Some Kind of Video Game: Guitar Hero: Metallica Hands-On

Posted by Ryan (1263 posts) -
Jeff would like you to know that he thinks “Enter Sandwich” would be a good name for a Metallica-themed sandwich.
Guitar Hero: Metallica won't be the first time Activision has dedicated a retail release of its musical juggernaut to one band, though from what we saw of the game at an event in San Francisco earlier this week, it's looking like a much more attractive package than Guitar Hero: Aerosmith

Part of this is due to the fact that Guitar Hero: Metallica will feature the basic framework of Guitar Hero World Tour, providing players with the full band experience, rather than limiting it just to guitars. Indeed, Guitar Hero: Metallica promises virtually every feature found in World Tour, including the character creator, the music generator, and support for DLC. That DLC support, though, seems to have been thrown in for the sole purpose of letting you play the previously released downloadable version of Death Magnetic in Guitar Hero: Metallica, as the game won't be supporting any non-Metallica DLC. Metallica.

As many cues as the game takes from World Tour, it definitely makes some changes to create an experience that is more, uh, Metallic. The career mode will open with you playing two songs as Metallica, though after that quick glimpse of the band, you'll be put in the shoes of a new band that dreams of opening for Metallica. It's here that Guitar Hero: Metallica brings to bear my least favorite characteristic of the latter-day Guitar Hero games, the cartoon cutscenes. Does Guitar Hero really benefit from some slapsticky pantomime story that pits your new jeans-and-black-t-shirts band against a disgruntled hair-metal rocker? Does Metallica?

Brad knows how to rock while wearing a brown shoe.
Still, there should be plenty for Metallica fans to like here, beyond all the music. There will also be a wealth of Metallica-related extras on the disc, including live footage of the band in concert, behind-the-scenes footage of the band's motion-capture sessions, old show flyers, handwritten lyric notes, and more. Probably the most material change that Guitar Hero: Metallica will make to the World Tour formula is support for a second kick pedal, letting you get into some double-bass-drum action. This is a feature that, while I appreciate its presence on an academic level, is totally beyond me, simply because it requires a level of skill I do not possess. In fact, Guitar Hero: Metallica features a difficulty level beyond Expert (simply called Expert+) which is the only place that you'll be able to use the double kicks.

While there will be music from other acts in the game, Metallica is unquestionably the star of the show, and our enjoyment of the experience is sure to hinge at least partly on your affinity for the band. Even as someone whose interest in Metallica starts and stops at the Black Album, it's hard for me to ignore the technical complexity that is inherent to much of the band's music, which definitely came through in the gameplay. This seemed particularly true of the guitar parts, though that's not terribly surprising for a game called Guitar Hero. 

Addition by Brad, lapsed Metallica fan: I feel like a bit of a hypocrite in talking about this game, because like Ryan, I didn't much care for GH: Aerosmith. That's largely because, you know, I don't much care for Aerosmith, either. But I did spend most of junior high and high school expunging my angst to the crunchy tune of Metallica's first five albums, so I got really excited the moment I picked up a guitar controller and starting scrolling through GH: Metallica's track list. It seems to lean toward those five albums, which is fine by me, since the band kind of lost me during the lull after the Black Album. There's a ton of Metallica's early big hits in here, including "Fade to Black," "Battery," "For Whom the Bell Tolls," and "Master of Puppets." I could have done with "And Justice For All," but as it stands, this is a really solid track list for current and past Metallica fans.

I guess your interest in these band-specific music games really does depend on your affection for the band itself. Who woulda thunk it? Oh yeah, and I think the polygonal versions of the band members (visible in these screens) are actually pretty good, and less cartoonish than the Aerosmith dudes. Though, as someone who hasn't actively paid attention to Metallica in a few years, I can't help thinking Rob Trujillo looks a little out of place, with his braids and metalhead sports gear. I saw literally no sign of Jason Newsted or Cliff Burton in the game whatsoever, which is certainly understandable in the 3D band action. I hope they're at least represented in some of the bonus material somewhere, though I'm not holding my breath on that one.



Staff
#1 Posted by Ryan (1263 posts) -
Jeff would like you to know that he thinks “Enter Sandwich” would be a good name for a Metallica-themed sandwich.
Guitar Hero: Metallica won't be the first time Activision has dedicated a retail release of its musical juggernaut to one band, though from what we saw of the game at an event in San Francisco earlier this week, it's looking like a much more attractive package than Guitar Hero: Aerosmith

Part of this is due to the fact that Guitar Hero: Metallica will feature the basic framework of Guitar Hero World Tour, providing players with the full band experience, rather than limiting it just to guitars. Indeed, Guitar Hero: Metallica promises virtually every feature found in World Tour, including the character creator, the music generator, and support for DLC. That DLC support, though, seems to have been thrown in for the sole purpose of letting you play the previously released downloadable version of Death Magnetic in Guitar Hero: Metallica, as the game won't be supporting any non-Metallica DLC. Metallica.

