The Guitar Hero franchise has been around for a while now, pleasing fans with its unique rhythm based gameplay and guitar controller. Or rather, it was unique until the recently released Rock Band, which added to the formula by including drums and a mic alongside the guitar. The next Guitar Hero game looking to overshadow Rock Band is… Guitar Hero: Aerosmith?
That’s right folks, the next Guitar Hero game is nearly entirely based on the legendary rock group, Aerosmith. Now, I know that most Aerosmith nuts will have already stopped reading by now and are half way to the shop to buy the game. However, is it really a smart move to base an entire game on a single group? The simple and blunt answer: not if you’re going to charge £45 for it.
For anyone still left out there that doesn’t know the concept behind Guitar Hero, head over here to read our Guitar Hero 3 review. There is simply no point in me going over it all again, as the core gameplay and design have remained unchanged. What the new title does bring to the lineup is really not much. You get around 40 new songs (most of them by Aerosmith), the ability to jam out as Aerosmith, and a few short documentary clips featuring the band; basically lots of Aerosmith stuff.
The problem with this approach is that the game only really caters to Aerosmith fans. If you don’t like Aerosmith, tough luck. Those of you that do like Aerosmith may get some enjoyment out of this game, but not £45 worth of enjoyment. Sure it is fun to play along to tracks as the band, but trust me, the novelty soon wears off. The documentary clips are really not worth your time, and while the track list is reasonable, it is missing a couple of key tunes. Sure there are lots of fan favourites in there such as Walk this Way (both the Run DMC and the Aerosmith only versions) and Pink, but where on earth is I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing?
The difficulty level in the game also takes a hit because of the track list. Most of the Aerosmith riffs are pretty basic, and also somewhat repetitive. I’m not the most skilled player in the world, in fact I’m not even close, but I still managed to breeze through the tracks with ease when compared to a lot of the tracks from Guitar Hero 3, or even 2 or 1 for that matter.
There is also one major problem with the game that I have not yet mentioned. This problem is that the core gameplay mechanics are starting to feel stale. Re-releasing the same game over and over with just a few different songs each time is really not worth your time or money, especially when there are still downloadable tracks being released for Guitar Hero 3.
Still, the game is not all bad, as there are a few nice little touches added in here and there. The best of these is that the various venues that you play at are actually based on the venues that Aerosmith once played at in their rise to stardom. Also, when you are actually playing as Aerosmith, all of the band’s members look the part, and animate really well too. There are also around 10 tracks that are not Aerosmith songs should you get sick of them, although sadly most of these are covers of the original.
The bottom line is that if this had have been released at a more reasonable price point (say £20) then it could have been a real hit. Alternatively the new tracks could have been released as downloadable content for Guitar Hero 3, which would have made more sense. Unless you are a major fan of Aerosmith, wait until this one hits the bargain bins.