E3 2015 Hands On — Guitar Hero Live

Given the fact that Guitar Hero Live was announced and slightly shown off recently from FreeStyleGames and Activision it wouldn't be E3 without getting to see it in action. Especially since the controller scheme has been changed up as well as a bit of the gameplay. Of course it was on the show floor and ready for play at E3 or you wouldn't be reading this before the October 20th release date on the PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC, and Wii U. Those and the mobile platforms as well but for what we were able to see Guitar Hero Live was running on the PS4 and we had some real good hands on. Here's what we can expect from Guitar Hero Live right out of E3.

We aren't going to muck around at all and dig right into the new controller for Guitar Hero Live. It sucks that we are not going to be able to carry over any of the previous items we paid for into Guitar Hero Live but it makes a bit of sense. This is because we are moving into a new six button configuration with two rows of three being all we need. The top three controlling the hollow looking notes and the bottom three controlling all of the completely filled in white notes for each song. This of course stemming from the developers seeing that players usually only play with these three fingers and figured that working with that and changing a few things would give Guitar Hero Live a truly new feel and challenge.

That is exactly what came with Guitar Hero Live as I spun up the first song to play. Even on a medium or normal setting, I normally play expert before, the fact that you had to move your fingers in a vertical position to hit the notes correctly was a bit jarring at first but something that one can quickly get a hang of. The hardest part about it was making sure that your fingers where fully on the upper or lower keys without overlap as that seemed to drop the note in Guitar Hero Live. If I had any real gripe here it would be that one fact and that alone as it was hard to get the feel but this could also be linked to the fact that this was the first time playing Guitar Hero Live and there is always going to be a learning curve.

Once things were worked out for the new controller scheme the gameplay for Guitar Hero Live is pretty much business as usual. This also seems to go for the stuff that is going on in the background which was supposed to be one of the greater selling points for the game. This would be the fan and band reactions based on how well you are playing the song in Guitar Hero Live. When watching others play I was able to see all of the little nuances and interactions but they became background noise when actually playing the game proper. I've personally never been a rock star before but I don't think the experience is fueled only by making sure you hit every note and that is what kind of happened during my experience. None of the fan/band reactions seemed to register to me as I watched the notes stream and I strummed along.

There is still plenty of time for FreeStyleGames to make the fan/band reactions feel more authentic in Guitar Hero Live, as that is the goal they are aiming for, but when all is said and done for this build the only thing that stood out was the new controller scheme and in turn re-learning how to play Guitar Hero. I'm not saying I didn't have fun with Guitar Hero Live but that feature, even though all background, only truly seems to shine for those who are not supposed to be living the rock star fantasy here. That is unless you are one of those people who can get your friends to march around your living room pretending to be part of the video game crowd and sharing their thoughts on how you are playing Guitar Hero Live in real life.

I was not able to see GHTV in action during my demo of Guitar Hero Live just to make sure all things were well rounded and reported here. While I am interested in that feature for the game I don't think it is going to be more than as we've seen claimed or shown thus far. That is pretty much Guitar Hero Live controls overlaid on the song's music video instead of having live fan/band reactions in the background. Again something that will most likely only be enjoyed by those not strumming the songs. I guess we'll see as we get closer to the release of Guitar Hero Live though. We'll also have all those updates here on the site so stay tuned as we will bring you all things Guitar Hero Live as they flood out to market.

Guitar Hero Live — E3 Trailer

Guitar Hero Live