Let the flood gates open, and let the rock and roll begin, September marks the time for huge game releases, and of course this seasons release of music games. It has now become a tradition, as each year both EA and Activision release music games from there Rock Band and Guitar Hero franchises. This year Activision has two big music releases, the first being Guitar Hero 5 which hopes to continue on the huge success of the franchise while still remaining true to its core audience. Does Guitar Hero 5 have what it takes? Read our full review to find out!
It can be hard at times to get down on a series that has been so successful over the years. There is also this idea that the music genre has hit its peak and that there really isn’t any area of the game that they can really expand upon. All of these areas will be addressed in this review and also in Guitar Hero 5.
One of the things I noticed about Guitar Hero 5 right out of the gate was the fact that it made a huge effort to be really accessible to the user. One of the features that really stood out to me was the fact that you can now just jump in and out of songs while the song is playing. So let’s say a friend comes in and wants to jump in mid-song that is now possible in Guitar Hero 5. This is one of those features that although may not fill up a press sheet but one that I really did appreciate.
I know there has been a lot of talk on this years song list for Guitar Hero 5, it seems as though when Neversoft isn’t putting out an artist specific game (AKA: Metallica & Aerosmith) there is a lot of critics on the artist lists. I understand there lineup of music, it does a good job of keeping all music fans happy while doing its best to still keep everyone interested in the game. For me this was one of the better set lists in recent years and I was happy to see the ability to bring over past music to this years game.
Guitar Hero 5 also includes quite a bit of multiplayer content both online and offline which in one form of another still involves playing music and all works relatively well. I for one have never been a big fan of online play in a music game but for those who enjoy that sort of thing it is available in Guitar Hero 5.
In terms of changing the way we look at music games, Guitar Hero 5 is not going to do that in terms of its gameplay. I would consider this game a nice set of refinements that help to encourage an amazing Guitar Hero experience while providing some great tunes, and a solid system in order to play music in. Although some may not consider this a glowing endorsement of the gameplay I would say its hard to be over excited of something that hasn’t changed in years, but at the same time the changes that were made have really done a good job of refining the mechanics to be even more user friendly.
I am a big fan in the way in which the visuals have been upgraded in Guitar Hero 5. Although it is hard to rate a game that you don’t necessarily appreciate the visuals as much as other genres it is still worth a note that this game is far better looking then its predecessors. From the opening menus to the first time you play the game there is a noticeable increase in detail, style, and polish. The game may not compete with the likes of many recent releases in terms of its “wow factor” but what it does do is improve a genre that has been dying for some visual improvements for years now.
I got to be honest, the music genre as a whole does need some sort of improvement to take it to a new level. There is no doubt that the genre is starting to show signs of slowing down and the novelty factor seems to be wearing off slightly. With that being said Guitar Hero 5 does have the necessary ingredients to keep fans of the series excited for its latest offering. The new set list, the added functionality of multiplayer and just an improved sense of self have all combined to make an extremely fun game to play.
Although not the excitement that one would expect out of one of the original few Guitar Hero games, Guitar Hero 5 continues to provide a high quality music game that offers new modes, an improved overall look and feel, and a solid music outing all around. It may not be the big game changer that some have hoped for but at the same time it does what a music game is supposed to do and that is it allows you to rock out to some great music while having fun either alone or with a group of friends.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.