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Wednesday | September 26, 2018
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Guitar Hero: Metallica (X360 & PS3)

Guitar Hero: Metallica (X360 & PS3)


Guitar Hero has been a success that very few people could have imagined, selling tens of millions of copies worldwide. Hitting the UK shores next month is Guitar Hero: Metallica which brings with it a lot of hype…. after all Metallica are probably the biggest metal band in the world.

Thankfully the game delivers in many of the ways that most of us hoped it would. The track list is top class, the presentation is without question, the band are well rendered and there is a lot of material included which will appeal to the hard core fans of the band. It is clear that Metallica have been involved in the creation because attention to detail shines throughout.

This is a full band game, just like Guitar Hero World Tour, so guitar, bass, drums and vocals are all included for your enjoyment. Rather than the gig based progression from World Tour, we find something much closer to the original title in that it is a tier based system. However, instead of having to beat each song in a tier to progress you need to only meet a total star requirement. This means it is possible to ‘beat’ the game by only completing around 40% of the tracks, so there is plenty of merit for replay. The upside to this system is that if you get stuck on a very difficult track you can try another to progress. The incentives to return to get more unlockables, such as the bands instruments is another aspect which will have fans returning for more.

Metallica are a band made for guitar hero, because all the tracks are killer to play, with a plethora of awesome riffs, power chords, fast chops and blistering solos keeping you on your toes. There really is something about how these guys play their material that translates well to a computer game. The bass was also great fun to play and Lars drumming also translates well to the platform.

The song choices covers the bands entire career from “Whiplash” and “Seek and Destroy” from Kill ‘em All, right up to material from the Death Magnetic album. We find a couple of tracks from each of the bands first five albums with a selection of material from the latest four which means there really is something for everyone. Strangely enough tracks like “Blackened” don’t make an appearance which surprised me, probably due to the fact you can download it for Rock Band. You can safely say however that is a great introduction to the band as well as a stellar ‘greatest hits’ for long term fans.

The only downloadable content the game supports is Death Magnetic. None of the downloadable tracks for World Tour work in this game which means you have to swap back to the other disc to play the majority of that library if you have invested in those songs. I am a firm believer that downloadable content like this should be cross platform for ease of use, however it is a minor point, nothing game breaking.

The presentation levels are first class and masses of care has been placed into this game to make sure die hard fans get something from the experience as well. The members are all stunningly well rendered and are immediately recognisable as James, Lars, Kirk and Robert. Part of this is due to the fact that the band themselves took part in motion capture sessions for the game development and their movements are therefore faithfully reproduced on screen – and man do they look good !

The quality of presentation however goes much deeper than this and there is a load of content that bring you into the bands inner circle, including video content from behind the scenes footage as well as fanshot video from tiny club gigs. There is also a gallery with photos and tour notes from a variety of years and the best feature of all, Metallifacts, which is a VH1 inspired pop video copy that allows you to watch the game play a song while information pops up on screen to accompany it. This isn’t available for all the tracks but there is quite a bit of interesting information for all the sections which make it worth checking out.

On a gameplay level, developer Neversoft Entertainment haven’t strayed from the beaten track but there are a few new features related to the drums which prove interesting. The first is the Expert+ setting which switches on every bass drum note that Lars played in the original recordings. Usually on more complex music the bass drum is scaled down to be more playable with a single bass pedal, but Expert+ gives you the full repertoire with the dual bass pedals. If you had preordered the game you got the bass pedal for nothing but you can pick it up seperately if you didn’t. I am not sure if this will translate to the UK/European release of the game, but I hope so as it obviously proves to be better value.

The other cool addition is the inclusion of a new ‘drum over’ mode where you are able to turn off the required notes for a track and just play over it with whatever drums you feel like playing. Cleverly, the drum sounds have been sampled from the track you are currently playing, so it is all a good sonic match.

For those of you concerned with the skill level required, it appears that Metallica made sure the game ramped up well, because the game starts out quite easy and gets difficult near the end. Obviously on expert level the mashing is a prerequisite and you will need some endurance and finger flexibility to beat tracks like ‘Master Of Puppets’, however i didn’t have a problem beating it on expert level. Newcomers to the game might have a harder time than before however due to the fact that there aren’t any really easy Metallica tracks.

Guitar Hero: Metallica is a fantastic game and it has a track list which will appeal to all rock followers, especially fans of guitar as James classic riffs are a perfect match for Kirks blistering solos. Extreme care has been taken in all the production of the title and Metallica’s watching eye has ensured that there is plenty of value for money throughout all the modes and options. Highly recommended.


Fantastic fun, alone or with a bunch of friends.
Nice representation of the band, even if the engine looks a little dated by now.
Fantastic set list for all rock fans.
Lack of DLC support and a pretty small track list lower the overall score.

A classic game that Metallica fans should not miss.

About Author

Stuart Davidson

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