This is what every game should be like.
In spite of the game being relatively short, Activision did a hell of a good job with this Guitar Hero edition. In the Career Mode you can choose to play as guitarist, bassist, drummer or vocals through several amounts of tiers. No news until there, you can also do that in Rock Band. To proceed through the tiers and unlock more songs, you have to get a certain number of stars, which are given according to your performance. The better you play, more stars you get per song. No news so far, you could do that in the previous games from the Guitar Hero series.
You have a couple of game modes. The main one is the Career Mode (both Single and Band), which allows you to play on several scenarios and lots of songs. You can either get the traditional Guitar Hero characters, such as Midori and Lars Umlaut. You can also create your own characters. Whenever you play a Metallica song, you play the own Metallica band members. As you get more stars and money and unlock songs, you can also unlock some known characters according to the song. Playing with these special characters may give you some achievement points. You can also challenge other players online. And also play in Free Mode, in which you just choose a song to play and play it, no strings attached.
The character creation is pretty good. I didn't play the World Tour and Guitar Hero 5, so I don't know how's the character creation system, but it certainly has more features to change and choose than Rock Band. You can not only change your character's hairstyle, acting and clothes, you can also change facial features, set the exact location of eyes, eyebrows, size and shape of the nose etc.
Another interesting feature is the ability of customizing your own instruments, as well as the background of the notes palette the way that pleases you the most.
If you are familiar with Rock Band or the previous Guitar Hero games, you won't see anything new in this game's gameplay. Just follow up with what shows up on the screen.
Guitar Hero and Rock Band have slight differences in the gameplay but, like World Tour, if you have a Rock Band bundle, you can play Guitar Hero: Metallica just fine, although you won't be able to get a couple of achievements. The game recognizes the bundle you're using and adjusts the game accordingly. So, you don't have to worry about not having another plate in you drum kit: the game will set one less button to the notes.
Also, the drums Metallica bundle comes with an extra pedal. That will be VERY useful in the difficulty Expert+.
By the way, the game has four difficulty levels for all instruments, except for the drums, which has an extra hard difficulty.
If the game is giving you too much trouble, you can reduce the difficulty DURING the song.
One feature I liked, even though it is quite simple, is the "Pause". Yes, pausing the game. For several times someone interrupted me during my game sections and in all those times I lost my ÜBER infinite combo. If you pause this game, when you come back you still have 3 seconds to see what comes next and get ready to continue exactly from where you stopped.
Bad aspects of the game: frankly, I don't think I saw anything that made me frown in the whole game. Maybe the lack of downloadable contents but, hell, the whole music selection is near perfection (even though some might agree with me that they could've included Metallica's Devil's Dance), so much that I didn't even feel that any sort of DLC was needed. I don't think there was a SINGLE song that I didn't like. The game is kinda short and it is relatively easy to unlock the songs all at once. The graphics are fantastic and the band members are just like the real ones.
There are also cool extras, like some "making of" some songs, with motion captures scenes, as well as song facts and trivias (and lyrics, besides the ones included when you play on Vocals).
A nice looking game with FANTASTIC songs, cool features, a reasonable amount of extras and... well, METALLICA. Fans of the Rock Band/Guitar Hero series MUST HAVE this game.