Guitar Hero: Aerosmith Hands-On

We get in touch with our inner Joe Perry by playing a few songs' worth of Guitar Hero: Aerosmith.

by

Earlier this week, Activision and RedOctane set up shop in San Francisco with a press event displaying a pair of their upcoming Guitar Hero games. One of these games was their tribute to Boston rock legends Aerosmith. We covered Guitar Hero: Aerosmith a couple months back, but this was our first opportunity to click away on a miniature Les Paul to see how it plays. Besides a decidedly un-DragonForce difficulty level, this entry in the Guitar Hero franchise is steeped in an Aerosmith feel, with menus, videos, and reworked animations all focused on the band.

See that mouth? That mouth was motion captured.

If you jump straight into multiplayer, you won't notice a massive difference from Guitar Hero III. The same modes persist here: Face-Off, Pro Face-Off, Battle, and Co-op. You'll also be able to choose from the same familiar characters you've seen time and again in previous Guitar Hero games. Taking a look at the tracklist, there's obviously a heavy emphasis on the work of Steven Tyler and company, but for the most part, the gameplay is much the same in the multiplayer.

No, it's when you kick off a new career that the realization you're playing an Aerosmith game really hits you. The first chapter in career mode is called "Getting the Band Together." It begins with a brief vignette showing the members of Aerosmith waxing nostalgic about their old stomping grounds, Nipmuc High School. Slightly disappointing is the fact that these videos are shown in grainy standard definition, even on the Xbox 360 version that we played; but that's a forgivable offense with the reworked visuals we'll get into later.

Each of these chapters is structured like a real show, so you'll see a pair of opening bands in each segment before you can unlock the Aerosmith tunes. The very first band you'll live vicariously through is the power pop group Cheap Trick, performing their song "Dream Police." After that it's Mott the Hoople's "All the Young People." Once you get through the supporting bands, Aerosmith takes the stage with their songs "Make It" and "Uncle Salty." If you win over the crowd, you'll be able to perform "Draw the Line" as an encore. Some of the opening bands you'll see later on in the game include New York Dolls, Lenny Kravitz, Run-D.M.C., The Cult, and The Clash. The latter seems quite appropriate, considering it's the 1977 Clash song "Complete Control," featuring the lyric "You're my guitar hero!" As far as the selection process goes, we're told these bands were either influential to Aerosmith, influenced by Aerosmith, or just bands that the group really likes and couldn't resist putting in the game. It would be nice to see those designations made in the song selection, but as it stands you're only told if it's a cover or not (of which there are very few, luckily).

A lot of people can't think of Aerosmith without thinking of the famous cover of "Walk This Way" done by Run-D.M.C. It was a historic moment for the rap genre that brought over a lot of new fans from the rock-and-roll side of the fence. So it goes without saying that this memorable moment in the history of the band is featured as one of the songs in Guitar Hero: Aerosmith. In fact, Neversoft brought in D.M.C. to perform the song so that they could re-create the iconic music video.

As you progress further into the career mode, you'll make your way from the aforementioned Nipmuc High all the way to the famous Orpheum Theatre in Boston, with even a trip to the Super Bowl halftime show. You'll continually unlock more vignettes giving you some insight into the history of the band, with chapters titled "First Taste of Success," "The Triumphant Return," "International Superstars," and "Great American Band."

Sadly, this one wasn’t.

While we admittedly didn't progress into the deepest regions of the career mode, the first few songs felt a bit easier than Guitar Hero III. In our talk with Neversoft senior producer Chris Parise, he brought up the fact that they received quite a bit of feedback from fans on the level of difficulty players encountered in GHIII. As a result, they've toned down the game and focused on creating a friendlier difficulty curve. To us, it felt like the Aerosmith songs were a bit harder to play than the opening bands.

There's also been quite a bit of work done on a visual level. Parise told us that Steven Tyler took a look at the animations from Guitar Hero III and told Neversoft those weren't going to cut it. So they strapped some motion sensors to Tyler--including, oddly enough, on his mouth--for good, old-fashioned motion capturing. It seems to have worked out, because seeing the game in action gives you a feel for the band's penchant for the dramatic while onstage. As one example, you'll see a lot of interplay between Steven Tyler and Joe Perry. Beyond the motions, the character models bear a striking, almost scary resemblance to their real-life counterparts. It's not quite uncanny valley territory, but the models are really good.

For diehard Aerosmith fans, this game was probably already a given. But there's also quite a bit to enjoy for regular old Guitar Hero fans who aren't terribly enamored with Steven Tyler's singing or Joe Perry's licks. Either way, you can expect to see it arrive June 29.

