Guitar Hero: Metallica review

  • Double-bass drum pedal
  • Multiplayer meters in right place
  • Tons and tons of Metallica
  • If you hate metal? Everything
  • Doesn't support other DLC
  • Shaky support for Rock Band drums

It’s getting tough to review Guitar Hero and Rock Band games, simply because they’re all pretty identical once you get beyond the tracklists. Sure, you might find a tweak here or there, but in truth, this series has been practically perfect from its inception. Guitar Hero: Metallica is more of the same goodness.

Guitarists, drummers, singers, and bassists can all play together – no rhythm guitar parts, sadly - and thankfully, the star power and performance meters are somewhere you can see them now. But the big addition to gameplay is for the guys banging on the skins: a second kick drum pedal. The double bass work is pretty optional – it gets its own special difficulty (Expert +), but you have to do it because it feels, for lack of a more clinical term, totally metal. Seriously, if you can get through Slayer’s “War Ensemble” at the highest difficulty setting, you will feel like and absolute musical super hero. And you will BE one because that song is an asshole.

You can also shut the built-in drum track off entirely and just play whatever drum part you want. Nice touch. Be warned though that you’ll need the Guitar Hero III drums. The Rock Band 2 kit doesn’t seem to support the double-bass pedal, but you can spend another $25 to buy the Rock Band-branded double bass pedal, which we're told works just fine.

The other obvious change this time around is obviously the focus on title band, Metallica. You might have heard of them. You’ve got 28 Metallica songs on order (31 on PS2 and Wii, who can’t download the entire new Metallica album, Death Magnetic), as well as 21 more from other bands Metallica likes. They’ve got good taste, too: Kyuss, Motorhead, Social Distortion, Suicidal Tendencies, Bob Seger and even the one and only Lynyrd Skynyrd and more. You can check out the full setlist here.

Obviously, this is best suited for the folks out there who rock hard enough to already know “Am I Evil?” was a Diamond Head cover, so if you’re not willing to bang your head a little, you should probably leave this one on the shelf. You’re not rocking enough for it. Oddly enough, 360 and PS3 owners will also notice that the only downloaded songs the game recognizes are the ones on Death Magnetic. That’s… totally weird. Our best guess is that it’s to keep you from doing something like playing Journey’s “Anyway You Want It” with the Metallica members as your onscreen avatars. Which would actually have been really fun.

The Metallica integration goes deeper than the music itself – the band members all appear in the game, although career mode finds you playing not as anyone IN Metallica, but as the band opening for them while on tour. You can use some Metallica samples in the music creation mode. Many venues important to the band’s career have been included. There’s also a ton of extra Metallica memorabilia: photos, obscure videos and trivia. The visual look is darker and more subdued as well, with black and gray tones often replacing the series’ usual Garish color palette. Which, like the rest of Guitar Hero: Metallica, is simply the most metal way to do it.

Apr 3, 2009

More Info

Release date: Mar 29 2009 - Wii, Xbox 360, PS3
Apr 14 2009 - PS2 (US)
Available Platforms: Wii, Xbox 360, PS3, PS2
Genre: Simulation
Published by: Activision
Developed by: Neversoft, Budcat Creations
Franchise: Guitar Hero
ESRB Rating:
Teen: Lyrics, Mild Suggestive Themes
PEGI Rating:
12+: Bad Language


  • Josephnero - September 9, 2010 4:12 p.m.

    metallica rules
  • doomdoomdoom - July 5, 2009 4:15 a.m.

    Then they should make a guitar hero modern rock thing and get out of this old music bullshit Or even better not make another guitar hero there is so fucking many of themgoddamn it it is the new fucking Mario Jesus Fucking Christ there pretty much a Whore
  • Tylinator - April 4, 2009 6:54 p.m.

    OMFG system of a down and toxicity is ownage!!! One by metallica is my fave song eva!!
  • Phazon117 - April 4, 2009 10:21 a.m.

    For sure picking this up when i get the cash. And yes, the commercials are pretty funny for video game commercials.
  • lethaltrain - May 9, 2009 4:23 p.m.

    im pretty sure that none of the bands you just said especially Linkin Park are better than metallica althogh i am a fan of slipknot
  • doomdoomdoom - April 14, 2009 10:11 p.m.

    why metallica? there music is not that good as other music I've heard... and I've listened to all there music. They should have made GH Disturbed, Godsmack, Linkin Park, All That Remains, Korn, Slipknot, Five Finger Death Punch, and Tool. There all better than Metallica Hell even Guitar Hero Elvis sounds better than metallica ha ha ah ha! Or Guitar Hero Beetles... Ha ha ah ha the only way i would "like" metallica is if they made a Guitar Hero Hanna Montana ha ha... well the way she is selling crap ever were i be the next guitar hero and the last.
  • nadrewod999 - April 10, 2009 6:06 p.m.

  • nadrewod999 - April 10, 2009 6:06 p.m.

  • pogo - April 8, 2009 11:51 p.m.

    This game looks unbelievable, even the demo is amazing
  • Pyro240 - April 7, 2009 3:09 p.m.

    Great game. The song list is a little short, but other than that the presentation is amazing and the charts are right on. I actually head banged to most of the songs.
  • SwampRock - April 7, 2009 12:06 a.m.

    Maxstats69 HA HA I wonder if that 69 stands for the position, you dick. I played this game at my friends house and i absolutely loved it. Just the fact that all the songs are fun to play makes it worth the money, it's not a way to get money out of gamers because let's see, if you were buying this as DLC you'd probably have to pay just as much and rock band has just regular old track packs out in stores. It's just a game for people who love the game and the band. Plus it scored higher than WT in many places.
  • FadedLineVigil - April 6, 2009 5 a.m.

    The game is awesome, the commercial is even better haha.
  • Maxstats69 - April 5, 2009 6:50 p.m.

    Metallica? Those sellouts? Yeah, I'd rather waste $60 on a 10 minute donkey show preview in some shady shack on the west side of Mexico than buy anything these jit bags put their name on. Selling these GH games for specific bands is yet another reason to get even more money out of gamers. With DLC being the way of the future there is no reason this couldn't just be DLC for the previous GH game. But the fact that there are still kids out there that are stupid enough to buy it is the reason that crap like this will continue to happen.
  • MrSegraves - April 5, 2009 6:37 p.m.

    This game looks awesome. I just wish it had a larger setlist and allowed for use of DLC.
  • Elbo444 - April 4, 2009 10:34 p.m.

    god damnit why do I have to be broke when this comes out!?!
  • GoldenMe - April 4, 2009 5:34 p.m.

    "Be warned though that you’ll need the Guitar Hero III drums." I really hope you mean the GH: World Tour drum set. Fix now Alan.
  • Defguru7777 - April 4, 2009 2:07 a.m.

    I don't plan on getting this. But I have to admit, the commercial for this is freaking hilarious. Blowing up a house and tying celbrities to trees is metal enough to make Dethklok proud.

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