|System: X360, PS3||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Conspiracy||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Epicenter / UFO Interactive||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 19, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
The onscreen patters are displayed sideways, not top to bottom as you may be used to. It will take a little getting used to, especially when the action increases. Smaller enemies will require only two or three button patterns while zombies will require three or four. During boss battles you'll have to perform a solo. Once again, the highway scrolls left to right. The music stops during your solo only to pick up again when you're done. I have no idea what purpose this serves.
Rob Zombie supplies some of the soundtrack, and I use the word "some" in place of "not a whole lot." Only a handful of his songs are included. Most of the time you'll be battling it out to classical guitar music. Both the guitar and the drum set are void of any in-game sound effects, so it won't interfere with the soundtrack, but it takes away the instant gratification of knowing you're pushing the right buttons. Doogie Howser (Patrick Neil Harris) provides the narrative. He does a decent job of portraying a permanently chilled, zoned-out rocker, though it does border on annoying and boring.
Rock of the Dead doesn't look much better than the Dreamcast version of House of the Dead. Architecture and characters are unnaturally geometrical. Environments such as the trailer park, radio station, cathedral, and spaceship appear washed-out with one predominant blue or green hue casting a global glow. The animation isn't bad, but when it comes to zombies and robots, you aren't expecting the lithe and limber movements of a ballerina.
A multi-player co-op mode lets you play with the guitar and drum set together. It's the Red Stripes verses Rob Zombie. If you don't have a drum set, another guitar can be used. Players can tackle levels individually, competing for high score, or take out enemies as a team. This mode will give you some extra time after you become bored with the single-player mode, but the novelty will wear off faster than a Halloween candy sugar rush.
Expect Rock of the Dead to put some more fret mileage on your guitar, but not enough to warrant a purchase. Even as a budget-priced game it's still best to rent this one.
CCC Senior Writer