A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that some of the lyrics and imagery in Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock might not be suitable for young eyes and ears. There are also some cut-scenes that may be inappropriate for children, including some that show scantily-clad female and male musicians, scenes of public inebriation, and some fantasy violence against robotic beasts. For the most part, though, this is a music-based game with a more positive message than negative one. The Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 version supports open voice chat. Common Sense Media does not recommend moderation-free online communication for pre-teens. We suggest using the parental controls built into the game console to disable online communication features.
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What's it about?
Music fans not yet burned out by rhythm games won't be disappointed by Activision's feature-packed GUITAR HERO: WARRIORS OF ROCK -- especially those with a penchant for hard rock/heavy metal -- but the game will do little for those already tired of the genre. As with past titles in the Guitar Hero series, you're tasked with playing along with rock songs and are scored based on your performance. Players can strum a guitar/bass peripheral, bang on plastic drums, or sing into a microphone (all sold with or without the game). The game allows up to four players to jam on any combination of instruments. Warriors of Rock features a story-based Quest mode, narrated primarily by Gene Simmons from KISS. The tale follows a number of rockers who are transformed into evil-fighting warriors to defeat a malevolent force known as "The Beast." While introducing a story between the songs is a good idea -- and one that builds to an explosive climax -- it'll feel like déjà vu if you've played last year's Brutal Legend game with its similar story, artwork, and music.
Is it any good?
Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock does indeed rock. A new mode, Quickplay+, lets friends to battle one another in up to 13 challenges per song, to see who can amass more points and stars -- the latter of which can be used to unlock bonus content. Rock lovers will no doubt be impressed with the more than 90 songs on the disc (and hundreds of optional downloadable tracks), including an original song by Dave Mustaine (of Megadeth fame), a great new tune by Soundgarden ("Back Rain") and Rush's entire 1976 concept album, "2112." Between its long set list and multiple game modes, Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock delivers a lot of bang for your buck. If you're looking for a truly new music-game experience, however, you might want to wait for MTV Games' Rock Band 3, out in a few weeks, which offers a keyboard peripheral.
Online interaction: Players can download new tracks off the Internet and play with or against friends in other homes. The Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 version supports open voice chat. The Wii version of this game does not support voice chat.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether music games are still appealing. In 2009 alone, Activision flooded the market with titles like Guitar Hero: Metallica, Guitar Hero: Van Halen, Guitar Hero 5, Guitar Hero: Smash Hits, Guitar Hero On Tour: Modern Hits, and others. Is this too much? Do parents want more plastic peripherals in their home? Or do music fans enjoy the getting new songs and features?
MTV Games is adding new instruments (like a keyboard) to the virtual band with the upcoming Rock Band 3. How do you think the Guitar Hero franchise will hold up against its main competitor? Do both franchises offer a different enough experience for gamers to want to play both?
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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.