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Guitar Hero 5 PS3 Review - -

Gameplay 9.5
Graphics 9.0
Sound 10
Value 9.5
Distributor: Activision
Review Date:
September 2009
Michael Marsh


Guitar Hero 5

With so many music games coming out within a few months of each other, it’s a good time to be a gamer, especially with the competition between Rock Band and Guitar Hero heating up. With that said, Activision continues its Guitar Hero juggernaut with their latest addition to the franchise, Guitar Hero 5 that goes head to head with The Beatles: Rock Band but will it remain victorious?


  • Assemble Your Band and Rock Any Way You Want -Guitar Hero 5 allows fans to play alone, as a full band or, for the first time, with any combination of multiple guitarists, bassists, drummers or vocalists, to customize their musical experience. Players now have the control to rock any way they want whether it is with two guitars and two drummers, four guitarists, or three guitarists and a vocalist, any combination is possible. This freedom is available in all modes of play: online, Party Play, Quickplay, RockFest and even career.

  • The Definitive Rock 'n' Roll Set List - Experience furious finger fretting, intense drumming, and lyrics that will challenge even the best vocal chops with songs from some of the hottest bands of today to all-time favorite classic anthems including; Tom Petty, Kings of Leon, The White Stripes, Santana, Johnny Cash, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan. Featuring 85 master tracks, the breadth of rock-centric styles ensures that every Guitar Hero fan will find their favorite tracks and discover new ones.

  • Join The Party! - It has never been easier to rip it up and rock out with friends than it is in Guitar Hero 5. The brand new Party Play Mode puts players straight into the action with the press of a button and allows them to jump in or drop out, or switch difficulty level at any time without interrupting the jam session.

  • Become the Best. Shred the Rest! - In Guitar Hero 5 players can test their skills against others with four-player local and up to eight-player online battles in the all-new competitive RockFest Mode. Within RockFest Mode, players can choose from various head-to-head gameplay types including:

    • Momentum: Songs get more difficult or easier on the fly depending on player performance.

    • Perfectionist: Rewards players with the highest percentage at the end of each song section.

    • Elimination: Players are eliminated throughout a song based on their performance in each segment and the last man standing wins!

    • Do-or-Die: Missing any three notes for a song section temporarily knocks players out of the game and keeps them from scoring.

    • Streakers: Players are awarded points for each note streak in multiples of 10.

    • Pro Face Off: Head-to-head battle where players all play the same song on the same difficulty with the same instrument.

  • Limitless Jams - Guitar Hero 5 delivers hours of endless entertainment, as fans will be able to play Guitar Hero World Tour downloadable content in the game, experiencing all of the upgrades and new features in Guitar Hero 5.

  • The Band that Plays Together… - Bands can earn bonus multipliers by hitting new special note streams in unison, creating an even greater sense of excitement and accomplishment for players that can rock songs together.

  • Make and Share Music - Guitar Hero 5 features the innovative GHMusic StudioSM and GHTunessm first introduced in Guitar Hero World Tour. Produce hits in the redesigned Music Studio with improved editing tools for easy use, new guitar samples and mix patterns and share them online with GHTunes to create what could be the next breakout hit.

Boasting one of the largest track lists to date, the Guitar Hero franchise has received a slight makeover with this current instalment with improved graphics and tweaked gameplay. Whether you’re a singer, drummer or guitarists, Guitar Hero 5 continues doing what it does best, putting together some of the best songs available with that classic gameplay which has made this franchise so damn enjoyable.

Although the game is backward compatible with the previous instruments from the series, if you do happen to purchase the new and improved instruments for Guitar Hero 5, you’ll be pleased to know that the “plastic” sounds have been quietened and the guitars now feature a really cool touch pad sensor, increasing your rock star experience.

However if you already own the previous equipment, there’s probably no point upgrading yet, however when it comes to accuracy, I must admit that the new instruments allow for some more accurate play and best of all, realism. The game even supports the Singstar microphones from Sony!

The main method of play is the “career” mode which allows the player to create their band from the ground up that includes logo’s and names. I must admit that the customisation feature of Guitar Hero 5 is a step in the right direction for those players who want more control over their in-game avatars but it can be a fiddle some experience for the uninitiated though, especially when modifying your logos etc. As you progress through this mode, additional bonuses will be unlocked and you will be awarded money which can then be used to purchase a variety of accessories for your band.

At its core, the game is still your traditional Guitar Hero experience where you need to match the notes with the colours on the screen and by succeeding, the music flows perfectly. Too many incorrect notes and your audience will start to get restless and eventually you will be forced to quit, however on easy modes, this should be no problem at all.

The new tweaks to the game does offer something different such as star power which now belongs to the person who earned it, unlike previous incarnations. There are even some times in the song which gives the gamer the chance of playing four of the same instruments simultaneously which really goes off at times and needs to be listened loud to be enjoyed. Whether you’re playing single-player, with friends or over the internet, Guitar Hero 5 uses the classic analogy of “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it” and once again it works perfectly.

The Music Studio in the game has also received a face lift that now allows the user to record a full ten minute song with the instruments of the game. Add in a variety of effects and it’s almost like your own mini recording studio. Unfortunately these songs need to be originals and will be deleted from the Guitar Hero Tunes server if they are copyrighted material.

