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'Guitar Hero: Metallica', the ultimate shredder

April 30, 2009

By John Powell - G4 Canada

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Guitar Hero MetallicaWith 'Guitar Hero: Metallica', Activision and Neversoft have cranked their amps way beyond eleven. Fans of the fret butchering rhythm game franchise have been taken to the limit before.  'Psychobilly Freakout', 'Jordan', 'Through the Fire and Flames' are just a few of the ditties that have ruthlessly advanced the onset of carpal tunnel syndrome in an entire generation of gamers.

As Bachman-Turner Overdrive once said though... B-B-B-Baby, you just ain't seen nothin' yet.

Based on its killer set list alone, 'Guitar Hero: Metallica' is the true test for anyone who claims to have mastered the game or any of its instruments. Spanning the career of the influential L.A. metal icons, the game mercilessly challenges any hard-core player. Like Metallica's music, the simulation is very, very aggressive. Songs like 'Master of Puppets', 'Orion', 'The Shortest Straw' and 'Battery' are unbelievably tough to play through but they are so satisfying when you successfully do so. You may even be surprised at what you are capable of when that musical instinct you didn't even know you had takes over when the notes are flying so fast and so furious that they barely make an imprint on your cornea.

Guitar Hero MetallicaJames Hetfield and the boys are not the only stars of the show. Alice in Chains, The Foo Fighters, Kyuss and a move that would have made my old buddy Adrian Bromley so darn proud, even Corrosion of Conformity are on hand to make this the heaviest and most rocking 'Guitar Hero' that has ever been released. You won't have to strum, drum or sing your way through any feeble contributions from wimps like 'Michael Jackson', 'Matthew Sweet', 'The Stray Cats','Weezer' or 'Steely Dan' here. Thank Beelzebub, for that.

How bad ass is 'Metallica'? Neversoft created a whole new skill level for it, that's how. The "Expert +" difficulty setting ramps up the difficulty so much so that you must use a second bass drum pedal as a drummer. Take that all you Lars Ulrich wannabes.

Guitar Hero MetallicaNeversoft has also peppered the game with all sorts of very cool features too. There are concert videos, behind the scenes footage shot by fans, the lyrics to all the songs, a Pop-Up Video format that presents trivia and facts when you watch some of the videos (You will score an achievement if you check out at least one of them.) and a sound studio like 'Guitar Hero: World Tour'. The most signifigant additions have been made to Career Mode and the now infamous Drum Over mode. Career Mode in 'Metallica' is different in that as you advance through your quest to be their opening band, you have to earn a set number of stars to progress to the next set list instead of completing individual songs as you did in the previous versions of 'Guitar Hero'. In Drum Over mode you can switch off the notes for any particular song and just bash out whatever the heck you want. Yep. It is as cool as all heck.

Guitar Hero Metallica'Metallica' is Neversoft best work to date on the 'Guitar Hero' franchise. It surpasses 'World Tour' and last year's 'Aerosmith' cannot even hold a candle to it at all. Clearly, the game was a labour of love for all involved. It is more than just a rock band simulator; it is a robust tribute to one of the greatest heavy metal bands ever to take the stage, rock out and blow stuff up.






Guitar Hero MetallicaGuitar Hero: Metallica
Format: Xbox 360
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Neversoft
ESRB Rating: T for Teen
Official Site:

Rating: 9 / 10


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