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Guitar Hero: Warriors Of Rock

Guitar Hero: Warriors Of Rock

Guitar Hero: Warriors Of Rock

Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock is a music rhythm game and the sixth main entry in the Guitar Hero series for the PlayStation 3, Wii, and Xbox 360 consoles. The game was released September 24, 2010, in Europe, September 28, 2010, in North America and September 29, 2010, in Australia. It is the last game in the series to be developed by Neversoft, due to weak sales in the rhythm game market from 2009. The Wii version was solely developed by Vicarious Visions who were to take over future development of the Guitar Hero series before it was placed on hiatus. The game received mixed reviews from gaming journalists, praising certain highlights such as the "2112" segment and the game's improved Quickplay+ mode, but citing other elements as lackluster as the Quest mode's story or the lack of focus within the soundtrack. Initial shipments of Warriors of Rock contained Soundgarden's compilation album Telephantasm; as a result, the album became the first to be assigned a Platinum rating by the Recording Industry Association of America through its tie-in with the game.

Guitar Hero: Warriors Of Rock Gameplay

As with previous games in the series, Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock is a rhythm game, allowing up to four people play in a band on vocals, lead and bass/rhythm guitar, and drums, to use special instrument controllers to simulate the playing of rock music. In general, the goal for each player is to match scrolling note gems that correspond to that instrument's part in the given song to score points; the guitar and bass player must hold down the appropriate colored buttons on the controller and then use the strum bar as the notes pass over a marked zone; the drummer must strike the matching drum pads on the controller when the notes pass, and the vocalist must match the relative pitch of the song's lyrics as guided by phrase markers. Successfully striking notes earns points and boosts the player's performance meter; missing notes will cause this meter to drop. When playing by one's self, if the performance meter should empty, the song will end and require the player to restart it; when playing in a band, the remaining band members must play well enough for a limited time to "revive" a player that has fallen out due to an empty performance meter, or else the whole band will fail the song. Prior to the start of a song, each player can select one of five difficulty levels: Beginner, Easy, Medium, Hard, and Expert, with a sixth difficulty of Expert+ available to some songs on the drums which introduce a double bass pedal. Harder difficulties have characters with high note densities and more difficult playing techniques; each player can select their own difficulty to play.

For guitar and bass players, the players are given the opportunity to play single notes or chords, both as single notes or sustained, during which the players must continue to hold down the fret button(s) for the extent of the sustain. Some charts provide the ability to hold down one sustained note via its fret button while strumming additional notes. Warriors of Rock also provides simulated hammer-ons and pull-offs, where, after striking one note, specifically marked notes can be played by fingering the correct buttons but without strumming. There are also note portions of some songs where notes appear ghosted relative to normal notes; these notes can be played simply by tapping the correct buttons on the controller without strumming. Bass players can play open chords by strumming without holding any fret buttons. Warriors of Rock introduces sustained open chords for bass players, although unlike other sustainable notes, does not require you to hold down the button required to execute the note initially. Drum players, when using velocity-sensitive drum kits, may be presented with both ghosted notes or notes with a shield icon over them; these represents drum notes that should be struck softer or harder than normal, respectively, to score more points. Drum players can also attach a second bass drum pedal, necessary for certain songs in the "Expert+" difficulty.

If the player successfully matches a number of consecutive notes correctly, they boost their individual scoring multiplier up to a maximum 4x value; missing a note will reset to the multiplier back to 1x. Throughout each song's respective charts for the instruments are special highlighted phrases; completing all the notes in this phrase, and for guitar/bass players, using the whammy bar on marked sustained notes, fills part of a Star Power meter. When this meter is at least half full, the player can activate Star Power by performing special actions on their controllers: either tilting the guitar controller upward briefly or pressing the Star Power activation button for guitar and bass; striking two pads simultaneously on the drums; and either double tapping the microphone or pressing one of the buttons on the game console's regular controllers for vocals. When Star Power is activated, the overall band scoring multiplier is increased for a limited time until the Star Power meter is drained. After completing a song, the band is awarded a number of stars based on the overall score; in normal modes for Warriors of Rock, up to six stars can be earned; the final being achievable only through zero misses and zero extra strums.

