2 Reviews

Guitar Hero: World Tour

The greatest rock franchise in gaming invites your friends over to rock 'n' roll all night long

The Smashing Pumpkins beat me. I was one tier away from GHIII mastery on Hard mode. It was the last guitar solo; my fingers were so wearied I couldn't chain notes together fast enough. I stayed in Medium after that, never satisfied due to its easiness, but never capable enough to take on Hard. I'd hit a brick wall.

Sounds familiar, doesn't it? Mark it down to non-logical note structures. Neversoft had six months to get GHIII out on shop shelves. So chord layouts on the last tiers were functionary and a test of finger skills only the hardcore could achieve. And even they, while nailing a guitar solo, would never twitch a smile.


World Tour by contrast spent 16 months in rehearsals before hitting the spotlight, and it shows. This is the tightest the series has been; riffing through Hard is vastly more enjoyable with choruses and solos connecting with a better rhythmic flow. You'll still sweat, but the workout comes with a grin attached. This is still the best guitar-based rhythm game out there, so you single players rest easy.

Play the music
Whether you play in solo (for every instrument) or as a band, Career takes a note sheet out of Rock Band's book with a number of gigs to choose from the start. Each comes with two songs and an encore.

Complete one and a number of others will unlock, each grouped very loosely into themes, and eventually there'll be special concerts, such as the three song Tool gig with set designs that use the band's artwork, that'll you'll have to stump up money to buy.

Money also gets you entry into gigs, but as before the main use is for purchasing clothes and such for your character. The cast from the series returns, but there are a surprisingly wide range of designs for making your own performer. Couple that with licensed merchandise for your instruments and you have a robust customisation mode.

Career will have a track list of 86 songs, with fewer 'proper' rock and metal tracks than before. People complain that GH should be X, Y or Z. They're wrong. The point of the franchise is to give you kick-ass music. Period.

No, you're not going to love every track on here, but go in with an open mind and you'll find some real gems.

What everybody can agree on is the new Boss battles. Out go the ill-advised battle gems, instead you're charged with finishing a new song written by your opponent, such as Zakk Wylde or Ted Nugent as they play alongside you. It's simple, tough and exactly what GHIII should have been.

Competition is healthy, and Neversoft is offering you a wide range of options. You can have one-on-one duels, two-on-two, or even band-on-band across Xbox Live.


Altogether now
Playing together is as enjoyable as it was in Rock Band, and we'd argue that World Tour edges forward due to a better-designed drum kit and re-imagined guitars (see Get Your Rocks Off) as well as the cracking Studio mode that allows you to create your own songs and upload them to Xbox Live.

It's not as simple as copy and paste, but we've already seen a few tracks that were re-workings of classics that played very well. This alone will expand Guitar Hero: World Tour's life span, effectively giving you an unlimited song list if budding songwriters start getting their heads around the software.

There's a massive amount to say about GHWT, from the factoid videos teaching you the real guitar, and the vastly improved backdrop for gigs, to the superb way you can play as a band. This is a vastly entertaining package and a must buy for music lovers and GH fans.

The verdict

Deserves sell-out gigs worldwide. It's that good

  • It looks pretty amazing
  • Still amazingly addictive
  • Instruments are paricularly robust
  • Studio could be the new Forge
  • Specific-instrument songs suffer
Xbox 360
Rhythm Action