Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock Review

The music genre and I go way back. Many a college night was spent rocking out to Guitar Hero II, trying to 5-star songs like "Thunderhorse" and "Free Bird." I have the plastic instrument in my gaming quarters, sitting and waiting to be played at a moment’s notice. I had high hopes that this would be a bit of resurgence year for the genre, with Rock Band 3 introducing a keyboard and newcomers like Power Gig: Rise of the Six String introducing real guitars to the gaming world. While Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock is fun, if this is a sign of what’s to come, then my hope has suffered a major blow.

Warriors of Rock just feels like the same old thing. It offers no revolution to the genre; it’s simply the same old formula with a new coat of crazy, quest-colored paint. The only new addition is rocker-specific abilities which just make the game easier to play, letting you run through songs quicker than you’d like to. This really disappointed me, as I hoped that the originators of the music game craze would try to one-up the competition.


Speaking of the quest, WoR‘s Quest mode is odd, if not awkward. Gene Simmons sounds detached, as if you can tell he’s reading to get paid. Each character has a contrived, awkward method of advancement that has no structure at all. It literally seems thrown together at the last minute. Story-wise, it’s generic to a T: hero is trapped, only his weapon can free him, heroes must find it. Nothing I haven’t seen before. I was looking forward to the quest, as it was a radical idea for a genre that isn’t exactly story heavy. Unfortunately, it did not live up to my expectations.

One of the most damning things about WoR is the most important part of the game: the set list. First and foremost, the game re-uses songs that have appeared in previous GH games, but includes live versions instead of master tracks. I’m sorry, but I’m not paying to play the same stuff again, I’d really like some new content. Secondly, and this is big, if there’s a big quest with lots of action and battle, then there needs to be a set list that matches it. Some songs fit the bill, "Bloodlines" by Dethklok and "Children of the Grave" by Black Sabbath being prime examples. What the hell is Nine Inch Nails doing here? Where does "Bohemian Rhapsody" fit into this story? Furthermore, why am I playing the piano section of "Bohemian Rhapsody" on my guitar? It doesn’t make sense. In order for a music game to be successful, the soundtrack has to match the subject matter, and with Warriors of Rock that is not the case. Perhaps if Activision had kept Brutal Legend, they may have seen what a heavy metal quest’s soundtrack should be.

I love the music genre, but Warriors of Rock makes me angry. I’m angry about the story being contrived and jumbled. I’m angry about the setlist not fitting the idea of a epic quest to save rock. Most of all, I’m angry that Warriors of Rock is essentially the same type of gameplay I’ve been dealing with since my college dorm days. Considering I last lived in a dorm in the Spring semester of 2007, that’s sad. I certainly hope that Rock Band 3 and Power Gig can inject some life into music games, because if they follow this lead, then the genre may as well be dead.

3 out of 5


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Myspace
  • Google Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Stumnleupon
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Technorati
Author: Jason Fanelli View all posts by
Jason lives and breathes gaming. Legend tells that he taught himself to read using Wheel of Fortune Family Edition on the NES. He's been covering this industry for three years, all with the Node, and you can see his ugly mug once a week on Hot Off The Grill.

Leave A Response

You must be logged in to post a comment.