There probably hasn’t been a game genre that’s seen itself take off, then plummet down quite like the music game genre. At the forefront of it was Guitar Hero and Rock Band, but oversaturation of retail copies in Guitar Hero’s case and plastic instruments in Rock Band’s forced the two juggernauts to pull back.
While Rock Band kept up some momentum by releasing additional DLC songs for a while after the release of Rock Band 3, Guitar Hero was put on hiatus since 2011. Now that Harmonix is working on their platform-style system with Rock Band 4, it seems prime time for Activision to resurrect its old franchise, this time with some refreshing twists.
Announced earlier yesterday was the reveal of Guitar Hero Live, the latest entry in the Guitar Hero franchise, complete with a new trailer. This game is being developed by FreeStyle Games, makers of DJ Hero, and will add a few tweaks to what we know from the series.
Perhaps the biggest change will be the control scheme. Instead of the traditional 5-button layout, Guitar Hero Live will use three buttons in two rows for a total of six. The notes displayed on-screen will be colored black and white, corresponding to the top and bottom rows of buttons respectively. This setup opens up a new style of play, making it easier for new players and potentially more difficult for veterans by mimicking the layout of actual guitar chords.
As it may also be evident by the gameplay, Guitar Hero Live foregoes the cartoonish visual design in favor of a live-action setup from a first-person view. The reactions of the crowd as well as your fellow bandmates will still change depending on your performance, which is rather impressive with a live-action setting. These don’t look too difficult to pull off, if the cuts in the trailer are anything to go by. The use of live-action could mean that some popular musicians have the potential to show up, but it will likely be just regular actors playing the roles of band and posse.
Another feature that will alleviate some fears of oversaturation from the past is GHTV. GHTV is a 24-hour playable music-video network in Guitar Hero Live. It will be through here that FreeStyle Games will update the game with new songs to download or jump in and play. In this way, FreeStyle doesn’t intend to release a new disc of new guitar every year like the games did before.
There is a bit of a downside with this dramatic of a change in Guitar Hero Live, and that is a lack of backwards compatibility with previous Guitar Hero songs and peripherals. That is one advantage that Rock Band 4 will have over Guitar Hero Live, at least in the song department, so we’ll have to see if these changes will be enough.
Guitar Hero Live will be coming Fall 2015 to Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Playstation 4, and Wii U. Since this will be the first game to use the redesigned controller, the game will come bundled with it for $99.99 on all skews.Source: Eurogamer