Activision and FreeStyleGames today unveiled the new generation of music games in Guitar Hero Live—and here are the first trailer and details for the next step along your road to virtual rock-god stardom.
Now, we’ve already talked about Guitar Hero Live this morning—bringing you both a chat amongst the EGM Crew about the game and what it’ll mean, along with a conversation with the developers about how they’re trying to buck some current trends with the game—but we also wanted to give you a quicker, more concise rundown of what the game will be if you aren’t ready to jump into either of those longer pieces just yet.
Guitar Hero Live is the next chapter of the Guitar Hero series, but it’s one that’s doing some major things differently. First is the guitar controller itself, which helps shake up gameplay by moving to a new six-button layout, where white and black upper and lower buttons sit upon three finger positions. The idea by the team at FreeStyleGames was to reduce the finger movement up and down the fret board of previous games, something that kept some players from advancing to higher difficulty levels in the earlier entries in the series. Now, your fingers will always stay at those three positions, which both makes overall movements easier while potentially offering for extended challenge due to the higher number of usable buttons.
If gameplay has undergone moderate evolution, the overall presentation of Guitar Hero Live is complete revolution. Gone are the characters you’d customize or digital representations of famous guitarists, and in their place is—well, you. The idea behind Live is to really put you in the mindset of being up there on stage, rocking out with a band, so the game’s perspective has been shifted to first person. Backgrounds are now live action videos, filmed from the perspective of a guitar-playing band member playing gigs in everything from tiny dive bars to stadiums packed with thousands and thousands of screaming fans. In an interesting twist, all of the videos were recorded twice—once to get a “good” pass, once for a “bad” pass—so that, at any time, the video can switch from one view to the other to adjust to how well (or poorly) you’re playing.
Finally, a major component of Guitar Hero Live will be Guitar Hero TV, a built-in streaming service for extending the content in the game far beyond what comes on the physical disc (or digital download). Here, a variety of channels will be set up, where you can hop onto any one you like and jump into playing whatever songs are in rotation at that time. Other players will be doing the same, however, meaning you can directly compete against a roster of guitar freaks from around the world to see who gets the highest score. If following pre-set playlists isn’t your thing, you’ll also be able to pick from songs, artists, and albums on-demand, and rock out to a much wider variety of music than the series has ever seen before—all set to the songs’ original music videos. More details will be revealed about Guitar Hero TV at E3 2015, but for now, it seems almost like a Spotify-esque service meant to give the game a larger, deeper, and free-er roster of music than offering DLC could. (Which, of course, is more than a surprising move for a big publisher like Activision.)
Guitar Hero Live is set to hit for PS4, Xbox One, Wii U, PS3, Xbox 360, and mobile this fall.