Guitar Hero 5 First Look

Neversoft focuses on making Guitar Hero a more social and hassle-free experience with the follow-up to World Tour.

How does Neversoft follow up on Guitar Hero World Tour, the game that introduced full-band instruments to the Guitar Hero series, which represented the single biggest advancement for any game in the franchise to date? If you're worried that the answer to that question involves adding yet more instruments to the mix, don't be. It seems that Guitar Hero 5 is all about taking the existing social experience of World Tour and refining it to a new level.

Right at the center of that refinement is something called Party Play, a new gameplay mode that aims to remove most of the barriers from jumping into a song and just having fun. Its main appeal is flexibility. You can start Party Play without any players and have it cycle through all of the songs in the game as a sort of jukebox providing background music at a social gathering. But if you suddenly want to jump into a song that's already started and play along, all you need to do is hit one specific button on your instrument and you'll hop right into it; your note highway pops up without any hitch in the music.

"After playing loads of music rhythm games at parties or family gatherings, it became obvious to me that one of the biggest stumbling blocks in getting people playing was the sheer number of menus that you would have to navigate to actually start playing the game," says Brian Bright, project director at Neversoft. And that's basically what Party Play is all about. Any combination of four players can drop in and out of a song, switch difficulty on the fly, and not have to worry about failing out. It's all done easily and painlessly, without stopping the music or forcing players to trudge through menus.

Another way in which Party Play will accommodate the whims of players is by adapting to instrument setups that don't necessarily reflect the song being played. You can choose to do the guitar-bass-drums-mic setup if you so choose, but for those with an odd assortment of instruments lying around the living room, Party Play will support any combination of four peripherals that you can think up. For example, having four bass players is just fine, as is two drummers and two singers. Party Play won't judge you.

Band Moments are designed to rally the players together and reward you with some crazy pyrotechnics.

That same do-what-you-feel approach to instrument combinations is being carried over into other modes. You'll even find it in Career mode. You needn't worry about creating a single character or band and having to stick with it all the way through the end. If you're a singer who is suddenly overtaken by a desire to play guitar in a four-guitar band, that's an acceptable career choice.

One other new feature focused on the multiplayer experience is a collection of competitive modes called RockFest. Anywhere from two to eight players can get together on the same instrument and go at it in a variety of modes not seen in previous Guitar Heros. The one mode that we saw live in action was Momentum, which changes your difficulty level on the fly based on how well you're playing. The goal is obviously to get up to and stay on expert difficulty, which nets you the most points and avoids the shame of having an easy-level note highway on screen. Besides Momentum, there's also Elimination, which periodically drops the worst player like in a racing game; Perfectionist, which scores you based on specific parts of each song; Do-or-Die, which forces you to take a brief timeout if you miss too many notes; and Streakers, which rewards you for every string of notes past 10 perfect ones.

Outside the realm of new gameplay modes, the basics of playing songs have been given a few tweaks. The focus with these modifications is on bringing the band together. One example is Band Moments, which are triggered when the band does especially well together. If the band pulls off a successful run of flaming notes, a pyrotechnics show lets loose onstage and your score modifier triples. On the other side of the coin is the band Revival Meter. If a single player fails out, the remaining members have to muster up the ability to work especially well as a group for a few critical moments. If they do that, the player is back in; he or she can't be saved by only one good player. Like Party Play, the common theme with these tweaks is making for a more group-friendly experience.

Four drummers is no problem in GH5.

Finally, we certainly can't leave you without any information on the new soundtrack. Bright describes this year's soundtrack as the most diverse to date, with acts ranging from obvious classic-rock choices to somewhat less-expected entries that, for example, might fall under the category of '70s funk. Details on specific songs are in short supply, but a number of bands have already been released. However, eight additional artists that have been confirmed to us at this point include Band of Horses, Blink-182, Blur, Bush, Darkest Hour, Iron Maiden, KISS, and Wild Cherry. You can expect to see more information on the soundtrack and other gameplay enhancements in the coming weeks and months.

