PS3 Reviews: Guitar Hero: Metallica Review

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Guitar Hero: Metallica Review

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Graphics:

 

8.5

Gameplay:

 

9.7

Sound:

 

9.5

Control:

 

9.2

Replay Value:

 

9.5

Online Gameplay:

 

9.0

Overall Rating:       9.4

I owe a lot to Metallica, as do many people and bands. They were, pretty much, the first real metal band I was exposed to when I was around 13 years old. My eyes and ears opened up to an all new assortment of music, which eventually lead to me picking up a guitar and learning it on my own. Had it not been for my cousin, who happened to be staying with us from Israel for six months, I may have never been given the pleasure of discovering the world's biggest metal band. Metallica has had this kind of effect on many, and so when it came time for Activision to create a followup to last year's Aerosmith game, who better than Metallica?

Guitar Hero has always had a soundtrack that was geared more towards the heavier side of rock, as opposed to Rock Band - it's the reason why my personal choice last year was GH: World Tour. Well, Guitar Hero: Metallica takes that attitude and theme, and increases it considerably by plugging in a horde of Metallica tracks, in addition to tunes by Motorhead, Thin Lizzy, Mastodon, Machine Head, Alice in Chains, Judas Priest, System of a Down, Foo Fighters, Slayer, and others.

Playing Guitar Hero: Metallica immediately feels like you're playing a proper Guitar Hero game, as the presence of a band like Metallica just seems to be more in tune with the franchise. That is not to say that Metallica is better than Aerosmith or any of that, it's just that, demographically, fans of Aerosmith are significantly older than fans of Metallica and are less likely to play a game of Guitar Hero. And, Aerosmith songs aren't nearly as badass, exciting or fit for videogames, as opposed to Metallica. It's just the excitement aspect of it all that really makes GH: Metallica feel like the best the series has seen.

With a total of 45 tracks, the game will feature a collection of 28 Metallica tracks, and 20 tracks by various artists which I've already mentioned prior on. These 17 songs were hand selected by Metallica as some of their personal favorite tracks, and we're happy to see them here, we especially like their choice of Bob Seger's "Turn The Page" (a song Metallica covered and made a video out of). Also, if you've bought the Death Magnetic song pack for Guitar Hero: World Tour, it can be imported to GH: Metallica, giving you an additional six tracks, on top of the four Death Magnetic songs already available in the game.

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. Moreover, I must add that I am absolutely floored to see that they've included "No Leaf Clover" into the 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.

A pretty solid choice of Metallica tracks can be found in the game, and thankfully only one comes from St. Anger (Frantic), although if it were up to me, I'd have chosen "Unnamed Feeling" or "Sweet Amber as they're the only decent tracks from the album. I would have also liked to see "Blackened", "Ride the Lightning", "...And Justice For All", and "The Outlaw Torn", and, unfortunately, Activision has made no mention of downloadable content.

Unfortunately, virtual versions of Jason Newsted, Dave Mustaine, and the late-great Cliff Burton are not present, but you will see them in the game's collection of archived footage, much of which is never before seen. If you'd really like to see the former Metallica bandmates, you can create them - as the game features most of the items and selections necessary to create pretty close replicas. But, as far as authenticity, 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.

It'd have been nice to play through a historic timeline, a'la Aerosmith, but seeing as how complicated Metallica's past is, it was probably too much of a hassle for Activision to bother with. So instead, the story mode was put together based on actual events that happened earlier on in Metallica's career, where a group of guys would follow the band around, essentially acting as their butlers and hardcore devotees. Eventually, the guys at Metallica let the group join them on their tour, and even give them the chance open for their shows, as well. So the core of the game is somewhat based on those events, but eventually, you are given control of Metallica.

The game draws some concepts from GHIII's Battle Mode and brings 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. Now, as many of you know, a very crucial feature for the game is the ability to use two bass pedals with your drum set in a difficulty mode called Expert+. This greatly increases the difficulty, but there's no doubt in my mind, that if you master this, you'd be well on your way to becoming a solid drummer in real life. It's fun, but damn hard, and I'll leave it at that.

