Metallica are the latest group to jump on the Guitar Hero bandwagon; following in the footsteps of Aerosmith. The newest title in the Guitar Hero series promises to fuel numerous hours of extravagant jumps from sofa to floor in the excitement of the moment, as people from around the world brandish their treasured plastic instruments.
Guitar Hero Metallica is compatible with all of the World Tour instruments; lead guitar, bass guitar, drums and vocals. It is also supported by all of the main consoles, Playstation 2 and 3, Xbox 360 and Wii, so no matter what your gaming preference might be you will be able to enjoy rocking the hours away at home to classic Metallica tunes.
The game play is similar to that in previous titles, with notes appearing on screen in time to the music. Lead and bass guitarists must press the coloured button on the fret of the guitar as directed on the screen whilst striking the strum bar. Drummers will be directed to beat the appropriate drum pad, or to kick their bass drum pedal. Whilst anyone braving the vocals will be tested upon the pitch of their notes as they sing down a plastic microphone to their all time favourite tracks. Each player will be scored in accordance with their instrument; too many notes missed and the track will be failed. On the other hand a successful set of notes or phrases will provide a scoring multiplier to enable anyone to quickly become the household musical master. Keeping consistency with the on-screen instructions will also grant you the benefit of filling up the Star Power meter which can be released at any moment to provide an even higher score multiplier.
Multiplayer modes are available, such as the Metallica-themed Battle mode boasting such power-ups as “Fade to Black” which unsurprisingly completely blackens the on-screen notes for the opposing player. A career mode is also available for those days that your friends and family have abandoned you to your own musical pursuit. Fans of the Guitar Hero series may well be pleased to hear that songs are unlocked quickly through the progression of the career mode, preventing the previous requirement to play through a host of uninteresting songs in an attempt to access all content and progress through the career.
If you’re feeling particularly adventurous in your music-making you can even take your talents to the world through the web. The best gamers from around the globe are ready and willing to smash your ego into the ground as you stand up to their challenge. Watch your worldwide ranking rise (or fall) as you spend more time against your rivals.
In an attempt to challenge even the most hardcore Guitar Hero fanatic, the latest edition of the game has been deemed the hardest to date. Don’t let that put you off, though, as there are still beginner modes for the inexperienced amongst us. Five difficulty levels are present as in the World Tour game; however Guitar Hero Metallica offers the additional challenge of an Expert+ mode for drummers. For those dedicated enough to pre-order the game a bonus of an additional foot pedal and splitter, to allow two pedals to be used, was provided to cater for this Expert+ mode.
Don’t be fooled by the title into thinking that only Metallica hits are present on the game. Just over half, 28 in total, of the offered music collection has been created by the named band including classics such as “Master of Puppets”, “One” and “Seek and Destroy”. The other 21 tracks have been chosen by Metallica themselves to offer an increased level of variety to the game. Granted if you aren’t a great Metallica fan this game may not be top of your Christmas list, but for die-hard fans and those neutral to the creations of the ferocious rock band there will be plenty to enjoy. Tracks are presented in a roughly chronological order with enough information about the individual songs and band available when replaying to satisfy the desires of any who want to learn a little more about such an iconic band.
Guitar Hero and World Tour remain expensive pursuits with the full band kit still costing around £135. But with simple yet addictive game play combined with the allure of being a member of your own plastic-wielding band, the sets still continue to sell. As to this particular offering to the Guitar Hero arena your enjoyment will certainly depend on your music taste. If you’ve always disliked Metallica chances are you may get on better with a different version, however, lovers of the band and the Guitar Hero games are sure to enjoy it as much, if not more, as its predecessors.