The battle of the bands is almost upon us yet again! The music game genre was at one point dominated by games like the Guitar Hero series. Unfortunately, market saturation and a bombardment of releases in the series by Activision not only killed Guitar Hero, but did its part in killing mainstream interest in virtually all of the music game genre.
However, with the launch of a new generation of consoles comes opportunity to revitalize the relatively dormant genre. Both Harmonix (the developers of Rock Band) and Activision realized this opportunity, and both have announced plans to release new entries in their franchises by the end of 2015. Activision is reviving Guitar Hero with Guitar Hero Live, and Harmonix is bringing Rock Band with the aptly named Rock Band 4.
Since its reveal trailer, Activision has slowly released new information regarding Guitar Hero Live, namely in the form of 24 songs that will be included in the game. By comparison, Harmonix has been taking their unveiling of Rock Band 4 at a much slower pace, having only announced six of the songs that fans can expect to enjoy if they decide to pick up Rock Band 4 later this year.
So far, Guitar Hero Live has a fairly impressive set of songs, with the previously announced tracks including a diverse list of hits from Green Day, Judas Priest, My Chemical Romance, Skrillex, The Rolling Stones, and more. Now Activision has unveiled 10 more songs that will be included in the game, this time featuring music from Bring Me the Horizon, Killswitch Engage, Marilyn Manson, Mastodon, and more.
The 10 new songs in Guitar Hero Live can be found below:
Some of these song choices appear to be somewhat of a departure from the GH norm, a series (not including the spinoffs) that has stuck pretty closely to classic rock over the years. Besides the song choices, Guitar Hero Live is different from its predecessors in other ways as well. For example, whereas its chief competition, Rock Band 4, is sticking to traditional plastic instrument controllers, and will indeed allow users to use their old instruments as well, Guitar Hero Live is using a brand new guitar.
In addition to the new controller, Guitar Hero Live will also be utilizing completely new gameplay and visual styles. First of all, the five-note lane that defined previous incarnations of the franchise has been abandoned in favor of a three-note lane. Furthermore the over-the-top, cartoon-style visuals of the older GH titles are being replaced with live action footage.
Whether or not these big changes will pay off remains to be seen. Will fans stick with the familiarity that Rock Band 4 is touting, or will they flock to the new experience of Guitar Hero Live? That question will be answered when the games launch later this year, but perhaps a clearer vision of which title has the best chance of coming out of this renewed “battle of the bands” as the victor will materialize at E3 in June.
Guitar Hero Live will be available at some point later this year, for iOS, PS3, PS4, Wii U, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.