The multiplayer supports 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. And yes, the Rock Star Creator, the music studio, and user-created content sharing will still be featured in Guitar Hero: Metallica, in addition to a feature called Drum Over, where you can drum over a song without a track-chart to follow, allowing you to improvise.

Visually, this is certainly the best looking Guitar Hero game to date. Yes, the details and characters are still cartoon-like, for the most part, but the motion captured animations and the superb lip-syncing really wins me over. It's really nice to see the band on stage moving and singing so realistically; Neversoft really nailed all of it, even the audience flails their around better than any past GH game. To add to that, GH: Metallica also nails the light show to a tee.

Since I covered most of the game's offerings in sound earlier on, it's time for the conclusion, and it's a simple one. Guitar Hero: Metallica is the best damn Guitar Hero game ever. Not only does it boast a collection of Metallica tracks, but also a collection of other amazing bands. Unlike GH: Aerosmith, GH: Metallica is non-stop excitement at all times, powered by a menacing soundtrack that simply never quits. The addition of a double bass pedal, as well as modes carried over from World Tour, and even the Drum Over mode are all great touches, not to mention the extras such as all of the Metallifacts, the archived footage, and so forth. There is simply nothing left to say other than: this game is absolutely incredible.

3/31/2009 Arnold Katayev

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Comments (40 posts)

coverton341
Tuesday, March 31, 2009 @ 12:32:45 PM
Reply

What if you absolutely 100% wish that all the members of Metallica would suffer a homo-erotic mastubatory death simultaneously? Is this game still the best thing to grace the music gaming genre?

Last edited by coverton341 on 3/31/2009 12:33:07 PM

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LegendaryWolfeh
Tuesday, March 31, 2009 @ 12:36:58 PM

...wow

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coverton341
Tuesday, March 31, 2009 @ 12:40:57 PM

Wow is right. I loath Metallica and yes I have heard all the "Metallica birthed modern metal" and "How can you like In Flames and not like Metallica." and the answer is I loath Metallica. I am not sure why I hate them so much but like my original post I hope nothing but the best in internet /b/ for them.

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Gregory Freeman
Tuesday, March 31, 2009 @ 1:11:43 PM

lol in flames is a completely different sound compared to metallica... you cant compare take this life with master of puppets, one, or no leaf clover... they're just different..

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coverton341
Tuesday, March 31, 2009 @ 1:50:53 PM

I feel the same way mordakai but I have heard people question how I can like any metal if I don't like Metallica.

Last edited by coverton341 on 3/31/2009 1:51:05 PM

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Deadman
Tuesday, March 31, 2009 @ 3:33:04 PM

I hate Metallica also, they are the biggest bunch of crybaby p*ssies alive and their music stinks. Fear Factory is the greatest metal band alive, how bout GH:FF next year.
P.s. anyone who dont believe me about what I said about Metallica watch Some Kind of Monster 2hrs of them just whinning.

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Godslim
Tuesday, March 31, 2009 @ 3:43:05 PM

i do like metallica alot and would buy this if they guitar hero stuff wasnt so expensive....but IRON MADIEN R NUMBER 1 FOR ME!

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DeathMagnetic
Wednesday, April 01, 2009 @ 7:49:51 AM

Congradulations Converton341, now when you google search "homo-erotic mastubatory death" your comment is top of the list! Seriously, I loath you for hating Metallica. Some Kind of Monster and St. Anger was a hard time for them, as it would be a hard time for anyone. Put yourself in their shoes. If it was me, I wouldn't care what other people thought of me, I'd be probably feeling the same emotions, and letting them show.

Still, everyone is open to their own opinions, but there has to be one Metallica song you like! Can't you think of any?

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LegendaryWolfeh
Tuesday, March 31, 2009 @ 12:36:47 PM
Reply

I hate how they push this stuff, why not just offer DLC or a smaller upgrade package not a whole 60$ game..

