Review By: Brittany Vincent
|# Of Players:||1-4|
|Accessories:||Microphone, Guitar, Drums|
Activision continues to milk the Guitar Hero cash cow year after year. After Aerosmith received their very own entry into the series, many gamers were left wondering what made them so special to deserve a game of their very own? Several bad spinoffs later, Guitar Hero: Metallica finally emerged, a game that seems strangely ironic given Metallica’s staunch opposition to music-sharing and the fact they seemed as if the last band who would agree to a Guitar Hero title all their own. Still, it happened, and it happened with a bang. Metallica fans clamored to pick this title up posthaste, thinking they would be greeted with an explosive tracklist and epic storyline featuring the famous headbangers and instead were greeted with a somber offering of Metallica hits (and misses), a wealth of those other guys’ songs, and a lackluster game that felt more like an expansion pack rather than a brand-new title.
Rather than a true-to-life narrative chronicling Metallica’s heavy metal high life, you’re greeted with a silly, cartoony story that does little in the way of pictorializing Metallica as "brutal" as they seem to be, which is fine but Guitar Hero Aerosmith went the extra mile to include interviews with the band and much more personal tidbits rather than zany antics. Storyline should indeed be further down on the list of priorities, but I’m sure I speak for many Metallica fans when I protest that they seem to have been slighted in their very own game.
Story complaints aside, this is a very typical Guitar Hero title. It’s Guitar Hero: World Tour, simply reskinned with new loading screens (think St. Anger), the band members themselves, and a shiny new track list. That’s what you came for, anyway, right? Interestingly, out of a 49-song track list, only 28 are Metallica’s songs. For a game titled Guitar Hero Metallica, you’d assume that it would focus only on the band’s successful albums and singles over the years, as it’s fact that they have more than 28 available songs ripe for rocking out. Amongst the measly 28 songs, you have staples such as "For Whom the Bell Tolls" to "Master of Puppets," to "The Memory Remains."
For what you get of the scant offering of Metallica, at least the classics are well-represented. A host of various other "metal" acts are tossed into the fold, though many of them can’t quite hold a candle to Metallica. Thin Lizzy, really? Kyuss is a great band and all, but come on. I was quite disappionted in the fact that there were really so few songs from the game’s titular inspiration. I had similar fears when The Beatles: Rock Band was initially announced, but luckily Harmonix took the high road, unlike Activision, and most of my complaints stem directly from this fact.
Since the game is built up from the Guitar Hero: World Tour interface, you can sing along with performing via drums, bass, and guitar to the multitude of songs available. This was an appreciated addition rather than omitting the extra instrument support, and one of the things I enjoyed most about the game -- being able to belt out some of my most beloved Metallica tracks. However, once you run out of songs to play or you simply get tired of playing these, don’t go running to the DLC store expecting to find any compatible tracks; Guitar Hero Metallica does not support DLC, meaning the Metallica songs aboard this disc are the only ones you’ll play with this particular edition.
So, what’s the bottom line? If you’ve ever played a Guitar Hero game, you should know exactly what to expect here. There are no exciting new additions save for the fact that the entire band is available to ooh and ahh over while mimicking your favorite songs, and some engaging new art that’s slapped over the Guitar Hero World Tour interface. Sure, hardcore Metallica fans will appreciate the fact that the band was awarded their own game, but the fact that only slightly over half of the songs even belong to them, can we even refer to this as Guitar Hero: Metallica, or should we go on referring to it as "Guitar Hero Metallica - And Other Dudes We Think You Might Like?" If you’re itching for more Guitar Hero and you can’t get "Frantic" out of your head, then you’ll want to pick this one up. Otherwise, you might be better off singing at the top of your lungs, rolling down the highway as ...And Justice For All blares through your stereo.
Posted: 2010-04-24 12:16:41 PST