Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock E3 preview

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To quote a Twisted Sister song: “I wanna ROCK!” and with the next iteration of the Guitar Hero franchise, Warriors of Rock, rock is at the heart of the game.

During a demo at E3, the dev team stated that they really wanted to get back to the soul of the franchise, the guitar-influenced rock that was prevalent in Guitar Hero 3. So there are 90 new tracks in the game, each with 13 challenges across several difficulty levels, and there are new modes of play.

The campaign mode is called Quest Mode, and it follows a story line in which the demi-god of rock is cast down by the beast and imprisoned in granite. The legendary weapon of the demigod, a guitar, is held in a cavern that is “deep and foreboding.“ Gene Simmons is the voice of the demigod and the game narrator. In the Quest he calls upon players to become warriors and free the guitar. The characters will work through songs, earning enough respect to face a challenge that will lead to the transformation into warriors. In addition, each character has a unique power and the characters, music and environments are tailored together to create unique experiences determined by who the player chooses as an avatar. One of the new characters, Echo Tesla, was demo’d. is a new character to the franchise. During the quest mode scores are removed and star caps are removed - so it is all about earning as many stars as possible.

There are 13 challenges for each song in the game library, and new items are unlocked as you move along. The challenges are linked to the type of song being played. For example, if the song has a lot of hammer-ons, there will be a challenge for that. The challenges all run ambiently in the background, but players can pause the game at any time to check progress.

Changes have been made to the set list, and there are more than 90 songs in the game. There is a new sorting list that allows players to quickly find the songs they want to play. Another big new mode is Quick Play Plus.

The guitar is new, with detachable body parts (the electronics are in the neck) so players can physically customize the controller. There is a leaderboard and ranking system that can be viewed online.

Dave Mustaine, of Megadeth, wrote a song for the final fight of the campaign mode called Sudden Death that is quite hard.

The rhythm-music genre has taken some steps back in terms of popularity of late, but it looks as though Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock is attempting to learn from the past and use the franchise's strengths to recapture the musical magic.

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Michael Lafferty
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