Guitar Hero 5 review

Here we go again…

GamesRadar+ Verdict


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    Party-tastic Jukebox mode

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    Song-specific challenges

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    Competitive RockFest mode


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    Some lame guest stars

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    DLC is pricey

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    No songs from The Beatles

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Guitar Hero returns to the party once again – this time with a bang so loud it’d burst the ear drums of even the hardest of rockers. Last year, it managed to cement its place as the music game of choice for expert players thanks to some crazily difficult note charts and a comprehensive Studio mode for would-be composers everywhere. This year, those gamers are still catered to, but there’s a friendlier mode designed for parties and casual strummers, drummers and warblers too.

We love nothing more than a good play-along to our favourite tracks, but often nobody’s brave enough to sing. Inevitably that means only three musicians on the go at one time with another person sitting doing nothing. But no more. We’ll admit to scoffing back when Guitar Hero 5’s big secrets turned out to be the ability to have up to four people playing the same part and a drop-in/drop-out mode, but they genuinely revolutionize party play. And don’t even get us started on the fantastic new competitive RockFest mode. Rock Band – the ultimate party game up until now – has nothing on this.

Those after a more tangible and rewarding experience from Guitar Hero will find a revamped career mode that ticks every box. Every song boasts unique challenges to complete before the game can ever be called close to finished, and with the ability to import songs from World Tour, Greatest Hits, the forthcoming Band Hero and plenty of downloadable content (DLC) as well, nobody is likely to completely finish it before Guitar Hero 6 rolls around.

The nuts and bolts of career mode work a little differently this time. Last year, each song had a maximum of five stars. Now, that maximum is a hefty nine. The sixth is handed out for ‘Perfect’ ratings, while the other three are challenges for specific parts of specific instruments. It’ll say the maximum is eight and display a silver star until the 100% note streak is hit. Every track also comes with its own fact about either the song or the band. Did you know Coldplay’s Chris Martin was a zombie in Shaun of the Dead? Nah, us neither. Complete the tasks and new kit is yours. For instance, it could be a shiny new outfit for your character to wear.

Strutting around the stage would be boring if there weren’t some killer new songs to rock to. Thankfully, the track list features some incredibly strong songs from stars such as Nirvana and T.Rex to Elton John, Dire Straits and Queen. There’s genuinely something for everybody, and it doesn’t matter if everybody includes people new to the series, as there’s now finally both No Fail Mode and Band Rescue options to fall back on for anybody who needs to learn the basics. Plug in, tune up and start rocking. This is one gig you don’t want to miss.

Sep 9, 2009

More info

GenreOther Games/Compilations
DescriptionMore accurately titled Guitar Hero 17, another entry in the monster is coming to gamers very soon. New features include being able to change band members, instruments and difficulty levels at any time during a song.
Franchise nameGuitar Hero
UK franchise nameGuitar Hero
Platform"PS2","Wii","PS3","Xbox 360"
US censor rating"Teen","Teen","Teen","Teen"
UK censor rating"Rating Pending","Rating Pending","Rating Pending","Rating Pending"
Alternative names"Guitar Hero V"
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)