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Guitar Hero Reborn With Live-Action Gameplay And New Guitar Controller

by Brian Shea on Apr 14, 2015 at 04:00 AM

The Guitar Hero franchise is staging a comeback tour this year, and but it’s looking like it’s anything but the same old song and dance. Unveiled today as Guitar Hero Live, Activision will be tapping FreeStyleGames, the studio responsible for the DJ Hero franchise, in a major reimagining of the dormant franchise.

Guitar Hero Live attempts to allow players to immerse themselves in the rock and roll lifestyle like never before, as the game does away with rendered graphics in favor of live-action sequences that play out in real-time with your gameplay. The first-person point of view places you in the shoes of a member of fictitious Broken Tide as you play in front of a real crowd that reacts to how well or poorly you’re performing.

As you become a bigger band, you’ll see the venues grow from small clubs that house 100 people to massive festivals featuring 100,000 fans. The live crowd and first-person view attempts to emulate the feeling of actually playing in front of that many people, including stage fright and the adrenaline rush that comes from the crowd’s roar.

Until now, the Guitar Hero series has relied on using the same five-button layout since its debut on PlayStation 2 in 2005. With Guitar Hero Live, players will pick up an entirely redesigned plastic guitar that features six buttons split into two rows, giving the developers more opportunities to better represent guitar-like chords within the songs. Activision hopes this will reduce the difficulty for those who struggled with reaching the orange button on previous Guitar Hero controllers, while providing a new layer of challenge for those who have spent years perfecting the plastic guitar.

While no specific songs have been announced yet, artists signed on to contribute to the soundtrack include The Black Keys, Fall Out Boy, My Chemical Romance, The Rolling Stones, Gary Clark, Jr., Green Day, Ed Sheeran, The War On Drugs, The Killers, Skrillex, The Lumineers, Pierce the Veil, and Blitz Kids. Activision has also stated that many more bands will be revealed in coming months.

The game also includes GHTV, a new 24-hour playable music video network that continually updates with new releases and classic songs. Players are able to jump on whenever they want to compete with friends and other global players as they play along to the growing library of songs. Because of the mode’s platform-style approach, GHTV could hopefully serve as a great way to discover new music in the way DLC has served in the past. It will be interesting to find out how GHTV interacts with any downloadable content plans Activision and FreeStyleGames have for Guitar Hero Live.

In the past, Guitar Hero games have had mobile versions released to accompany the full console versions, but the Guitar Hero Live is doing something new and unexpected. The mobile version of Guitar Hero Live claims to deliver the full console experience to select devices, allowing players to play along wherever they have their device.

Guitar Hero Live is set to launch this fall on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U, and select mobile devices. Since you’ll need to pick up the plastic guitar, players will only have one purchasing option available for $99.99.