The most striking thing about Guitar Hero Live is the audience. They’re not the cartoon characters they used to be. FreeStyleGames’ reboot of the Guitar Hero games features footage of actors on a set reacting to your playing. The third-person view is flipped around and now you’re looking out of the guitar player’s eyes. Mess up and the footage switches to people booing. Rock hard and the people cheer. Your band is filled with real people as well. No stylized video game robots here.
This “live” presentation allows Activision to integrate real music videos into a jump-in-at-anytime 24-hours a day feature called Guitar Hero TV. The “note highway” appears on the video, allowing would-be rockers the ability to play and compete against each other. It’s hoped that this will take the place of DLC tracks. The good news is that access to GHTV comes with the game. No subscription is needed. The bad news is that the footage of GHTV shows the player acquiring coins as they play. Will they be used as a form of F2P currency? Activision wasn’t ready to say just yet how they would monetize GHTV.
The new guitar peripheral (seen here) is also a big change from the old models. Instead of one row of multicolored buttons on the neck, it has a row of black buttons and a row of white buttons arranged one atop the other, with three buttons each. The idea being that it’s easier for new players to learn, but offers more challenge to veteran strummers.
Guitar Hero Live is coming this Fall to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and mobile platforms.