Reception
Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock received mixed to positive reviews from gaming critics. Most critics acknowledged that Warriors of Rock was an attempt to distance itself from its competitor, the Rock Band series, and a return to the Guitar Hero series' roots. However, in the attempt to redefine the series, some critics thought Warriors of Rock failed to recapture the experience of playing the earlier Guitar Hero games. Arthur Gies of IGN felt the game was "aimless", leaving him to question "why Warriors of Rock is here". Tyler Cocke of 1UP.com commented that Warriors of Rock "seems to have forgotten that music games are supposed to be all about having a good time". Ben Kurchera of Ars Technica considered that Warriors of Rock keeps the series "treading water" and lacks "any real upward movement", and may have been a step back with how relaxed the game's timing windows have become compared to early Guitar Hero games. Others note that the game can be enjoyable, but only to those that are fans of the series, and is not well-suited to new or casual players. G4's Abbie Heppe found the game "does an exceptional job of catering to the hardcore audience" but warns the casual fan that may not enjoy the setlist to simply "move along". Matt Helgeson of Game Informer postulated if Guitar Hero may have jumped the shark with the "often stupid and frequently silly" gameplay and visuals, but was still entertained in playing through the game.

Quest mode, considered the game's largest change, has mixed reception. The use of "2112" as a centerpiece in the Quest mode was praised by critics; Johnny Minkley of Eurogamer said that the concept is "pitch-perfect" for Warriors of Rock and was "a clever and enjoyable break from the typically rigid career structure". Cocke noted that the "2112" section feels like "nice fanservice" and its length and complexity would not be fun for players uninterested in Rush, while Helgeson felt that the "awkward recitation" by the band members were unnecessary. Other aspects of Quest mode were found to be less enjoyable. Gene Simmons's voice-over narration was found "stilted and awkward". While the story carried similar heavy metal themes as Brutal Legend, very few of the songs within the game are from that genre; to Cocke, this felt "like a desperate attempt to gain credibility with too many crowds, but it ends up spreading itself too thin". The Globe and Mail's Chad Sapieha felt that the Quest mode "simply disguised aging career mode", with the characters' powers being "hardly satisfying" and only a means to "artificially inflate one's score". After the player has completed the "2112" setpiece, the rest of the Quest mode was disappointing; Minkley compared the second half of this mode as a "disengaging slog to level up the remaining four characters". Gies felt the "rigid and often frustrating" Quest mode led to playing the songs in an order that was "all over the place in terms of tone, difficulty, and most importantly, fun". Some reviewers felt the improved Quickplay+ mode to be the highlight of the game; Heppe noted that the mode "probably seems too basic to be the star of the game, but it really shines" while Minkley considered that it "offer a far stronger reason to replay than the embryonic Quest Mode manages". Gies' review of the Wii version noted that the Roadie Battles mode exclusive to the Wii version was enjoyable and "helps the Wii version of the game to stand tall" to the high-definition console version.

Reviewers found the soundtrack to lack the focus that Activision claims it has, and that the series may have exhausted a number of good guitar songs in its previous iterations. Gies stated that the game soundtrack "may be the most uneven collection in any of the main Guitar Hero titles", citing problems with "a surplus of tracks that seem out of place", "too many songs that are just boring to play", and "a number of synth heavy songs that are nevertheless shoehorned" into the game. Official Xbox Magazine UK stated that the setlist "feels at times uninspired, incongruous and uninteresting". Helgeson felt the setlist was "a mixed bag", with a strong and balanced set of songs in the early tiers of Quest mode, while the latter, more difficult songs were "terrible and felt like a chore" to complete. Roger Hargreaves of The Metro commented that "with so many of the more iconic rock songs having already been used in previous Guitar Hero and Rock Band games developers are forced to use ever more obscure songs and/or acts". Heppe also considered the lack of iconic song, noting the setlist "seems like the same bands we always see in , just their 3rd tier hits". On the other hand, USA Today's Mike Snider claimed that the game's soundtrack "gave a reason to blast music on stereo", and besides providing well-known songs and bands, introduced him to new bands.

Initial sales of Warriors of Rock were below estimates. The NPD Group reported 86,000 units sold in the United States across all platforms for the last five days of September during which it was available. This figure fell below the initial sales of the previous games, such as 1.5 million and 500,000 units in first-week sales for Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock and Guitar Hero World Tour, respectively. Combined sales in North America of Warriors of Rock and DJ Hero 2 were below one million in 2010, 63% below the total sales of Guitar Hero 5, DJ Hero, and Band Hero in 2009. Weak sales of Warriors of Rock, in part, led to Activision shuttering its Guitar Hero business unit in February 2011 and cancelling a planned 2011 sequel. As a result of the closure, no further downloadable content was created following the February 2011 packs.


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