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Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock

Score: 99%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Vicarious Visions
Media: DVD/1
Players: 1 - 4; 1 - 8 online
Genre: Party/ Rhythm/ Online

Graphics & Sound:

For quite a number of years now, Guitar Hero has been on top of the music gaming world. When I reviewed Guitar Hero 5, it was, by far, the best one to date. Now, Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock blows even it out of the water with a new setlist, connections to your favorite social networking sites, and additions to my favorite Roadie Battles.

Graphically, Warriors of Rock is a lot more complex than it was before. It used to be that the most complex thing really were the custom characters. Now, the Quest Mode adds so many different venues and a new "Warrior" look to each of the characters. The final battle with the beast is really beautiful, graphically. I kept getting distracted from playing just to watch the scenes. Of course, you can still customize your character as well, with quite a few different looks. I'd say you can pretty much make them look like anyone you want to!

Let's face it, the thing that makes any music game good is the song list. This song list is my new favorite, by far, of any game! There are so many songs that I love that I just kept on playing for an entire day straight, wanting to get through them all. There's more classic music such as all parts of Rush's "2112," "Aqualung" by Jethro Tull, and "No More Mr. Nice Guy" by Alice Cooper. Then there are true metal tracks from bands like Megadeth, Slipknot and Anthrax. Also there are more recent bands like Flyleaf, Avenged Sevenfold, and Linkin Park and that's just a random sampling as well. There are just so many amazing songs and artists that you've got to check it out!


The biggest new change in Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock is the addition of Quest Mode. It is more in-depth than the previous Career Mode. In Quest Mode, your goal is to defeat the beast that is terrorizing the land. To do so, you'll have to evolve all your characters into warriors, which are beasts themselves, which then releases the Demigod of Rock. Your first two characters are Johnny Napalm and Echo. Just remember that you only have to get enough stars to move on, so if you do well enough, you'll not even have to play every song. You'll also notice that there isn't a score in Quest Mode. You only have the number of stars to complete to gauge your talent.

Johnny Napalm is a down-on-his-luck musician, but he finds determination to make it. His songs are more punk, defiant- sounding and his power gives you extra stars for how long you can keep a multiplier going. But it's based on time, so if you have a song like "Self Esteem" that doesn't have much guitar at the beginning, it's really easy because you can just sit and watch the Mohawk fill in. Johnny turns into the "embodiment of chaos" and his final song is the Spider-Man theme. When you beat all of this, it unlocks Johnny and his band's outfits, Speed Freak+ Power, and Johnny's Archaic Anarchy Guitar and Bass. Echo's songs are all very industrial sounding music like "Bleed It Out" and "Wish." Her Warrior form is a Cyborg, "fused with machines." Next, you'll get access to Judy Nails. She is a crowd pleaser and she needs to take that to the next level. "Been Caught Stealing" (which I love) is her final song. After that, you get Austin Tejas and his songs are more classic rock feeling like The Rolling Stones and Blue Oyster Cult. Austin becomes a famous horror creature and has "Children of the Grave" for an encore, which I found very fitting.

After you get the first four warriors (Judy, Tejas, Johnny, & Echo), you'll be allowed to try and get the legendary guitar out of the stone. Beating all parts of Rush's 2112 will remove the guitar from the stone. After that, you continue on your quest to unlock more warriors. Once you have unlocked all 8 warriors, you'll divide them into bands to defeat the beast that is threatening the land and each of the two bands will get a chance. For some reason, the beast looks a bit like a giant Clank from Ratchet and Clank to me. They have some really cool animations while fighting the beast, so don't let it distract you! Of course, if you want to play and still see most of it, take up the vocals because there are large gaps of guitar solos, so you'll have time to watch. Once you beat the beast, you'll unlock the Demigod of Rock, The Beast Dethroned Quickplay+ Venue, the Demigod's setlist, and the All-Powerful Power to Dominate other chapters. You'll notice you're only 55% complete at this point, though. Now you have to go back with all your new powers and get 40 stars on every song in the previous quests, including the new Demigod of Rock selection to truly finish off Quest Mode.

Quickplay+ is pretty much the same as Quickplay was before, except now you have the addition of Challenges. Each song has a set of challenges and you can post your scores to Facebook or Twitter and challenge your friends there as well. This whole social networking aspect is a cool new feature! Party Play is also there as before. In fact, if you let it sit on the main screen too long, it'll automatically start up Party Play without anyone playing, which actually makes a very nice random music player. Then when it hits a song you want to play, just hit the button to join in. There is no score in Party Play and no way that you can fail. It's quite handy for practicing sections that you can't get past.

My favorite mode, Roadie Play, can now be played with just one player and one roadie in Roadie Quickplay+. You're also not limited to aiding the guitarist as the roadie. You can be a roadie for the vocals or drums now as well. This makes it a lot easier to play as it was difficult before to find 4 people and two DS's play at once. Now, you just need two people and one DS to be able to be a roadie.

Training is still there, same as before, as is Competitive Mode. Here, you can play with up to 8 players online (4 at your location and 4 at another location) or play against up to 4 players at your own location. It's really nice to be able to play with or against friends located all around the globe!


In Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock, you can choose to play as Beginner, Easy, Medium, Hard and Expert. This gives you a wide range of options so that newcomers can start off very easy and get the hang of the game, while veterans can hop right in on Expert.

From what I can tell, the difficulty level varies as compared to the previous games. The drums seem about the same compared to before, but the guitar seems a bit harder. I seem to remember Medium used to start the first few songs only using the first 3 buttons. Now though, you'll have the blue button in all the Medium songs, but you don't get the orange until Hard and Expert. The vocals seemed a lot more lenient than before, which is nice I think. Maybe it's just because a lot of these songs aren't vocally challenging, but it seemed that you could get it right on track pretty easily. It's definitely more forgiving than the most recent Karaoke Revolution. But I like it this way. You can just sing easier and not worry as much about hitting perfectly and still pass. I like the difficulty as it is now.

Game Mechanics:

Even if you've never played Guitar Hero before, I'm quite sure that you can pick it up easily as the game is pretty intuitive. For the vocals, you just sing the notes as you hear them and hopefully you'll be right on the track that is shown scrolling on the screen Your goal is to make your pitch match that track. It doesn't matter what octave you're in, as long as you've got the pitch right. For the guitar and bass, you'll see notes scrolling up the screen. Simply hold down the matching color and strum the bar as the note hits. For the drums, you'll have the same notes going up the screen and you just have to hit the corresponding drum.

With this version, there is also a new and redesigned guitar. All of the working components are contained in the fret of the guitar, making the sides purely decorative. This allows you to be able to easily customize the look of the guitar.

I have loved Guitar Hero since the first one came out. Every year, they're simply getting better and better and more addictive. Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock is a perfect game in my opinion. It's fun for the entire family and it's perfect for sitting at home playing alone or having a party of people continually hopping in and out. You should definitely go pick up Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock as soon as you can!

-Cyn, GameVortex Communications
AKA Sara Earl

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