THE METAL GODS SMILE UPON US, FOR METALLICA ARE HERE!It was only going to be a matter of time until the legendary heavy metal band Metallica was given their own Guitar Hero game, and for good reason. The popular American rockers have produced some of the most beloved rock music of the past two decades, tracks that feature many iconic guitar rifts and unforgettable lyrics. Guitar Hero developers Neversoft were given the tough job of recreating a game worthy of the band heavy metal image, afterall Metallica's music makes it a must buy for anyone who as ever had respect for their music. But overall, Neversoft have learnt from past mistakes and created a Guitar Hero game that stands out in this crowded genre.
It's a mistake to enter Guitar Hero: Metallica expecting it to change the Guitar Hero formula forever, though there are a few extra new features that go along way to make it a worthy and enjoyable time spent with your plastic instruments. It's not worth going over the fundamentals of the now classic Guitar Hero gameplay in any great details, generally you will be using a plastic instrument to hit coloured symbols that will flow down from a track that matches the music being played. While now some years old, your enjoyment of the Guitar Hero games depends on what music your playing and thankfully Metallica's tracks are as legendary and enjoyable to play as anything we've seen from the genre as a whole.
Guitar Hero: Metallica is built upon the foundations of Neversoft's previous franchise entry, Guitar Hero: World Tour and includes almost all of the available modes. This means you'll be able rock with friends as a full band of four players, play online with Metallica fans around the world and also create your very own rock avatar using the same creation tools found in World Tour. Music Studio and downloadable content are can also be found which means that extra content is never far away, it's a clear improvement over Neversoft's past band specific music rhythm game Guitar Hero: Aerosmith.
A band specific Guitar Hero game must offer enough features and interesting extras to make it a worthy purchase for fans, especially to those who don't play videogames and Guitar Hero: Metallica goes out of it's way to offer fans almost everything they could only of dream of. These extras include behind the scenes videos showing the development of the game and mo-cap with the four band members, videos showing live performances of the heavy metal legends most celebrated tracks, lyrics for each and every song found within the 49 song setlist not to mention information on all of Metallica's tracks. That's not all, fans can unlock exclusive photos and many other smartly chosen bonuses that one could only expect from a dedicated fan club.
Like all music rhythm games, much depends upon the overall setlist and Guitar Hero: Metallica offers one of the most unique yet. Featuring 28 songs from Metallica themselves, picking from some of their most successful tracks and even a few of their less known tunes. Not to mention 21 songs from special guest bands such as Queen, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Slayer and Judas Priest. While some of the guest tracks are better then other, it's definatly an interesting setlist with a few standout tracks. But it's Metallica's music that stand tall, and you probably don't need to even be a Metallica fan to have a bash playing many of their tracks within the game. Guitar Hero: Metallica also features a new Expert+ mode for Drums which takes difficulty to a whole new level. Though this will be a whole extra new dimension of challenge to those experienced with drums.
Guitar Hero: Metallica isn't a huge step forward visually speaking from some of the most recent additions in the franchise, but menus are more visually pleasing and more responsive then World Tour. Metallica have themselves spent time mo-capping their on stage actions and it helps add a whole new presence when your playing their songs, you'll see trademark actions and animations of all four members. It definatly brings an extra something to the game's visual offerings, especially when the Guitar Hero games are in danger of looking a little to alike. There is new additional clothing for Metallica fans to cloth their own rock avatars with, unlockable extra guitars and a surprise song or two. Overall there is almost everything you'd ask for if your a fan of the legendary rockers.
Neversoft have understandably learnt from past mistakes to create a band specific Guitar Hero game worthy of the rockers it's named after, Metallica's music goes a long way to spice up the now run-of-the-mill Guitar Hero gameplay by being both a challenge and a perfect example of why the Guitar Hero name become famous in the first place. It's definatly one of the most recommendable Guitar Hero games released over these past few years, especially if your a fan or have the slightest bit of interest in the famous American Heavy Metal rockers. It suffers from many of the franchises flaws and the band's virtual representations will turn some fans off, but it's rather unconventional setlist, unlockables and overall fan dedicated service makes Guitar Hero: Metallica a thoroughly enjoyable entry to the franchise.
SCORE: 4 STARS OUT OF 5!
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