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Discussion

215 comments
Luke253
Luke253

OMG!!! This looks so AWESOME! Can't Wait!

Warrior_Swan
Warrior_Swan

I'm not big on Guitar Hero anyway, but this one really doesn't seem interesting to me. With all of the songs immediately available and the extremely "party" like style of play, the "game" part of it's gone, which is the only thing that kept me coming back. It almost seems totally pointless. And if WikiPedia is correct (we all know how often THAT is), then this is also the worst track list to date. And the previous games were all pretty bad. Think I'll be skipping this one altogether.

lumpy_drendel
lumpy_drendel

yeah theyre releasing a new gh every month or so but at least this ones a full-blown set, not a band or greatest hits. and the new modes dont look half bad either. besides for people like me who havent got wifi a new setlist now and then is a good thing - you get bored of playing the same songs

randomguy217
randomguy217

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

twisted_outlaw
twisted_outlaw

wow wtf is up with them releasing a new guitar hero every month? jesus christ. oh well ill probably wind up buying this one just so me and my friends can all play the guitar this time around.

otanikun
otanikun

They've got some interesting ideas, but I'm very wary, what with the constant Guitar Hero releases every week.

famguyfan2685
famguyfan2685

I'm not really a huge fan of the Guitar Hero games.. But at least the graphics appear to have been drastically improved in this game. I mean, I feel like since you aren't directly controlling the movements of any of the bandmembers on stage that the graphics should be far superior to even this newest title's graphics. The players on stage should look as good as the characters in a Metal Gear Solid cutscene..

trey2343
trey2343

its better I really like the idea that you arent restricted on when you come in and on how many of each instrument is allowed

bennae66
bennae66

my god. ENOUGH with guitar heo already.

wattss78
wattss78

yes!!!! and with better graphices!!!

SmartGhost
SmartGhost

gutiar hero series is fun..but now its like rockband but gutiar came out first so grtiar hero WINS...!!!

Raykuza
Raykuza

@hanslacher54 That's okay because as Tony Hawk failed, skate. came to be. :)

cardkoda
cardkoda

@ hanslacher54 I agree man. Guitar Hero is just milking itself out with crap. The original two were fun. Than they just went downhill. Kind of like Tony Hawk. They should stop. Both World Tour and Rock band are terrible games with boring songs. Easy boring songs. Wanna feel like a rock star? Play a real instrument

mathiasX
mathiasX

I stopped with the whole GH and RB games a while ago, because i usually play it with my younger brother and his mate. But none of use wanted to use the Rock Band drum kit as it was just really badly put together. So we would have to switch turns on using the guitar and base, as Rock Band tended to only alowe one person to play lead and the other on base. So with that said, i'm actually considering getting this copy, as so i can have 3 people playing guitar, or 2 lead, 1 base, as we usually find that the fun part of this game. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ "Base"...wow dude..its BASS

Kos1c
Kos1c

I stopped with the whole GH and RB games a while ago, because i usually play it with my younger brother and his mate. But none of use wanted to use the Rock Band drum kit as it was just really badly put together. So we would have to switch turns on using the guitar and base, as Rock Band tended to only alowe one person to play lead and the other on base. So with that said, i'm actually considering getting this copy, as so i can have 3 people playing guitar, or 2 lead, 1 base, as we usually find that the fun part of this game.

Shadowyn_Flux
Shadowyn_Flux

I find nothing wrong with capitalizing on a good idea. As long as YOU the people keep this series, they will continue on until "Guitar Hero 45 I promise this is the last one Edition" Face it...this game is successful... because its fun.

steedle
steedle

i cant wait for Guitar Hero: Jonas brothers!!!!!(no way kidding!!).

hanslacher54
hanslacher54

Guitar Hero is sadly turning into Tony Hawk.

pekumaru
pekumaru

Nice idea... looks good and all, but, How many GH are they going to create?? @_@

wowowewo
wowowewo

wow sounds like guitar hero partys are coming back

Frankasti
Frankasti

Long life to Rock Band! Viva Harmonix and their professionalism for not juicing to death a series.