Discussion

197 comments
xblade40
xblade40

I played this game, but he could have something more =\ but is a good game ^^

kieran8
kieran8

uh...yeah slash was part of guns. velvet revolver is just guns n roses minus axel rose lol. they've moved on =P

SpYdEr_VeNoM
SpYdEr_VeNoM

looks like a good rent. I dont like aerosmith, but they give so many bias commercials I will probably just rent it. WHy dont they make Guns n Roses, or like, ACDC. I would buy THAT if it ever comes out.

SpYdEr_VeNoM
SpYdEr_VeNoM

Guns and Roses are one of the best rock bands next to Linkin Park. Now, TAKE IT BACK!!!! DONT BE A RETARD

rockdudeguy
rockdudeguy

Slash! How the hell do you not know he's in Guns N Roses?!?! wtf. He's the damn guitarist. and yes, he is in Velvet Revolver as well... dumbass...

jonahdf999
jonahdf999

did u now that slash isent even on gun n roses hes on velvite revolver and gun n roses suck balls

WC3notWoW
WC3notWoW

Metallica looks good, but the only aerosmith song i like is Sweet Emotion Why don't they make a GH: Guns n' Roses

blink182plus44
blink182plus44

this game lokks gay why get this on when you can get world tour that looks way better, and why aerosmith, not everyone likes aerosmith god, why dont you just call guitar hero 4 that would be better.

Adel4
Adel4

How much will world tour cost?

Krol_23
Krol_23

ok im sorry jedi master....i completley disagree, rock band does not kill guitar hero. Just because you cannot beat the game on expert, that doesnt mean you have to say that. I think that guitar hero owns all just because it is so hard. its an extra challenge, but i also play real guitar and play it well so it just might be easier for people like me. I think this game will be interesting but guitar hero world tour will be insane!!!

Jedi_Master1121
Jedi_Master1121

Rockband kills Guitair Heros. But im glad GH is going to make there songs ALOT easy this brings my interest to getting GH- World Tour a big and good idea for me but im going to wait to see how hard GH- World Tour is going to be. If i cant beat it on hard at least and come close to beating it on Expert im not wasting 200 bucks for it

CaptainToasty64
CaptainToasty64

When I was reserving Rock Band for the Wii the guy working asked me why I wasn't reserving Aerosmith. I told him I wasn't because Steven Tyler's mouth freaks me out. Actually, I never really got into Aerosmith.

LedRoseShredder
LedRoseShredder

RockOut9 I cannot believe you just said that. That so-called "hippie" is one of hard rocks greatest frontmen, and you're not worthy of such a username. GTFO, because Aerosmith kicks ass!

jonahdf999
jonahdf999

wut the heck is guitar Mettalica

ratchetfan999
ratchetfan999

this will be awesome but i am looking forward to GH Mettalica even more (Oh and dont forget about on tour!!!!)

Super_Kid_999
Super_Kid_999

Already reserved the game. Even my om is siked about this game, lol.

TROY017
TROY017

this game is going to be great. but it would be better if the game would have more songs.

RockOut9
RockOut9

i dont get the hippy singer

IXIWhistIXI
IXIWhistIXI

Well at least this means the characters won't look like complete **** 3 had the worst looking characters...there's a way to make an ugly character and still have him look in-a-sense "cool" but guitar hero III missed the memo on how to do it. Hey! maybe in this simple "modded" version of GH3, the drummer will hit the drums on time and maybe animate smoother like he did back on one and two (yes I know different devs, but still he looks terrible on 3)

Darkjak95
Darkjak95

the Bad Boyz from Boston on Guitar Hero

eldude007
eldude007

The concept behind the career mode is pretty intriguing. Now I can't wait for the GH: Metallica because this means they would hopefully finally put a Misfit song (w/ Danzig as vocalist of course). Maybe they can add the Sh*t Hits The Sheds Tour '94 when Suicidal Tendencies and Danzig played side by side w Metallica

danevati
danevati

i dont like to much aerosmith but i love gh so i will buy it anyway

dihardmaddenfan
dihardmaddenfan

I am not to excited about this game. I will buy it. Im not to much of an aerosmith fan. I am looking forward to guitar hero metallica and guitar hero 4

cusoker
cusoker

Hey warrior, how bout you try it on you non dominate hand then. some of us dont have 40 hours a week to waste trying to beat all songs on expert. and for a large number of people, the difficulty is just fine where it is, and most people want it toned down a little as it is.