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Deadman
Tuesday, March 31, 2009 @ 3:36:37 PM

The geniuses at Activision are more diabolical than the ones at EA I ask myself the same question every year about Madden, but boy do these guys on GH really have it figured out not one but two games a year that could just be some DLC

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www
Tuesday, March 31, 2009 @ 1:00:57 PM
Reply

I tried the demo n i don't understand jack sh**!
The game is kinda cool though,first time trying out a guitar hero game.

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Alienange
Tuesday, March 31, 2009 @ 9:50:59 PM

WHAT??!! F-f-f-f-first time?

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YesterdysRising
Tuesday, March 31, 2009 @ 1:02:51 PM
Reply

I bought the game and I can say that I totally agree with this review. I honestly never thought Metallica was oh so amazing as many people would say but I do have to say that their songs are really fun to play and I do really like them. The other songs in the game are really good too. I think the presentation of the game and the Metallifacts for the songs are awesome. I got a free extra pedal for pre-ordering with Gamestop but even without it, paying $60 for the game was well worth it. If you're at all a fan of Guitar Hero games, you will have a blast with this game, I promise :)

And even though I was a little angry with Metallica ruining my Napster fun many years ago, I'm not going to hold it against this game, it's fantastic :)

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Troy Powers
Tuesday, March 31, 2009 @ 1:05:27 PM
Reply

How can you have a total of 20 guest acts...but only 17 non-Metallica songs? I haven't quite earned my GED, but...

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coverton341
Tuesday, March 31, 2009 @ 1:54:29 PM

Troy you are forgetting to carry the exponent's remainder and then multiplying by Pi. Simple mistake.

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Troy Powers
Tuesday, March 31, 2009 @ 1:56:15 PM

Damned calculus!

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coverton341
Tuesday, March 31, 2009 @ 2:09:31 PM

Yep. Just remember the slope is ever approaching zero and then you can see how 1 in all actuality only equals 1 at a perfect slope curvature and how 17 can easily equal 20 when using i as a variable to form the hyperbola.

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Troy Powers
Tuesday, March 31, 2009 @ 1:07:40 PM
Reply

Shit, I just looked up the track list. I'd almost buy this game just for "Stacked Actors."

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Jut420
Tuesday, March 31, 2009 @ 5:50:47 PM

I did buy it for that song...lol I'm just kidding but I really am a big Foo Fighters fan...so it was nice to see them make an appearance on the game...I haven't played much of the game yet since I've been busy working but what I have played is awesome. Just playing Metallica tracks makes it worth the while but the bonus are good as well and I can't wait to start career mode... I just wish Gamestop didn't run out of kickpetals the next day after the midnight release because I've been dying to try expert +.

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Jojoman
Tuesday, March 31, 2009 @ 1:13:00 PM
Reply

Does it work with Rock Band instruments?

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thepill
Tuesday, March 31, 2009 @ 1:24:03 PM

yep

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Naga
Tuesday, March 31, 2009 @ 1:31:25 PM
Reply

No Rhapsody no buy

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Jiggy
Tuesday, March 31, 2009 @ 2:07:17 PM
Reply

Holy Crap! "No Leaf Clover" is probably my all time favorite Metallica song. Dammit, now i'm gonna have to buy this.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, March 31, 2009 @ 2:50:05 PM
Reply

Guitar hero has serious problems with the uncanny valley, at least the commercial for this was decent.

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cell9899
Tuesday, March 31, 2009 @ 3:05:39 PM
Reply

@Arnold Katayev

My only concern as with all Gitar Hero games is that they tend to ADD Notes to the track, and they force you to play notes that were not meant for Guitar, just to make it more "challenging". This is the reason I never got to enjoy GH:WT. Like on Ozzy's "MR Crowley" you are force to play the piano portion of the track with guitar, WHY?.

If they managed to keep this legit and authentic then I will purchase it, it they make me play No Leaf Clover's opening with the guitar then I'm done with GH games.

