Guitar Hero Live Review
Guitar Hero Live Box Art
System: PS4, Xbox One, Wii U, PS3, Xbox 360
Dev: FreeStyle Games
Pub: Activision
Release: October 20, 2015
Players: Variable depending on instruments and mode
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080i Lyrics

Want to choose your own songs from the full catalog? GHTV hands out “plays” like candy as you play along with the channels, allowing you to pick anything from the catalog for one play. You can, of course, pay for additional plays or get a party pass allowing for infinite custom plays over a certain period of time. Though I'm not usually a big fan of microtransaction-style monetization, I understand it in this case. Music licensing is expensive, and the plays system is a nice alternative to having to buy and maintain your own catalog of DLC songs. In the long run, it gives you access to more songs for less (or no) money.

Guitar Hero Live Screenshot

There's a nice progression and reward system in GHTV, with players getting access to more features and customization options as they progress in rank. My only concern is a mismatch between your rank, which is largely an expression of how much time you've put into the game, and your actual skill. I'd be happier to be matched against other players who use the same difficulty level as I do instead of those at the same rank. The pre-release crowd of fellow game journos made me feel good about my terrible fake guitar skills, but I know I'll be curbstomped by Guitar Hero veterans playing on Uber-Hard as soon as the game goes live.

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Though I was a bit disappointed by the Guitar Hero Live portion of the game, Guitar Hero TV is onto something special with a lot of potential longevity. I've scored the full game just under a “must buy” because players who mostly enjoy a beefy single-player campaign will find it lacking. However, I encourage fans of Guitar Hero to check out this package for Guitar Hero TV. It's both a blast from the past days of music videos on television, and a step into the future of interactive entertainment. I'm looking forward to seeing where Activision and FreeStyle take GHTV in the future – things like a more formal vocal competition or user-curated channels are all possibilities for this new format. I'll be watching and waiting to strum along.

By
Becky Cunningham
Site Editor
Date: October 20, 2015

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.5
Graphics
Live's fake bands are amusing and colorful, and it's great to see all the music videos in Guitar Hero TV.
3.5
Control
The interface needs work, but the actual guitar playing is simple to understand and responsive.
5.0
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Great music, excellent mixing, slightly annoying announcer.
4.5
Play Value
Follow the programming or strike out on your own in GHTV – you've got a huge music catalog to experience.
4.4
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Guitar Hero Live: YOU are the rock star. Playing music in front of a real crowd is like no other experience. With the new GH Live first-person view, YOU'LL take center stage like never before.
  • Rock real crowds with real reactions: Feel the rush of performing in a REAL band, in front of REAL crowds who react in REAL time to your performance. You'll either win the crowd or lose them. Plus, your band mates will also let you know if you're rocking out or need to pick it up. Fight the stage fright and bring down the house.
  • Awesome music, epic venues: In GH Live, you'll take the stage in a variety of venues. Experience it all from the intimacy of a small club or the main stage of a massive outdoor festival.
  • GHTV, the world's first playable music video network: GHTV is a continuous broadcast of music videos where you and your guitar controller are the star. Hundreds of videos will be available at launch spanning all different genres of music, with new videos continually added to the line-up. You'll be able to discover and play new songs all the time.
  • Play what you want: Turning on GHTV is similar to turning on your regular TV. Pick a channel and dive right in. Don't like what's on? Just switch over to another channel and play a new song. You'll earn in-game currency in GHTV that you can use to play songs on demand or to acquire a ton of different items in the game like custom note highways, playercards and more.
  • Rock with your friends: GHTV makes it more fun to play with your friends than ever. While one person is playing, everyone else can watch the videos. Plus, GHTV delivers exciting competition, no matter your skill level. Compete in your living room or online with people from all over the world, playing at similar progression levels and difficulty as you. Check out the leaderboards to see how you stack up against fellow rock stars around the world.
  • Level up and earn rewards: Level up to unlock more content and achieve Hero status. Along the way you'll earn the use of new Hero Powers and you can level up your guitar. Hero Powers, similar to Star Power back in the day, can be used to gain a competitive edge and achieve new high scores.

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