“Guitar Hero Live” is coming to the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, and the trailer from Harmonix shows a new and improved music rhythm games franchise. The title will reach the eighth-generation consoles this fall, and the guitar and game will be priced at $99. Sorry, hardcore “Guitar Hero” fans. Old guitars from previous games won’t work with “Guitar Hero Live.”
A quick glimpse of the trailer shows just how much publisher Activision has improved the popular game series. The cartoonish characters from five years ago have been replaced by real-life rock stars playing in front of live audiences.
“We thought of it as a clean slate," creative director Jamie Jackson told IGN on Tuesday. "One of the briefs I gave the team early on was to think of it just as a name. Think of it as a music game with a guitar peripheral, but pretend that nothing else has ever been done. We want to come back with some big innovation and to do that we almost felt like we needed to start from scratch.”
The basics of the game are similar. A plastic guitar comes equipped with buttons and a fretboard that players use to accompany a song. The basic shape and weight of the guitar remains the same. There’s even a “hero power” button to hit following a series of correct notes.
The game’s playlist hasn’t been revealed yet, but we do know it will include songs from The Black Keys, Ed Sheeran, Green Day, The Killers, The Lumineers, Skrillex, The Rolling Stones, My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy and more.
The last “Guitar Hero” installment, "Warriors of Rock, came out nearly five years ago, in late September 2010. Featuring 93 punk, alternative rock and classic rock songs, it reached the Wii, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The title’s sales were disappointing -- only 86,000 units in the United States across all platforms in its first week. Activision closed its “Guitar Hero” business in February 2011, along with its planned sequel.