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Jed
Tuesday, March 31, 2009 @ 8:05:12 PM

You only have to play the guitar part on no leaf clover.

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pavlovic
Tuesday, March 31, 2009 @ 5:12:40 PM
Reply

I won't buy it. It's around $100 USD in Mexico.

They're f-crazy

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booze925
Tuesday, March 31, 2009 @ 8:35:38 PM
Reply

HOLY CRAP. my accout isnt gone! a few months ago arnold banned my 4 goin against his review! ben nevr would hav done tht...

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booze925
Tuesday, March 31, 2009 @ 8:36:21 PM
Reply

would he...?

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Alienange
Tuesday, March 31, 2009 @ 9:54:47 PM
Reply

I recently got GH:Aerosmith for 20 bux. I've got enough games now to keep me until this one is 20 as well. Why rush?

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Neurotoxiny
Tuesday, March 31, 2009 @ 10:47:29 PM
Reply

Metallica rocks! Sucka. JK, I like Metallica though, but I don't want to spend another $60 getting yet ANOTHER guitar hero.

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Geobaldi
Wednesday, April 01, 2009 @ 1:26:05 AM
Reply

Metallica is great. They were one of the first metal bands I listened to as well. Still say the Black album is one of the best metal albums ever. But once they changed their image back when Load came out, they just haven't been the same. St. Anger was just rubbish. Death Magnetic has it's moments. Loved the S&M album though. I'm disappointed they didn't do another like Lars said they would at the very end. Now I wonder what the next band edition will come out next. I'd be stoked if it was Megadeth or White Zombie/Rob Zombie. But just as Alienange said, I too just picked up GH:Aerosmith on ebay for $12, so that will keep my music genre side of me satiated for the time being.

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DeathMagnetic
Wednesday, April 01, 2009 @ 7:48:57 AM
Reply

Congradulations Converton341, now when you google search "homo-erotic mastubatory death" your comment is top of the list! Seriously, I loath you for hating Metallica. Some Kind of Monster and St. Anger was a hard time for them, as it would be a hard time for anyone. Put yourself in their shoes. If it was me, I wouldn't care what other people thought of me, I'd be probably feeling the same emotions, and letting them show.

Still, everyone is open to their own opinions, but there has to be one Metallica song you like! Can't you think of any?

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eLLeJuss
Wednesday, April 01, 2009 @ 9:35:24 AM
Reply

lol i love their commercial

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Skatejimmy5
Wednesday, April 01, 2009 @ 1:10:15 PM
Reply

I am gonna order this for sure, then after completing it I will hope for Guitar Hero: Iron Maiden. That would be the best game ever made.

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MadPowerBomber
Wednesday, April 01, 2009 @ 1:27:49 PM
Reply

One word sold me on this game:

KYUSS.

Two more words made me rabid over it.

DEMON. CLEANER.

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MadPowerBomber
Wednesday, April 01, 2009 @ 1:27:58 PM
Reply

One word sold me on this game:

KYUSS.

Two more words made me rabid over it.

DEMON. CLEANER.

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MadPowerBomber
Wednesday, April 01, 2009 @ 1:28:07 PM
Reply

One word sold me on this game:

KYUSS.

Two more words made me rabid over it.

DEMON. CLEANER.

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Frenchy17
Friday, April 03, 2009 @ 12:01:27 PM
Reply

Played this last night finally, and it is freaking awesome! Pretty darn difficult too! I loved Metallica back in the day, even through the Load album. But after that, they have tailed off. I think the Metallica haters are the kids on here with only today's crap to listen to.

Oh and great review Arnold, could'nt agree more!!!

Last edited by Frenchy17 on 4/3/2009 12:01:56 PM

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kainnemoorwen
Monday, December 28, 2009 @ 3:38:01 PM
Reply

Hi,
I want to share a free walkthrough guide of this game. The site which I am giving has lots of new information on teh game and that too free. Just go here http://www.techarena.in/guide/24061-guitar-hero-van-halen-walkthrough-tips-cheats.htm

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