Jovis14
Jovis14

Although they are good do the graphics seriously need to be that good because u only REALLY look at the notes comin down the screen??

otanikun
otanikun

Tired of GH, the only thing I can point out that looks good is the graphics

asianmanxD
asianmanxD

O GOD looks **** cool, i might get but i still like rb2 better :D

doctorwang12
doctorwang12

the graphics will prolly b cool..and i like the idea of having like 4 guitars or watever in a band...but watch it will be the best looking guitar hero game with the worst songs ever

nocause
nocause

the new mechanics seem good but i hope if your doing the same instruments your note highway will be different. If there was rythm guitar then that would be a change but i dunno. also the revival thing was rock band, man! theyre spilling out these game like crazy though. and this game needs lots of dlc.

Joe6391
Joe6391

This could be amazing, or it could flop. I am totally unsure at this point in it's development.

madgamer13
madgamer13

one thing we have yet to see, is a rhythm game where they implement 5 instruments: 2 guitars, bass, drums and vocals. Sure they did something cool where you can have more than one guitar, but you still can only have four instruments going at the same time

Mysterywriter
Mysterywriter

OMG SO COOL!! Can't wait.... so many guitars, so little usage until now!!! TY.

Manic-Dan
Manic-Dan

im glad im not the only one who think neversoft have hands down ruined the series. They had a unique idea that worked really well...but as soon as they realised its potential, the dollar signs rolled in their eyes. Now they're just shooting these games out there a#%se as fast as they can. They need to actually take there time with these games.

My9RidEs5hoTguN
My9RidEs5hoTguN

why don't they just make it just guitar again? Their drums suck compared to Rock Band, their song choice is horrible, and they just plain rush everything. Guitar Hero 3 was the last good "Guitar" Hero game and it will probably be the last. Kinda sad.

formerroadie
formerroadie

Stupid. Just stupid. Can't they let this game rest? Sheesh. Too much in too short a time. Rock Band has it right: DLC. Do DLC and forget coming out with games ever freak'n month. I swear. They are milking GH for all it's not worth and so many of the gamers here are buying it hook line and sinker.

poporochis
poporochis

i hope double bass still in the game like guitar hero metallica

alpha546
alpha546

hope there are more metal songs.I think it will be a great game

GamerMarto
GamerMarto

Why did you guys given up from the PC

cyznik23
cyznik23

wow.. what a nice improvment... ima buy it 4 suree!! please put megadeth!!!!!

chanuteplaya93
chanuteplaya93

this is really cool, a big improvement so far from world tour, 4 guitars at once... awesome!!

redalertgamer
redalertgamer

after guitar hero 3 i jumped ship to rock band but i still hold a place in my heart for guitar hero just because of my fond memories of 1 and 2 so im looking for a reason to get back on guitar hero. i hav rock band 1 and 2 and the dlc is great and i hav world tour. i was dissappointed in GHWT and hope 5 will do much better in getting me back to gh. im no gh fanboy i hav rock band and think its great cuz of the dlc but i remember GH 1 and 2 and want to love 5

davros878
davros878

Really cool. I just might get it.

rtswiz
rtswiz

Who cares about graphics on a rhythm game? It's really the gameplay that matters, and GH has always delivered on that. No one cared about graphics on GH 1 and 2.

Incetardis
Incetardis

Give credit to Activision. They implemented some original ideas to the game. Most people still prefer DLC, but at least they're trying to improve the series. I hope to god they include some awesome songs on the setlist.

faceman420
faceman420

ishcabible6000 is right GH needs revamped graphics

sudd3nn
sudd3nn

omg Activision has become waaay worse then EA