Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock Review

Numerous tweaks and additions have been made to Guitar Hero during the long evolution of the franchise, but one thing has remained pretty constant – there's never been much to the game's story mode. If you've played any Guitar Hero game in the past then you know the routine; play a few songs to unlock the next tier of tracks so that you can repeat the process, with only a few comic book style panels in between to serve as a bare minimum of a pictorial narrative. With Warriors of Rock Guitar Hero finally gets a story, albeit one that feels more like the daydream of a junior high kid who's just discovered metal than a bona fide narrative.

The familiar cast of Guitar Hero characters such as Judy Nails and Johnny Napalm are the stars of the story, but rather than representing the particular genres of rock in a "A Star is Born" storyline they are awaiting transformation into "Warriors of Rock" with the ultimate goal of unleashing the "Demigod of Rock" in order to crush the ultimate rock-and-roll hating monster known as "The Beast". Remember, I already warned you about the storyline. Anyway, in order to accomplish said transformations you'll need to power-up each rocker by playing their associated tier of songs well enough to earn the requisite number of stars. Once you've earned your stars, you're rewarded with an encore song that powers the transformation of the rocker into some sort of nightmare beast or demon of the type that graced metal album covers in the 70s and 80s. In essence you're still playing tiers of tracks in order to earn the right to unlock additional tiers, but at least this time around you feel like you're accomplishing a little more in the game's story mode than simply earning the right to play more of the songs that you've paid for when you bought the game. However, you'll have to put up with a storyline that's filled with more cheese than a Wisconsin deli…

Each transformed Warrior of Rock has his or her own special power which translates into some sort of bonus for you as a player when using that warrior - higher score multipliers, note streak saves, and the like. Basically, if there's an aspect of gameplay tied to scoring or failing, there's probably a warrior with some sort of power over it. These bonuses can make it easier to get through some of the harder tracks, but at the same time they add an arcade element to the gameplay that wasn't there before. When playing Warriors of Rock, it feels less like you're playing a song simply for the fun or challenge of it and more like you're playing to beat your previous high score. The tried and true five star rating system used to measure your success on a track has expanded to allow for literally dozens of bonus stars. For those playing the tracks simply for the enjoyment of the music, it can all be somewhat distracting to see all of the extra messages and animations crammed onto the screen when you're simply trying to keep your eyes on the note track.