Guitar Hero Live (EGX Preview)

Guitar Hero is set to come back in a big way. We’ve been promised better, graphics, better peripherals, and a better experience by Activision and co. It’s been countless years since we broke out our favourite faux instrument so it seemed this would be the best time to dawn our axes and shred our way to stardom once again.

The new controller for Guitar Hero Live boast a new 6 buttons layout, with 3 black buttons on the top half of the guitar and 3 white buttons on the bottom. The new scheme draws closer to the instrument Guitar Hero draws its name from while maintains a distinctly arcade feel, unlike the pseudo instrument based games like Rocksmith. While this idea works amazingly well on paper it falters in practise. More often than not I found myself getting hand cramp and accidentally using Guitar Hero Live’s equivalent of a bar chord due to the very thin neck of the controller.

While Guitar Hero Live may take some adjustments mechanically to better the experience the display is cleaner than ever. By reducing the vibrant colours of yesteryear with simple and delicate monotones the screen feels substantially less cluttered. This results in a far more dynamic experience as we all know Guitar Hero is game to play with friends and the more people their are the less screen space there is for your HUD.

Alongside the upgraded HUD comes brand new crowds and band interactions. Perform well and score high enough and the on-screen band will crowd surf across an almost realistic arena filled to the brim with bobbing heads and hardy rockers. It’s hard to tear your eyes away from the band interaction while you fumble your way through Gold on the Ceiling by The Black Keys.

At EGX there were only 5 songs to play, a fair few of which I struggled to even place let alone know well enough to dedicate what little time I had with Guitar Hero Live playing learning them, making it hard to completely appreciate what Guitar Hero Live has to offer. Fortunately these songs were definitely hitting the right notes for those familiar with them in the crowd and the graphics are to die for, it’s just a shame that this brilliant entry to the series may be hung by the finicky neck of its peripheral.

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