As many cues as the game takes from World Tour, it definitely makes some changes to create an experience that is more, uh, Metallic. The career mode will open with you playing two songs as Metallica, though after that quick glimpse of the band, you'll be put in the shoes of a new band that dreams of opening for Metallica. It's here that Guitar Hero: Metallica brings to bear my least favorite characteristic of the latter-day Guitar Hero games, the cartoon cutscenes. Does Guitar Hero really benefit from some slapsticky pantomime story that pits your new jeans-and-black-t-shirts band against a disgruntled hair-metal rocker? Does Metallica?

Brad knows how to rock while wearing a brown shoe.
Still, there should be plenty for Metallica fans to like here, beyond all the music. There will also be a wealth of Metallica-related extras on the disc, including live footage of the band in concert, behind-the-scenes footage of the band's motion-capture sessions, old show flyers, handwritten lyric notes, and more. Probably the most material change that Guitar Hero: Metallica will make to the World Tour formula is support for a second kick pedal, letting you get into some double-bass-drum action. This is a feature that, while I appreciate its presence on an academic level, is totally beyond me, simply because it requires a level of skill I do not possess. In fact, Guitar Hero: Metallica features a difficulty level beyond Expert (simply called Expert+) which is the only place that you'll be able to use the double kicks.

While there will be music from other acts in the game, Metallica is unquestionably the star of the show, and our enjoyment of the experience is sure to hinge at least partly on your affinity for the band. Even as someone whose interest in Metallica starts and stops at the Black Album, it's hard for me to ignore the technical complexity that is inherent to much of the band's music, which definitely came through in the gameplay. This seemed particularly true of the guitar parts, though that's not terribly surprising for a game called Guitar Hero. 

Addition by Brad, lapsed Metallica fan: I feel like a bit of a hypocrite in talking about this game, because like Ryan, I didn't much care for GH: Aerosmith. That's largely because, you know, I don't much care for Aerosmith, either. But I did spend most of junior high and high school expunging my angst to the crunchy tune of Metallica's first five albums, so I got really excited the moment I picked up a guitar controller and starting scrolling through GH: Metallica's track list. It seems to lean toward those five albums, which is fine by me, since the band kind of lost me during the lull after the Black Album. There's a ton of Metallica's early big hits in here, including "Fade to Black," "Battery," "For Whom the Bell Tolls," and "Master of Puppets." I could have done with "And Justice For All," but as it stands, this is a really solid track list for current and past Metallica fans.

I guess your interest in these band-specific music games really does depend on your affection for the band itself. Who woulda thunk it? Oh yeah, and I think the polygonal versions of the band members (visible in these screens) are actually pretty good, and less cartoonish than the Aerosmith dudes. Though, as someone who hasn't actively paid attention to Metallica in a few years, I can't help thinking Rob Trujillo looks a little out of place, with his braids and metalhead sports gear. I saw literally no sign of Jason Newsted or Cliff Burton in the game whatsoever, which is certainly understandable in the 3D band action. I hope they're at least represented in some of the bonus material somewhere, though I'm not holding my breath on that one.



Staff
#2 Posted by ZmillA (2257 posts) -

oh man that sandwich is beautiful :o

#3 Posted by Retrogimp (187 posts) -

Brad looks like he would fit in nicely with the band lol.

#4 Posted by PowerSerj (987 posts) -

That Extra+ difficulty and the double bass is 100% a step in the right direction for rhythm games. Kudos to them for putting that degree of challenge in.

#5 Posted by jakob187 (21640 posts) -

No Cliff Burton recognition, tribute, or character model makes me less interested in the game.

#6 Posted by GHWT395 (9 posts) -

i want newsted

#7 Posted by darthincredible25 (76 posts) -

I can't wait for this, I need to get the band back together again.

#8 Posted by RHCPfan24 (8609 posts) -

I am glad that there is a real Metallica fan on the GB crew, lol. Thanks Brad. Ryan, I would suggest you listen to Ride The Lightning, stat. Nonetheless, I am very excited about this one and it should be a great Guitar Hero game, mainly because of the band. This is one of the few bands I can see a whole game with, and with Van Halen as another rumor, they are shrinking fast.

#9 Posted by Coltonio7 (3156 posts) -

This game is going to be MAD HARD!

#10 Posted by Joevit (61 posts) -

Metallica died when the enter sandman cd came out. Sorry but old school Metallica is real Metallica. I wish they would go away.

#11 Posted by bornagain888 (122 posts) -

Call me old but the other Metallica songs in both GH and Rockband are just to hard for me to have fun with, and I'm to proud to step down to medium.:(

#12 Posted by Littlejehova (34 posts) -

Good lookin' sandwich!

