Activision let loose the first official details on Guitar Hero 5 this morning, offering answers to many of the questions that have been racing through fans' minds since the game was formally announced late last week.
What can you expect from Guitar Hero World Tour's successor? Several innovations that should help streamline casual and social play, for starters. As was teased in last week's announcement, the new Party Play mode allows players to swap instruments and difficulties on the fly -- even in the middle of a performance. You'll also be able to play Guitar Hero 5 with any combination of instruments, be it four drum kits, two microphones and two guitars, or any other possible configuration of four players. Perhaps most exciting is the fact that every song will be unlocked from the game's outset -- no more churning through setlists to get to the music you actually want to play.
Some of the more hardcore-focused additions to Guitar Hero 5 include the new RockFest, which features five distinct competitive multiplayer modes (both online and offline); a redesigned GHMusic Studio for creating custom tracks; in-game Band Moments that reward players for nailing certain sections of a song as a band; and special song challenges that require band members to complete a song with a unique ruleset. Also, series devotees will be relieved to hear that any Guitar Hero World Tour DLC that you've purchased will carry over to Guitar Hero 5.
What's arguably most important in this genre is the soundtrack, however, and Guitar Hero 5 is set to feature master recordings from 85 different artists, including over 30 musicians that have never before appeared in a rhythm game. The press release offers the following glimpse at the game's setlist:
* "Sympathy For The Devil" by The Rolling Stones
* "All Along The Watchtower" by Bob Dylan
* "Blue Orchid" by The White Stripes
* "No One To Depend On (LIVE)" by Santana
* "A-Punk" by Vampire Weekend
* "Runnin' Down a Dream" by Tom Petty
* "Ring Of Fire" by Johnny Cash
* "Sex On Fire" by Kings of Leon
Seems like they've put a lot of thought into how to improve the Guitar Hero formula, but is it enough to secure your purchase later this fall? Between Guitar Hero 5, Guitar Hero Smash Hits, Guitar Hero Van Halen, Band Hero, DJ Hero, Lego Rock Band, and The Beatles: Rock Band, the plastic rock aisle is looking like it'll be awfully crowded this year.