The release of Guitar Hero: Greatest Hits is likely to split fans of the series. A big chunk of the audience is going to see this full price release of 48 tracks from previous Guitar Hero games as Activision trying to wring every last penny from gamers' wallets.
The rest are going to be pleased to have the opportunity to belt out classic songs with a full band. We fall more into the latter group, but can see why the former have clenched fists, gritted teeth and twitching left eyes.
Being cheery sorts, let's look at the case in favour of its existence. For a start, this is a strong, cherry-picked selection of the best songs from the previous games, but with drums and singing enabled.
What this means is, if you played them to death on guitar in the previous games, there's a chance that plenty of them will have become songs that you love and therefore would like to try on the other instruments (Through the Fire and Flames on drums, anyone?) It also means long-time players will know the words to more of the songs, making it a great disc to lob in the tray at a party.
This isn't just a case of slapping in the old tracks and bolting on drum and singing parts either - a surprising number of tracks were covers in the original game, but Activision has managed to license the master recordings for this edition.
While the entire playlist is unlocked from the beginning to keep party gamers happy, there are new venues to unlock. This would seem a bit of a cop-out if it was the standard parade of grimy dungeons and shoddy dioramas made of MDF.
Instead, Activision has let its imagination run wild, with venues in the Amazon rainforest, on a polar ice cap and deep in London's sewers. They're all gloriously silly, come with themed gear for your character and are well worth the effort to unlock.
Still, for all these compelling reasons to start fumbling for your wallet, there's still a nagging feeling that this is something of a raw deal. For a start, despite its full price status, there are only 48 tracks on the disc compared to World Tour's 86. It's also incompatible with World Tour DLC, another black mark against an online store that still lags behind Rock Band.
Guitar Hero: Greatest Hits is a brilliant full-band revival of some of our favourite songs from the series, which may not have made it to a straight sequel. With it being a lighter, stop-gap package, though, we'd recommend picking it up in a few months' time at a more agreeable price.
Great songs, but not worth the full price
- Classic master tracks
- Imaginative arenas
- You know all the words
- Not enough songs
- DLC isn't compatible