#13 Posted by sociald1077 (263 posts) -

For anyone that hasn't, you need to at least check out Death Magnetic. It is a stunning album, and deserves a place right after AJFA in the catalog.

#14 Posted by Milkman (16483 posts) -

Expert+ is probably the worst thing I have ever heard.

#15 Posted by Irondoor (7 posts) -

I love Metallica until the Black Album, anything after that is just so-so music, even the new album.
Also I love Lynyrd so, I'm looking forward to this game.

#16 Posted by Gregomasta (1541 posts) -

I want that fucking sandwich.

#17 Posted by WilliamRLBaker (4777 posts) -

I love metallica but i hate rythem games so no thanks.

#18 Posted by EndlessMike (514 posts) -

I had to stop reading after the about the tenth "Metallica".

#19 Posted by Mourne (789 posts) -

That sandwich does look ****ing delicious.

#20 Posted by HarrySound (225 posts) -

For once I might actually buy a rythm/guitar heroey/rock bandy game as i've never bought one before.
......thats because MetallicA made me pick up the guitar in 1994,and I never put it down and now I have 6,so another plastic one? nah

#21 Edited by Hughes (398 posts) -

No good shots of Kirk Hammet in those screens, but I'd say the other members look good, especially Lars. James' cheekbones seem a bit exaggerated but other than that they look a lot better than GH:A.

Edit: And about the double kick pedal; it's a great idea and indeed a step in the right direction. The next step is making Guitar Hero: Rush with a 30-piece 360 degree drum set.

#22 Posted by LiveOrDie1212 (926 posts) -

screw Rock Band Metallica, give me that fuckin SUB!!!!!!!

#23 Posted by Shazam (474 posts) -

I will buy it but my heart will bleed. They left out Call of Ktulu to instead include the monstrosity that is St.Anger...

#24 Posted by Vigorousjammer (2472 posts) -

dammit Ryan! Making me all hungry with that sandwich!
Now I'm gonna have to go to Quiznos or something.

#25 Posted by MetalGearSunny (6986 posts) -

I'm guessing this is the year of band game vs. band game.
Beatles vs.  Metallica

#26 Posted by F1 (346 posts) -

This game is looking awesome. I'm hoping for a similar game for Megadeth. That would be killer. But no stupid cartoon cutscenes!
Oh and fuck all Metallica haters! I'm glad they've changed. You can't play hard and fast forever. In the end, someone will always play harder and faster. Metallica forever!

#27 Posted by ishotmrburns (279 posts) -

I wanna fuck that sandwich with my mouth.

#28 Posted by TobyD81 (1227 posts) -

Not surprised they would focus on the first five albums; they do the same thing in concert. I saw them last May, and I think they did one track off Reload (Fuel) and nothing from St Anger. It's better that way.

#29 Edited by Downsize (133 posts) -

Metallica are still the gods of metal.  Metallica Guitar Hero > Aerosmith Guitar Hero

#30 Posted by Renegade (374 posts) -

That sandwich looks far more appealing than another Guitar Hero

#31 Posted by OzzerOzby (50 posts) -

It's gonna be weird not seeing Jason playing bass on the older stuff.

#32 Posted by Tangeu (52 posts) -

That sandwich looks amazing, I MUST know its origin!

#33 Posted by SkoonaWAR (5 posts) -

Jeff you're a genius!! You should trademark it haha!
I went to see these live a couple weeks ago! :O It was the first time they'd ever been to Nottingham :D!
I was within the first 10,000 people to hear Judas Kiss live! :P

#34 Posted by Afroman269 (7387 posts) -

Metallica sandwich > Guitar Hero

#35 Posted by SkoonaWAR (5 posts) -

I've just realised the title of this is another MetallicA themed item xD
Some Kind of Monster is a good song haha.

#36 Edited by Matfei90 (1288 posts) -

This might actually make me look at a GH game for once, just for a bit of fun with mates without the worry of some emo song sneaking up on you.

Is this coming with a controller or can you purchase them seperately? Or would I need to purchase a previous edition in addition to this game?

#37 Posted by ReFracture (107 posts) -

Never before have I cared at all for these types of games, and now I have been captured. They did it. Those sons of bitches. I am damned to buy this game.

#38 Posted by Doogie2K (216 posts) -

Only Metallica DLC?  I get that you don't want any Modest Mouse or Willie Nelson gumming up the works, but surely at least other metal or hard rock would be allowed in.

Also, I vote for Puppets over Lightning, because I'm not big on a bunch of the stuff on Side 2 of the latter album.  Plus, Puppets emphasizes the progressive side of the band more, which is really what attracted me to them in the first place, and part of what went out the window in the '90s.

#39 Edited by Media_Master (3283 posts) -

sounds cool!!!

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