(Activision for Xbox 360)
By Mike Delano
2009’s Guitar Hero 5 was a definite improvement over the previous year’s unfocused World Tour, but it had its own issues, namely a schizophrenic song list, one that seemed concerned only with stuffing as many disparate artists together as possible. The game continued to refine the best pure guitar gaming experience around, though, and it’s good to see Warriors of Rock give the franchise some direction and further build on its core strength. The revamped single-player campaign augments the already peerless guitar gameplay with a ton of fun new “powers” that barrage you with rewards for everything from note streaks to not failing. After doling these powers out individually, the endgame allows you to use them all at once in a glorious fireworks display, even as it pushes the series firmly onto a solo score-attack path rather than the pick-up-and-play party route of its predecessor. The metal-heavy song list (Megadeth, DragonForce, Arch Enemy) is the perfect accompaniment to this new direction, so if you’re a headbanger that’s cool with Guitar Hero doubling down on its fantastical game-y features, it’s likely you’ll throw the horns up for Warriors of Rock.