Guitar Hero Live

Guitar Hero Live's lavish reboot feels like a solid foundation, but it falls just short of feeling like the finished article just yet.

Guitar Hero is without doubt one of the most successful franchises of all time. 2007's Guitar Hero 3 became the first single retail video game to exceed one billion dollars in sales, and by the late 2000s, multiple Guitar Hero games were released each year. But after 2010 the franchise disappeared - and despite a brief resuscitation in 2015 with the release of Guitar Hero Live, it's safe to say the series is pretty much dead.

Guitar Hero Live review

After a solid week of back-to-back shows, I've just about got to grips with Guitar Hero Live's new visual vocabulary. It's a three-lane bowling alley where ergonomic icons scroll smoothly into strum bar range, a blizzard of black-and-white plectrums and the odd liquorice allsort hurtling down the familiar endless guitar-neck highway. It's taken some physical graft and a little mental rewiring, but ramping up the difficulty level feels like it has been worth it: there are pleasing nuances to uncover among the challenging punchcard patterns.

Guitar Hero Live

Publisher: Activision

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FeatureGuitar Hero's decadent reboot breathes new life into the series

Fret not. First impressions ahead of our final review.

Editor's note: Guitar Hero Live, Activision and FreeStyle Games' reboot of the rhythm action series, releases this week. Seeing as a large part of Guitar Hero Live is built around the new online service, Guitar Hero TV, we're holding off on our review until we have adequate experience of the game on fully stressed servers, and we currently anticipate having our final impressions live by the end of the week. Before then, here are early impressions culled from a handful of days with Guitar Hero Live.

If it truly is better to burn out than fade away, then the original Guitar Hero series was doing something right. In 2009, a mere four years after the series was introduced, Guitar Hero 3 became the first single video game to exceed $1billion in sales. Less than two years later the series was dead, a victim of its own excesses that brought the whole genre down with it. FreeStyle Games, developer of Guitar Hero's Activision stablemate DJ Hero, was one of many casualties.

Guitar Hero Live gets an October release date

Guitar Hero Live gets an October release date

Lets you play along with music videos.

Guitar Hero Live will be out on 20th October for PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and Wii U, Activision has announced.

It will also arrive on select unannounced mobile devices.

The game bundled with a new guitar controller will retail for $99.99 in North America, so we expect that to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 70 in the UK. We'll update when we get the official UK pricing.

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