” story. VG247. Retrieved on 2010-05-28.
  11. Pakinkis, Tom (2010-05-28). Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock detailed. Computer and Video Games. Retrieved on 2010-05-28.
  12. Warmoth, Brian (2010-06-24). 'Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock' Adding Story, Keeping DS Collaboration. MTV. Retrieved on 2010-06-24.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Chiappini, Dan (2010-06-15). Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock First Look. GameSpot. Retrieved on 2010-06-15.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Purchase, Robert (2010-06-04). Activision unveils GH: Warriors of Rock. Eurogamer. Retrieved on 2010-06-04.
  15. 15.0 15.1 East, Thomas (2010-06-30). Guitar Hero lost its identity - Neversoft. Official Nintendo Magazine. Retrieved on 2010-06-30.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Crossley, Rob (2010-08-09). Neversoft on ‘selling out’ in the race for sales. Develop. Retrieved on 2010-08-09.
  17. Wilson, Mark (2010-06-07). The New Guitars of Guitar Hero. Gizmodo. Retrieved on 2010-06-07.
  18. Rybicki, Joe (2010-08-13). Hands-On With Warriors of Rock Drums. Plastic Axe. Retrieved on 2010-08-13.
  19. Nunneley, Stephany (2010-09-07). DJ Hero 2 and Warriors of Rock demos hit Xbox Live. VG247. Retrieved on 2010-09-07.
  20. Helgeson, Matt (2010-09-16). New Soundgarden Video Features Guitar Hero, New Song In Game. Game Informer. Retrieved on 2010-09-16.
  21. Dudley, Brier (2009-11-23). 'Guitar Hero' founder excited about future. Seattle Times. Retrieved on 2009-11-26.
  22. Anderson, Joe (2010-08-18). Guitar Hero Warriors of Rock tracklist unleashed. VG247. Retrieved on 2010-08-18.
  23. ALICE COOPER, THE RUNAWAYS Re-Record Tracks Exclusively For 'Guitar Hero: Warriors Of Rock'. Blabbermouth.net (2010-07-26). Retrieved on 2010-07-26.
  24. Activision (2010-09-14). "Guitar Hero® Metallica® Thrashes its Way Into the Guitar Hero® Music Library". Press release. http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/guitar-hero-metallica-thrashes-its-way-into-the-guitar-hero-music-library-102851444.html. Retrieved 2010-09-14. 
  25. 25.00 25.01 25.02 25.03 25.04 25.05 25.06 25.07 25.08 25.09 25.10 25.11 Snider, Mike (2010-08-02). Soundgarden's 'Telephantasm' gets 'Guitar Hero' welcome. USA Today. Retrieved on 2010-08-02.
  26. Mastrapa, Gus (2010-08-03). New Guitar Hero Packed With Soundgarden’s Greatest Hits. Wired. Retrieved on 2010-08-03.
  27. SOUNDGARDEN: Complete 'Telephantasm' Details Revealed. Blabbermouth.net (2010-08-03). Retrieved on 2010-08-03.
  28. Yin-Poole, Wesley (2010-08-05). Soundgarden album free with Guitar Hero. Eurogamer. Retrieved on 2010-08-05.
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