Activision is attempting to revive the Guitar Hero brand for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Wii U, and last-gen consoles at the same time that Harmonix is doing the same with Rock Band. Guitar Hero Live was announced on Tuesday with two new ways to play that seek to put some separation between the two rhythm music game franchises.
Guitar Hero Live is coming back under the development auspices of FreeStyleGames, the same studio behind the DJ Hero titles. The game is currently slated for a fall 2015 release with a $99.99 price tag.
— Guitar Hero (@GuitarHero) April 14, 2015
The latest rendition of Guitar Hero drops the animated crowds favored in the previous multiple releases in exchange for live footage of crowds that will “dynamically react in real-time to how well or poorly you play.” The goal is greater “immersion and realism,” as you take on the role of a lead guitarist for a rock band and your fame grows from playing small clubs to massive music festivals.
The second new way to play is a playable music video network called GHTV. This network features multiple channels for different genres and will run 24 hours a day with a continually updated collection of music videos that can be played on-demand. You will be able to play these songs with friends locally or across PlayStation Network or Xbox LIVE to compete for high scores and various challenges.
“GHTV is a living, breathing platform that serves as an ever-growing source for new music discovery while further bringing the party atmosphere back to the living room,” Activision stated in the accompanying press release.
Guitar Hero Live is also bringing a redesigned guitar into the mix. The traditional five-button layout is being replaced with a six buttons divided between two rows. The goals is to make the finger combinations slightly more like a real guitar while also removing the difficulty of reaching that dreaded orange button.
The easy setting will allow players to use only the bottom three buttons. Meanwhile, those playing on the medium setting will begin to use both rows and the more difficult settings will introduce two-row combinations.
There are no specific song announcements yet. However, Activision confirmed that The Black Keys, Fall Out Boy, My Chemical Romance, The Rolling Stones, Gary Clark, Jr., Green Day, Ed Sheeran, The War On Drugs, The Killers, Skrillex, The Lumineers, Pierce the Veil, and Blitz Kids will be among the artists contributing to Guitar Hero Live‘s soundtrack.
Mobile versions of Guitar Hero Live will be coming as well. Activision promises the full experience with the live crowds and GHTV support for tablets and mobile devices, but nothing specific has been detailed yet.
“Guitar Hero is a franchise that so many people love. Figuring out how to bring it back with true breakthrough innovation has been years in the making, and a labor of love,” said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing, Inc. “Guitar Hero Live lets people rock real crowds with real reactions. Our goal was literally to give people stage fright. And with GHTV, we have created the world’s first playable music video network. All of it is playable on consoles, or mobile devices. Guitar Hero is back and better than ever.”
[Images via Guitar Hero]