Guitar Hero Live Trailer: Activision Reveals Realistic Music Title With Revamped Controller And New Music Service

By Steve Buja , Updated Apr 14, 2015 11:18 AM EDT
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The music game wars have begun in earnest. A few weeks after Harmonix announced that Rock Band was getting back together, Activision has taken the stage and dropped the proverbial mic with the new Guitar Hero Live today.

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The game is being developed by DJ Hero creators FreeStyleGames and is returning the series to its more 'guitar' focused roots. Guitar Hero Live aims for full immersion (though no Oculus support...yet), and will put players on stage in front of a real audience who will react accordingly to how well or poorly you perform. You can live out your rockstar dreams and play to a packed audience, or make things a little more intimate with a small club set. Ever wonder why GH7 never came out? Must have been because they were filming a live audience for each song.

Guitar Hero Live also introduces GHTV, which is a 24 hour music channel, that "lets fans play along to a continually-updated collection of official music videos - across a wide variety of genres - from the newest releases to favorite hits". Fans can "pick from multiple channels and themed shows, discovering new songs as they play, and can also choose songs to play on-demand". No more waiting for new releases, and you'll be able to discover plenty of new content you may not otherwise have found. This content will feature F2P elements and purchasable content.

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Because let's face it, back in the mid-2000s, the music game titles were the only way we ever learned about new artists.

"Guitar Hero is a franchise that so many people love. Figuring out how to bring it back with true breakthrough innovation has been years in the making, and a labor of love," said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing, Inc. "Guitar Hero Live lets people rock real crowds with real reactions. Our goal was literally to give people stage fright. And with GHTV, we have created the world's first playable music video network. All of it is playable on consoles, or mobile devices. Guitar Hero is back and better than ever."

Realism is at the heart of GH Live, and the controller is a perfect example. Gone are the color coded plastic 'toys' of yesteryear; the new controller is a sleek black and white controller that "features two rows of three buttons that better reflects the way people naturally play. The new format ensures fun for players of all abilities."

For beginners, you can feel like a rock star by mastering play with just the bottom three buttons. Medium-level players don't have to stretch their fingers down the neck of the guitar controller any more and can instead skillfully play two-row combinations that mimic real chords. Experienced players have a new challenge in "creating complex chord-like shapes and finger combinations that will bring new thrills to veterans". The aim is to bring both newcomers into the fold with an easily accessible title, but still pack enough difficulty for those jerks who can 100 percent 'Through the Fire and Flames'.

Guitar Hero Live is out this fall for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS4, PS3, Wii U and - though details are scarce - select mobile platforms. We look forward to seeing how that will play out.

Check out the announcement trailer below, and stick around, we'll have our hands-on impressions soon.

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