Somewhere between Rock Band and the distant promise of Guitar Hero World Tour, ‘classic’ Guitar Hero became very ordinary, very quickly. This, now the fifth game, bears all the hallmarks of a series paddling to stay afloat. World Tour’s change of direction is looking even more necessary now. It all started so well too. Aerosmith has been involved with track selections, story elements and even mockumentary videos, and are one of the few bands big enough to justify a Guitar Hero license... Or are they? When it comes to the tracklist there’s more filler than killer. The supporting acts – Kinks, Kravitz, Mott the Hoople and The Cult – frequently outshine the Aerosmith tracks. Only hardcore Aerosmith fans will find the entire selection to their taste and as the game boasts fewer songs than either Guitar Hero II or III there’s not much in the way of variety.
Neversoft should be applauded for (mostly) removing the boss battles, but you must question how much effort is really needed to churn out these games. Note charts, while providing a greater challenge than anything found in Rock Band, feel disjointed and often out of synch. And you need only look to the Career mode for proof of more laziness.
The band interviews that precede each set are often awkward, but credit to Aerosmith for participating in a Prizefighter-esque narrative. We don’t, however, believe that the one cameraman who decided to record Steven Tyler’s interview in 4:3 should be in line for a bonus any time soon. It’s indicative of more sloppy work in a title that has no place being anything other than DLC. If we simply must have band-specific games then treat us to a little Hendrix – rumored to appear in Guitar Hero IV. Until then, you’ll find us on Rock Band. It is, in every way, four times the game GH: Aerosmith aspires to be. Maybe that hefty price tag is justified after all, eh?
Jul 2, 2008