Are you ready to rock, again? Here at E3, Red Octane is showing off Guitar Hero II, the follow-up to everybody's favorite axe-thrashing PS3 game.
This new game will feature more than 60 songs, 40 of them licensed, from groups such as KISS, Butthole Surfers, and Primus. In fact, Primus was added to the line-up at the last minute. They actually got in touch with Red Octane and begged to be included in the next game!
An expanded career mode is being included, where you'll be able to progress up the ranks, starting from a measly garage band and working your way up to superstar status. Along the way, you'll unlock new guitars to use and additional outfits and goodies for your characters.
As mentioned when the game was first announced, players will be able to play backup instead of lead. Related to that, bass and rhythm guitars have been implemented.
Co-operative play, another of the game's new features, brings it all together. Using two guitar peripherals, one player can play lead while the other plays bass or rhythm on backup.
I had a chance to play a limited demo of the game today, and, honestly, I have to say I liked what I saw. Gameplay and graphics are pretty much identical to how they were in the first game. Players play notes and chords by pushing the 5 individual chord buttons and "strumming" the fret button, while on-screen avatars deliver a champion performance in front of the audience.
The co-op mode is wicked fun. Each player contributes to the superstar meter. When you want to use the superstar boost, both players have to hold up their guitars simultaneously. It's like you're performing in an actual choreographed performance. My personal favorite feature is that both players can choose their difficulty settings individually. If you're like me, and you aren't very good, you can pick easy, while your axe-grinding buddy (such as Aaron Thomas) can thrill the audience on hard.
5/10/2006 Frank Provo