Guitar Hero: Aerosmith Hands-On Preview

What do you get when you combine the most popular rhythm/music videogame franchise of all time with what some refer to as "America’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band?" The answer to that question is RedOctane and Activision’s upcoming Guitar Hero: Aerosmith, which GamerNode had the opportunity to play and discuss last week at a press event in San Francisco.

If you’ve played Guitar Hero before, then this installment is going to look very familiar. It features the same setup as previous Guitar Hero games, and runs on a slightly tweaked version of the Guitar Hero III engine. The big difference, of course, is that 26 of the game’s 41 tracks are written and performed by Aerosmith. This is great for fans or casual rock listeners, but I probably wouldn’t recommend the title to those who can’t stand the band — it could be a nightmare.

The 15 other songs are all by artists that have either influenced or collaborated with Aerosmith, and about half of those are master recordings, as well. Aerosmith was very involved with the development of GH:A, including the composition of the set list. They wanted the game to represent their work and history, so players can be sure that everything included is meaningful. The game even features body scans of the entire band and motion capture from frontman Steven Tyler.


Guitar Hero: Aerosmith


The main career mode in GH:A follows the band from their roots as a Boston garage band to their mega-star status of the modern day. In each of eight venues from the band’s past, players will jam to two "opening act" performances, followed by three from Aerosmith. Before each venue, there are clips from video interviews with the band, describing their experiences and telling anecdotal tales of people, places, and events.

While the band would have liked the song order in the game to perfectly reflect their real-world chronology, they understand that the nature of the medium requires simpler songs to come early on, and more difficult songs to be reserved for the later stages. In the end, the liberties taken by the development team provide for a smoother difficulty curve for players, and therefore a better game experience.

For competition-seeking Guitar Hero veterans, multiplayer remains, as usual, with Face-Off, Pro Face-Off, Battle, and Co-op modes. I didn’t have the chance to test my mettle against other members of the press this time around, but I’m guessing that’s only because they feared the wrath of my medium-difficulty shredding.


Guitar Hero: Aerosmith


I may not be a huge Aerosmith fan (I do have some of their music in my personal library of tunes and easily recognize the vocal stylings of Steven Tyler), but my time with GH:A reminded me of just how easy it is to rock out to their music, and I expect that the breadth of the 38 year-old band’s work will appeal to a wide audience when it arrives on the 29th.

Partial set list:

Nipmuc High School
Mott the Hoople – All the Young Dudes *Cover
Cheap Trick – Dream Police
Aerosmith – Make It
Aerosmith – Uncle Salty
Aerosmith – Draw the Line

Max’s Kansas City
Joan Jett – I hate myself for loving you
The Kinks – All day and all of the night *Cover
Aerosmith – Movin’ Out
Aerosmith – No Surprize
Aerosmith – Sweet Emotion

The Orpheum Theater
The Clash – Complete Control
New York Dolls – Personality Crisis *Cover
Aerosmith – Livin’ on the Edge
Aersomith – Ragdoll
Aerosmith – Love in an Elevator

Half Time Show
Lenny Kravitz – Always on the Run
Black Crowes – Hard to Handle *Cover
Aerosmith – Back in the Saddle
Aerosmith – Beyond Beautiful
Aerosmith – Dream On

The Cult – She Sells Sanctuary
Run DMC – King of Rock
Aerosmith – Bright Light Fright
Aerosmith – Nobody’s Fault
Run DMC featuring Aerosmith – Walk This Way


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Author: Eddie Inzauto View all posts by
Eddie has been writing about games on the interwebz for over ten years. You can find him Editor-in-Chiefing around these parts, or talking nonsense on Twitter @eddieinzauto.

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