By Tom Hodgson
Allow me to be blunt: Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock is a tragedy that far surpasses many of the “VH1 Behind the Music” episodes I’ve seen and makes heroin addiction and squandered millions look like the Gilmore Girls.
The song selection is about as certifiably heavy as Puff Daddy performing with Robert Plant and is easily the worst offering yet out of any Guitar Hero. Poison? ZZ Top? The Vines? Jethro Tull? I mean, I loathe Nickelback and Linkin Park, but of all their songs, why choose “This is How You Remind Me” and “Bleed It Out”? “Cryin’” from Aerosmith? Were the rights to the Armageddon song sold to the organizers of a high school prom? When you hear Warriors of Rock, you think chomping the heads off of bats and banging back bottles of whiskey before a set, not tracks off of “Now That’s What I Call Music: Volume 1151215.”
The venues are just as uninspired. It’s tough taking a level with devil wings and Satan’s flames bellowing out of pyrotechnics towers seriously when you’re cringing through a Sum 41 song or after seeing “You rock!” appear onscreen as your drummer gets up and fists pumps to the crowd after playing through an impotent “Losing My Religion” by REM.
The heaviest discord for me was the new Quest Mode, which was like taking a tossed bottle to the head at a summer festival. You travel around to recruit an army of guitarists to defeat “The Beast,” some all-powerful being who captures the Demigod of Rock, voiced by Gene Simmons. His banal, trite voice just sounds like he sold the other part of his soul that wasn’t of any use to the ad wizards at Dr. Pepper. The fact he’s been given any sort of credit for having contributed an ounce of redeemable talent to music by being included in this game is like letting pedophiles on playgrounds. He has done for rock what Sharon Osbourne has done for Ozzfest: set it light years back.
Like the body of a Gibson, Warriors of Rock is a hollow experience. Activision has gone and turned this formerly illustrious franchise into a trailer park parent that feels the need to pop out a new child every year, which is great if you listen to Kid Rock, which is even greater because it’s only a matter of time before he gets his own game. It is a band that has returned for their fifth farewell tour because their addictions to powdery substances and women of the night have left them and their legacies penniless outside of royalties from music video games.
Guitar Hero has lost all credibility of actually being one and now has an identity that closely resembles the 9-CD love ballad box sets on the Time Life commercials. The only thing left for it is to be found unconscious by housekeeping in some back alley Motel 6.
The best part about this game is the bundled Soundgarden CD. That’s when you know it’s not worth the price of admission, let alone anymore encores.
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