Guitar Hero: Metallica

After the disappointing Guitar Hero: Aerosmith and the costly and unimpressive Guitar Hero: World Tour, I must admit that my fascination with this series had started to wane. Suffering from complete over-saturation of music games, skepticism surrounding Guitar Hero: Metallica was to be expected as Neversoft give us another band specific spin-off game with special guests making up the playlist.

Obviously one of the major differences that come to this game is the ability to play all four instruments, separately or in a band in a manner first introduced to Guitar Hero in World Tour. This would seem like  a great way to make the game last longer and allow more freedom when playing, however there are flaws. One of the main reasons Metallica works so well for a Guitar Hero game is the looooooooong guitar solos in every song they do (please be warned that prolonged periods of play may make your fingers fall off!). This makes playing lead guitar a dream come true and you really do feel great playing it, regardless of which difficulty you decide to pick. For the same reason, even the bass guitar has a lot to do in this game and provides enough taxing corners to keep even Guitar Hero addicts amused. Drums…well everyone loves beating up their fake drums till the cows come home and this game includes an Expert + mode just for drums for those of you who are natural (drum)skinheads. So that just leaves the vocals – a part I have thoroughly enjoyed in music games previously. What works in favour of the guitar, works against the vocals and you can easily find yourself getting half way through a song before you even have to open your mouth. This not only leads to boredom if you are playing by yourself but also means an annoying mistake followed by a restart can be a very lengthy process.  The vocals are sensitive to an extreme and difficult to master so the sporadic intervals at which you get to participate really make you feel like you might as well just put down the mic and walk away.

GH: Metallica does provide a good long playlist with a very varied range of guest stars along with a casual fan friendly list of Metallica classics from the 80’s to 2008. Everything from ballads to neighbour-complaining noise can be found in this game so it provides a good comfort zone for those who aren’t necessarily Metallica fans. The length of the songs combined with the instrument choice and the set list length mean this game has a lot of longevity and the songs aren’t ones you’ll get bored of over night so this is definitely something to keep you busy.

The variety of achievements is definitely different from a lot of the earlier incarnations of GH with none for note streaks or 100% on songs. A breathe of fresh air has left this list with a nice combination of easy, hard, and impossible unless you live in front of the TV achievements, which are spread over online and offline play as well as solo and party play. With the ability to now play band vs band online, the potential for 8 people to thrash it out really is great fun, although sometimes difficult to find.

This game just feels like something has gone right for the Guitar Hero team and everything has fallen into place. Apart from the vocal problems, GH: Metallica just feels more…comfortable. Almost like they’ve grown into their new skin after the GH/Rock Band split. The layout of the data whilst playing is all where you would want it to be, the songs are what you would expect and the new earnings system gives an interesting twist to tactical placement of your star power. Fans of Metallica will definitely not be disappointed, with lyrics and facts available on every song, along with some key live performance videos included and a nice history of the band placed throughout the game. However in a dissimilar way to GH: Aerosmith, these things are tucked away for you to watch if you so choose rather than being forced upon the player at points where even the biggest fan may just want to get on with the game.

Customisation has been made a big feature of this game, with you not only able to create a character but able to manipulate the existing characters to a greater level than in previous series titles. To some players this really won’t make any difference but for those of you who form a virtual band this really can add something to the game, as seeing yourself rock out on stage is definitely cool!

The last thing to touch on has to be the storyline. All Guitar Hero games have some vague reason as to why you are touring and this game is no different. Like all GH series games the storyline is ridiculous and irritating and will really not make the slightest difference to your game, although if you actually pay attention to the storyline you are definitely in the minority!







5 responses to “Guitar Hero: Metallica”

  1. Kat avatar

    Good review! 🙂 I’m liking the star system so far. Means I can dip in and out if I want and not commit myself to a full gig. So far anyway, I’ve only just started the game tho!


  2. markBOSS avatar

    cool review zoey, good to see Metallica has brought it back.

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