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Video Game of the Week – Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock

Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock is the sixth release in the Guitar Hero series, and in many ways it marks a return to the game’s roots. While it may not be the ideal introduction for newcomers to the game, it will be a blast of fresh air to Guitar Hero’s legions of hardcore fans.

As with all previous Guitar Hero games, players are challenged to match scrolling notes on the screen to either lead guitar, bass guitar, drums, or vocals. However, Warriors of Rock is really about the showman, who wants to be front and center delivering those long drawn-out wailing notes.

The most significant change to earlier versions of Guitar Hero is the addition of Quest mode, which sends you into various venues to recruit an all-star rock band to save the “Demigod of Rock” from a creature called “The Beast”. The story, which is narrated by Gene Simmons of Kiss, calls for the player to progress through a series of career-like sets, culminating in the full seven-part classic  “2112” by the band Rush. If successful, the player eventually gets to play with the Demigod himself.

Quickplay+ mode allows players to jump to any of the 90+ tracks or choose a track from their downloadable content. Various “challenges” are now attached to individual songs, rewarding players for high scores, long note streaks, and various other accomplishments. There are also plenty of multiplayer modes for more direct player-to-player challenges, as well as a host of online options.

Of course, most music games stand or fall with their song lists. Here, there are over 90 different tracks, varying from classics like Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody to some that are probably only familiar to devoted fans of metal. Still, the mix of old and new and well-known and relatively obscure is impressive, offering a variety of rhythms and guitar-playing styles.

Warriors of Rock comes as stand-alone software or as a $79.99 bundle, which includes a new guitar controller, and a free Soundgarden CD.

Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock may not be everyone’s taste – or the best choice for those new to music games – but if you wanted a reminder of how Guitar Hero got the whole genre started, then this is the game you’ve been waiting for!

Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock is rated “T” for Teen (lyrics, suggestive themes) by the ESRB. Check out the ESRB video game ratings and content descriptors at ESRB.org

Publisher: Activision
Platform: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii 
Genre: Rhythm, music
RRP: $49.99 (software only); $79.99 (guitar controller bundle)
Release Date: September 28, 2010
ESRB Rating: “T” for Teen

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