The biggest change of the franchise for us is the new and improved graphics that looks quite superior compared to its predecessors. Add in a variety of effects such as blurring and some great lighting effects and it’s easy to become lost in the atmosphere of a rock concert.

The animations look great and best of all, the rock stars look like their real world counterparts thanks to the increased texture details. On the PlayStation 3, the graphics look fantastic, although a little washed out in terms of the palette colours when compared to the XBox 360. Needless to say, the face lift to the graphics was much needed and it does give the game a more next generation console feel.

As per the usual games, the star of the game is the diverse music listing and Guitar Hero 5 boasts a truck load of tracks and features some of the world’s best rock bands from classics such as Queen to modern greats such as Kings of Leon and even some really heavy rockers such as Rammstein. This is easily one of the most diverse and impressive track listings on any game, whether it’s Rock Band or Guitar Hero, just check out of the following tracks to be impressed;

3 Doors Down - “Kryptonite”

Arctic Monkeys - “Brianstorm”

A Perfect Circle - “Judith”

AFI - “Medicate”

Attack! Attack! UK - “You And Me”

Band Of Horses - “Cigarettes, Wedding Bands”

Beastie Boys - “Gratitude”

Beck - “Gamma Ray”

Billy Idol - “Dancing With Myself”

Billy Squier - “Lonely Is The Night”

Blink-182 - “The Rock Show”

Blur - “Song 2”

Bob Dylan - “All Along The Watchtower”

Bon Jovi - “You Give Love A Bad Name”

Brand New - “Sowing Season (Yeah)”

The Bronx - “Six Days A Week”

Bush - “Comedown”

Children Of Bodom - “Done With Everything, Die For Nothing”

Coldplay - “In My Place”

Darker My Love - “Blue Day”

Darkest Hour - “Demon(s)”

David Bowie - “Fame”

Deep Purple - “Woman From Tokyo ('99 Remix)”

The Derek Trucks Band - “Younk Funk”

Dire Straits - “Sultans Of Swing”

The Duke Spirit - “Send A Little Love Token”

Duran Duran - “Hungry Like The Wolf”

Eagles Of Death Metal - “Wannabe In L.A.”

Elliott Smith - “L.A.”

Elton John - “Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting)”

Face To Face - “Disconnected”

Garbage - “Only Happy When It Rains”

Gorillaz - “Feel Good Inc.”

Gov't Mule - “Streamline Woman”

Grand Funk Railroad - “We're An American Band”

Iggy Pop - “Lust For Life (Live)”

Iron Maiden - “2 Minutes To Midnight”

Jeff Beck - “Scatterbrain (Live)”

Jimmy Eat World - “Bleed American”

John Mellencamp - “Hurts So Good”

Johnny Cash - “Ring Of Fire”

Kaiser Chiefs - “Never Miss A Beat”

King Crimson - “21st Century Schizoid Man”

Kings Of Leon - “Sex On Fire”

Kiss - “Shout It Out Loud”

Love and Rockets - “Mirror People”

Megadeth - “Sweating Bullets”

Mφtley Crόe - “Looks That Kill”

Muse - “Plug In Baby”

My Morning Jacket - “One Big Holiday”

Nirvana - “Lithium (Live)”

Nirvana - “Smells Like Teen Spirit”

No Doubt - “Ex-Girlfriend”

Peter Frampton - “Do You Feel Like We Do? (Live)”

The Police - “So Lonely”

Public Enemy Featuring Zakk Wylde - “Bring the Noise 20XX”

Queen & David Bowie - “Under Pressure”

Queens Of The Stone Age - “Make It Wit Chu”

Rammstein “Du Hast”

The Rolling Stones - “Sympathy For The Devil”

Rose Hill Drive - “Sneak Out”

Rush - “The Spirit Of Radio (Live)”

Santana - “No One To Depend On (Live)”

Scars On Broadway - “They Say”

Screaming Trees - “Nearly Lost You”

Smashing Pumpkins - “Bullet With Butterfly Wings”

Sonic Youth - “Incinerate”

Spacehog - “In The Meantime”

Stevie Wonder - “Superstition”

Sublime - “What I Got”

Sunny Day Real Estate - “Seven”

T. Rex - “20th Century Boy”

The Killers - “All The Pretty Faces”

The Raconteurs - “Steady As She Goes”

The Sword - “Maiden, Mother & Crone”

Thin Lizzy - “Jailbreak”

Thrice - “Deadbolt”

Tom Petty - “Runnin' Down A Dream”

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers - “American Girl”

TV On The Radio - “Wolf Like Me”

Vampire Weekend - “A-Punk”

Weezer - “Why Bother?”

The White Stripes - “Blue Orchid”

Wild Cherry - “Play That Funky Music”

Wolfmother - “Back Round”

Although Activision doesn’t reinvent the wheel with Guitar Hero 5, it thankfully doesn’t try to be clever with the franchise, ensuring that old users will find enough in this program for a worthy purchase. New users will find a very sturdy gaming system that features one of the most impressive and diverse track listings to date which will be appreciated by both hardcore and casual gamers and they will be entertained for a very long time. With updated graphics, a few gaming tweaks here and there, Guitar Hero 5 is a very sturdy game that continues this great franchise.

Rock On!


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