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What's it about?
Plug in and rock out with Activision Publishing's latest in the multimillion-unit-selling Guitar Hero series. Just as we strummed along with an Aerosmith-centric Guitar Hero game last year , now it's time to crank the volume and let your hair down for Metallica and its celebrated catalog of heavy metal tunes ranging from their early work ("Seek & Destroy" from the band's debut disc) to the commercial ditties of their self-titled "Metallica" album ("Enter Sandman," "Nothing Else Matters") to newer tracks including "Frantic" and "My Apocalypse." More than 45 tracks from the group's 28-year history are here, most of which need to be unlocked, as gamers jam as the L.A.-based fab four, led by vocalist James Hetfield. GUITAR HERO: METALLICA also features more than 20 tracks from other artists personally selected by the band, including Foo Fighters, Judas Priest, Queen, Motörhead, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Thin Lizzy.
In case you've never picked up (or observed) a Guitar Hero game, these music-based challenges let players jam along to some of rock's greatest hits over the past 40 years, using guitar/bass and drum-shaped peripherals, as well as a mic to sing, karaoke-style. Whether you're playing solo or with friends (in front of the same TV or via the Internet) your goal is to rack up points by hitting the right note (or drum) at the correct time. Play well and the virtual crowd goes nuts and you can unlock additional venues and tracks, but make too many mistakes and you're booed offstage faster than you can say "Lars Ulrich."
Is it any good?
Yes, Guitar Hero: Metallica is good, but you most definitely need to be a fan of the band and this type of music to enjoy it. Therefore it doesn't have the same mass appeal as a game like Guitar Hero: World Tour, with its wide range of musical styles and artists, plus this game lacks the same breadth and depth when it comes to modes, online options, and replayability. That said, it's a decent game for those looking to rock out to the music of Metallica.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether they're experiencing Guitar Hero overkill. With many, many games in the franchise these days, not to mention new song downloads each week, when is it time to call it a day? And is this music genre evolving at the pace it should? Or do gamers want the same thing each time but with new music?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.