Video Game Review - Guitar Hero: Metallica
Fans clamored, Activision budged, and now, Guitar Hero is finally making sweet, sweet music with the reigning gods of metal in Guitar Hero: Metallica. Toting a roster of hits and an intriguing new use of your left foot, this electrically-charged spinoff is looking to be the one to kill 'em all.
Guitar Hero: Metallica strikes a chord in the series as the second game centered exclusively on a band. But unlike its spandex-suited predecessors, Metallica is the first to make use of World Tour's template, bringing back the feature-rich studio mode as well as four-player band sessions.
In terms of going stag on the stage, plowing through each gig in career mode still takes top billing. Only now the belt has loosened up a bit on advancement; instead of having to clean out each individual set, you'll only have to meet a quota of stars earned through each successful play, allowing players to tiptoe past daunting tracks and choose the path they wish.
This less stringent advancement structure wisely gives the career mode a more approachable feel, all while maintaining a sense of accomplishment with unlockable bonuses, song facts, and rock ranks.
And if you wanna shred with some pals, the ever-popular quickplay mode is also now more accessible than ever. Every single song is unlocked from the get-go, eliminating the need for career progression or codes for those spur-of-the-moment living room jams.
Going hand in hand with this is a neat little feature that the game likes to call drum-over, which essentially lets you play any percussive track the way you want with tom, snare, bass, and cymbal samples taken straight from the song. In casual play, it's every bit as fun as it sounds, and something of a small wonder as to why it wasn't included in World Tour from the start.
Boasting 49 songs split between guest acts and the metal mavens themselves, Guitar Hero: Metallica's catalog is a bona fide who's who in the world of metal. The band leaves no stone unturned; classics from LPs like Master of Puppets and the Black Album make their requisite appearances, along with some unexpected B-sides spanning their entire career. The selection of guest songs here isn't quite as varied as past installments, but the consistency of these distortion-laced tracks are appreciable enough for any serious metal-head to dig into.