Xbox 360 Review: Guitar Hero World Tour

Guitar Hero finally takes on Rock Band with an impressive sequel

Being in the UK, I never got Rock Band until its release earlier this year…which was pretty unfair as we couldn’t directly choose between that and Guitar Hero 3 at the time that it came out. Things are on a more even setting this time though as RB2 is just around the corner, so what does World Tour have to liven up the franchise?

Well this time they have upped the ante with the additional of their own versions of the drum kit, a new model guitar and a microphone. Sadly for the purposes of this review, I wasn’t able to get my hands on the newer instruments…so I had to make do with an old USB mic and the original guitar from GH2. So I won’t be able to tell you how much better or worse they are, unfortunately.

The game has the same kind of career mode that you would expect from past games, where you play a few songs to unlock more. Although it’s split up into separate gigs now, so you’ll perform 3 songs or so and then unlock another gig with more songs and as you progress you’ll also be able to buy new digital instruments and clothing for your character, which you can now fully customise yourself, about time too! There’s also the inclusion of a music studio which allows you to make your own tracks and upload them to the servers for people to download and listen to. It is incredibly complicated and takes ages to get used to, but for someone with real music talent…it’s a great addition, once you figure it all out that is.

In terms of online, World Tour has all the modes from Legends of Rock and introduces Battle of the Bands mode which allows eight players to join online and challenge each other band-to-band to determine who the best of the best is. In the Band modes, up to four players can jam together, online or off, as they progress through the game, and in single-player Career Mode, players can jam on any of the instruments in branching venue progression enabling them to rock out in the order of their choice.

The track list for World Tour is pretty big; here are a few of them that you will know:

Bon Jovi – Livin on a prayer
Foo Fighters – Everlong
Korn – Freak on a Leash
Lacuna Coil – Our Truth
Linkin Park – What I’ve Done
Motorhead – Overkill
Paramore – Misery Business
Willie Nelson – On the road again
Van Halen – Hot for Teacher
and many many more

If I have a complaint about the song choices, it’s that I can’t help feeling that the line-up isn’t that spectacular. Maybe I’m just waiting for a few personal favourites to arrive as DLC, but until then I remain a little disappointed. However, I do know that there will be many who love the tracklist. Although I can’t claim to know every song in the game, only a select few are recognisable by me…shows how in the dark I am when it comes to the music scene.

Another complaint is that because of the inclusion of more than one instrument, there can be long periods during songs where you don’t even have to do anything. There’s also the annoyance of activating star power with the microphone, you have to clap to activate it or hit Y on the Xbox 360 controller…I choose to hit the button as claps aren’t always recognised with the mic I’m using.

Visually, it’s definitely the strongest looking Guitar Hero game to date. There are also some pretty cool anime sequences during the career, although they are so brief…it’s hard to realise why they were even included. Sound quality is superb as there are no covers this time, all songs are master recordings….making it the most authentic game on the market alongside Rock Band 2, which is out very soon here in the UK. Until I get my mitts on Rock Band 2, I can’t really compare them but GH World Tour definitely has a better tracklist than the first Rock Band.

The Verdict

Guitar Hero World Tour was always going to have a hard time competing with the likes of Rock Band, but it stands up very well and is well worthy of any music lover, especially with the inclusion of the music studio. I can’t put my money on which game is better until I play the other, but this one is pretty rockin’.