We should start getting used to these themed music games, as Guitar Hero: Aerosmith was a proven success for Activision earlier this year, and now SingStar and Rock Band are getting in on the bandwagon. But before Guitar Hero's actual competitor, Rock Band, can release a themed version of its game, Activision was quick to secure yet another major rock band, one that, arguably, has a broader appeal than Aerosmith. Here comes Guitar Hero: Metallica.
That is not to say that Metallica has sold more records, it's just that fans of Aerosmith are significantly older than fans of Metallica and are less likely to play a game of Guitar Hero. So here we have Metallica, who have sold over 100 million records since 1983 and have been one of the forefront leaders of the influence of metal music since their explosion to rock fame. So it only makes sense that the next big rock band to be immortalized with a videogame project would be Metallica.
With a total of 45 tracks, the game will feature a collection of 28 Metallica tracks, and 17 tracks by various artists which include the Foo Fighters, Slayer, Machine Head, Queen, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Alice in Chains, Judas Priest, Kyuss, Mastodon, The Sword, Michael Schenker Group, and Bob Seger (who's "Turn the Page" was covered by Metallica). These 17 songs were hand selected by Metallica as some of their personal favorite tracks, and we're happy to see them here. If you've bought the Death Magnetic song pack for Guitar Hero: World Tour, it will be imported to GH: Metallica, so worry not.
All together, you will find a total of 20 guest acts in the game, from bands that they worked with, to the bands they admired and inspired them. A partial list of tracks for the game is currently floating around, and I am absolutely floored to see that they've included "No Leaf Clover" into mix, as it is one of my all-time favorite Metallica tracks. For those not familiar, the song first debuted on Metallica's live symphony collaboration record called Metallica S&M – it was one of the few great songs the band wrote in the late 90s.
No word on whether or not we'll see virtual versions of Jason Newsted, Dave Mustaine, or the late-great Cliff, but I wouldn't bet on it. But you will get to see motion captured versions of James, Kirk, Lars, and Robert as you make your way through an assortment of real venues. And to keep the authenticity high, Metallica took on the executive role of approving the game's tracks and content, as well.
It'd have been nice to play through a historic timeline, a'la Aerosmith, but seeing as how complicated Metallica's past is, it's probably too much of a hassle for Activision to bother with. What we do know is that there is footage from all eras of the band's career, so you'll at least be able to see Jason and, possibly Cliff, through the archieved footage of concerts.
Gameplay will take some concepts from GHIII's Battle Mode and bring them to light in the multiplayer mode of GH: Metallica. One such concept is a power-up called "Fade to Black" that'll black out the opponent's note tracks, forcing him to only see black colors. This was explained vaguely, though, so we're not sure if this power-up means that the opponent cannot see his notes, or just the color of his notes turn black. A new, and very crucial, feature for the game is the ability to use two bass pedals with your drum set in a difficulty mode called Expert+.
The multiplayer will support four players to make up the vocals, guitar, bass, and drums. Meanwhile a total of eight gamers can square off in a band battle online. The Rock Star Creator, the music studio, and user-created content sharing will still be featured in Guitar Hero: Metallica.
Being a massive fan, I'm really looking forward to seeing Guitar Hero: Metallica arrive March 29th.