The music rhythm genre used to be one of the most popular in all of gaming, with franchises like Guitar Hero, Rockband, and Singstar all marketing themselves the ‘ultimate’ party companion. But this reign was relatively short-lived as so many sequels, spin-offs, and offshoots were released in such a short period of time. Worse still, the recession of 2008 soon made it so that many gamers could no longer afford to keep buying plastic gaming peripherals.
As a result, the publisher of the Guitar Hero series, Activision, would need to do something special when attempting to revive the GH series. In their upcoming Guitar Hero reboot, Guitar Hero Live, the two selling points are its ‘Live’ and ‘Guitar Hero TV‘ game modes. While the Live gameplay mode puts players on stage and makes them feel as though they are playing directly to a crowd (who will boo or cheer accordingly), Guitar Hero TV swaps that reactive crowd for official music videos.
At E3 2015, Activision released a new Guitar Hero Live trailer showing Guitar Hero TV in action. The publisher calls it “the world’s first playable music video network,” also describing it as a “continuous broadcast of music videos where you and your guitar controller are the star.” So far, just a handful of videos have been confirmed for Guitar Hero TV including “Sing” by Ed Sheeran, “I Gotsta Get Paid” by ZZ Top, and “American Idiot” by Green Day, but “hundreds of videos will be available at launch spanning all different genres of music”. New videos will be added regularly after launch, too.
Additionally, Guitar Hero TV also features a level-up system. Players will level-up as they play, unlocking new content and earning in-game currency. Some of the unlockable content includes “Hero Powers” which are similar to “Star Power” from older Guitar Hero games and “can be used to gain a competitive edge and achieve new high scores.” That in-game currency, on the other hand, can be used to buy custom note highways, playercards, and “Premium Shows” which are newly released music videos or live concert footage. It will also used to play songs on-demand, which means that players may be forced to wait to play unless they have enough virtual currency.
Activision has also revealed that Guitar Hero TV will include microtransactions, which follows a trend set by other games like The Crew and Assassin’s Creed Unity. While players can earn in-game currency or complete challenges in order to unlock that extra content and those Premium Shows, the publisher says that by paying with real currency, players can gain access to it “instantly.”
The decision to include microtransactions will be disappointing for many would-be Guitar Hero Live players as it means that if they aren’t skilled enough to complete those challenges and they don’t want to hand over their real money, they will be locked out of content that they really want to play. Plus, players already have to pay for GH Live‘s new instruments.
Are you disappointed that Guitar Hero Live is introducing microtransactions? Would you be willing to pay for Premium Shows? Leave a comment and let us know.
Guitar Hero Live will be released on October 20, 2015 on PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and Wii U.