TheWarrior_94
TheWarrior_94

I wish they could bring out a GH that has really challenging songs on it. All the GH's that are out now are WAY too easy. I also have Rock Band which is quite challenging on the drums but easy on everything else! I think there should be a GH: slash that would be sweet!!

megamaster32
megamaster32

This game does look fun great graphics rundmc is going to be on there and i herd the interview it will look like the music video on walk this way if you seen it and i think im going to get the world tour for christmas

Frenchie14
Frenchie14

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

bruceylee
bruceylee

guitar hero aerosmith is worth nothing wait for guitar hero 4

score89
score89

They should make a GH that contains all GH games songs: iron man, symphony of destruction, bark at the moon, cowboys from hell, the trooper, electric eye, thunder horse, hangar 18, you got another thing comin' etc

jhjsaat
jhjsaat

Oh no not this crap again.... all this GH games are the same.... why people keep buying them?

ohjtbehaaave
ohjtbehaaave

Can you check into drug rehab as Steven Tyler in the game?

iceveiled
iceveiled

I like the half time performance for one of the venues. that's pretty creative.

clowser24
clowser24

No GH4 is due out in the fall but I would very much like to see some pink floyd or phish

HecticReign
HecticReign

Just wondering, is this GH:4 or just kinda like an expansion? and i think aerosmith is great, but i would kinda rather play the guitar from protest the hero, between the buried and me, the mars volta. ya kno that kinda stuff. =)

kingnile
kingnile

why is it that only dmc is in gh but not rev run

rpgisforme
rpgisforme

I'll be first in line in my town, I've been dyin for some new GH tunes and Aerosmith was an awesome back in their day. Even seen em in concert with Cheap trick opening, ahhhh memories....

game_buddy64
game_buddy64

im sure they would add sum41 or blink 182 on rock band they should add some def leppered on Gither hero or on rock band i still never seen def leppered on gither hero or maybe some of pink floyed or some more ozzy:);)

Karmacodelc18
Karmacodelc18

Am I the only person alive that thinks this is a BAD IDEA and it should be burned in the pits of Hades? Steven Tyler looks like hes done homosexual pornography that mouth is huge... I much prefer to get in touch with my inner Synyster Gates or...bah can't think of names right now.

Xaovagon
Xaovagon

GH needs more SLAYER!!!!!!!

muzza93
muzza93

I wanna see some Blink-182, Offspring and maybe some Green day in a guitar Hero game.

nobunagaspectre
nobunagaspectre

I am biased but the best case scenario for me would be Iron Maiden: GH, they could make it so over the top However, beyond that the best idea would be Black Sabbath: GH, but make it all the bands directly related also, so that would mean, Ozzy-era, Dio-era, Ozzy, Dio, and Tony's solo stuff, Rainbow, Ian Gillan, and Lord knows how many bands were influenced by Sabbath. And if you want Sabbath's influences, you could get some Cream, Vanilla Fudge, and of course the sought after Zeppelin.

JimD73
JimD73

If there was Guitar Hero AC/DC...people would realize that most of AC/DCs songs are ridiculously similar. Learn Back in Black and you can play half their catalogue. And I actually like AC/DC and would love to see them in a Guitar Hero game, just having one to themselves would be repetitive. Not saying Aerosmith won't be, but Perry shakes it up a lot more than Young.

RazorBat
RazorBat

Do you think that, since it is a video game, they could have made them look less old?

silent_riku
silent_riku

RDawg, you must have a pretty weird pair of ears to not want to rock on to Aerosmith songs... jeez... Don't Wanna Miss a Thing ring any bells? And Darth, I must agree that Iron Maiden must have their own as well, but I still feel that ACDC should have a GH first before Iron Maiden... cuz seriously... someone needs to wake up MTV who's pretending that ACDC means Adult Contemporary Definitive Chart... And Lost, There's always DLC LoL... but yeah, if they want to bring out a Guitar Hero game with a specific band then they should bring out all of that band's songs to really get that 'It's all about Aerosmith' Feel. Well, it's Steve Tyler and the gang picking out the songs so we'll just have to hope that they decide to stuff all their songs in the game.

Lostboy1224
Lostboy1224

Most of us know what the crown jewels of a super star set list consist of, but I feel we won't see much of these songs in this edition of Guitar Hero. Yes, I am sure it will be fun, but why not bring out all the hits if your doing a game for one specific band. Only time will tell if we get to play the greats of Rock N Roll music.....

zimaking
zimaking

Yeah, yeah..I need Lindsey Buckingham Guitar Hero like yesterday