Remember this? The childish, plastic guitar with five buttons that made you use your pinky finger in ways you never had before? That awkward, arthritis-inducing game that rocked the world for a hot second in the mid-2000s?
Well Guitar Hero is back, but this time, you might not even recognize it.
Activision, the company behind the popular music/ rhythm-action franchise, made their big announcement today, headed by creative director Jamie Jackson. Most importantly, they previewed the game’s newest features, which they hope will convince video game and music lovers alike to pick their plastic axes back up, even though it’s been years since the last Guitar Hero game.
The first (and biggest) update? The guitar now has six ‘fret’ buttons (split three and three) instead of five, and you won’t even need to use your pinky. And while this may make gameplay less realistic, it will certainly make it easier for frustrated fans.
The other coolest news has to do with the two playable versions of the game: GH Live and GH TV.
The first version features a totally reimagined gameplay, most notably in the fact that it gives the performer (you) a first person POV experience that should make you feel like an actual rockstar. Your band and the audience are all real people instead of animations now, and they’ll react in real time to your shredding or sucking (or both). Also, your performance will affect how your character perceives the concert, including blurred vision if you start to bomb.
The second version is already being praised as a “playable MTV,” featuring a “continually updating” library of classic music videos, which Activision says will attract all types of players. TV mode will allow your to refine your guitar skills while jamming out to some of your favorite music and videos of all time.
So what’s the damage? For the purchase of Guitar Hero Live at $99, you’ll get the guitar, access to Guitar Hero TV’s channels, and the ability to play music from On Demand songs for free, with no subscription. With this innovation, new music will be available for free download, eliminating the need for new disc releases. No word yet as to whether there will be additional songs available for paid purchase.
The game is set to release this fall for all major consoles and maybe even mobile. Rock Band is also making a comeback, due later this year.
Will you be buying? Watch the sick trailer below:
Already threw out your plastic guitar years ago? No worries. Check out the brand new game – and new guitar!