Monday, March 30, 2009
...And Justice For Some
Guitar Hero: Metallica has arrived and it is just a little short of astounding. Visually, the game wipes up the floor with the previous Guitar Hero games and even Rock Band. The motion capture is, without a shadow of doubt, some of the best I've ever seen in a game, and a music game at that. The game captures all the little things such as Lars Ulrich standing behind his kit and drumming or leaning back while pounding on the snare drum and all of James Hetfield's stances during the instrumental parts. Even Kirk Hammett's focused soloing and Robert Trujillo's low playing postion is covered. It's unbelieveable to see how much work was put into just these little things and then to have it recorded for 28 is impressive. The venues are detailed versions of the various places Metallica have left their mark including one of the venue where they first played with former bassist Cliff Burton.
As for the gameplay, this is the game that Guitar Hero: World Tour should've been. The voice detection is better, it's easier to see your rock meter, there's a star count to show you how well you're performing the song and so many more improvements. It's a shame that this is just a stopgap Guitar Hero game. It seems like Activision and Neversoft put more effort into this game than the main game. I'm not sure if that was to avoid pissing off Metallica fans or they had been working on these problems for some time but, whatever the case, carry these things into the next game. For anyone who felt cheated or was disappointed by World Tour, check out GH: Metallica. This should be and, hopefully will be, the direction of the series.
As for the setlist, if you love Metal and Hard Rock (I know I do), this game is better than a sundae with a cherry on top. It's an ice cream truck with a working freezer being handed to you. Covering genres and artists from "The New Wave Of British Heavy Metal" such as Judas Priest and Diamond Head to comtemporary headbangers in System Of A Down and The Sword to the grand, arena sounds of Queen and Thin Lizzy helps to create such as amazing selection of songs. Add these songs to the 28 songs presented by Metallica and the hours will pass by. This is not to say that the setlist is 100% perfect.
With that being said, the biggest downfall of the game is the lack of being able to included any downloadable tracks from World Tour besides Metallica's latest release, Death Magnetic. This limits the game's playability after a month or two. On top of that, there will not be any downloadable content for the game at all. This is a bummer since there are so many more Metallica songs needed for game ("Leper Messiah" and "Of Wolf And Man" are two that come to mind). Seeing as how you can import the newest album into the game, it wouldn't have been hard to import all the downloadable songs into the game. It'd would be awesome to see King Diamond singing "New Slang" by the Shins or James Hetfield crooning Blind Melon's "No Rain," well I think it would be. This problem could be fixed with a patch to update the game and add a store to download extra songs. It would extend the lifespan of the game and allow people who aren't fans of the genres represented to enjoy the game. This is the only problem with the game and is something that can be fixed especially since two of the artists (Bob Seger and Queen) have downloadble content for World Tour. Think of the money, Activision, think of the money.
All in all, it's an awesome way to spend your free time; headbanging and rocking out to a band that inpired many people take up playing an instrument or made you curious enough to pick up a plastic instrument. Downloadble content aside, you will be impressed by this game and it is definitely worth a purchase, especially if you're a fan. Hell, why read this when you could be playing "Whiplash."