Guitar Hero World Tour

Guitar Hero World Tour Review for Xbox 360

On: Xbox 360PS3PCWiiDSPS2

Get the guitars out again as it's time to ROCK!

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9Out of 10
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We've never rocked this hard before
We've never rocked this hard before

We've never rocked this hard before

There's a war going on out there, and it's being fought with wireless battery-operated guitars: it's a battle for the hearts of wannabe rock stars. Earlier this year Harmonix's Rock Band took the upper hand, surpassing the Guitar Hero series with some sleek and sexy presentation, a more forgiving learning curve and a killer set of peripherals. Now it's time for Guitar Hero to stage its comeback, and with Rock Band 2 strutting about on the horizon, the stakes have never been higher.

Of course, this kind of rivalry has always been a part of the music industry - think Oasis versus Blur, Biggie versus Tupac, Steps versus S Club 7. It's debatable whether stiff competition helped those guys (it certainly ended badly for the rappers) but when it comes to video games, the consumer is the winner. Neither Harmonix nor Neversoft can afford to alienate all those people who've bought their previous games and peripherals; rather than dramatically reworking the established gameplay, they're forced to polish up what's already there and to focus on providing new, innovative features. In the case of Guitar Hero World Tour, this situation has resulted in what is easily the most enjoyable rock-em-up we've ever played.

So, what has Neversoft done so well? For a start, it's wisely followed its rival in expanding the variety of instruments available to you, the wannabe rock icon. If you're not in the mood to play lead or bass guitar, you can now sing into a USB microphone or hammer along on the drums. If you've already got the Rock Band drum kit you'll be able to use that, but if you don't then you should seriously consider looking at World Tour's new wireless set. It's an altogether sturdier and better-designed piece of kit, with three drum pads, a kick pedal and two raised high hats. Not only is this layout more realistic and easier to use, but the actual pads themselves are pressure sensitive - producing a sound that corresponds to the amount of force you use. They feel more solid and more satisfying to hit, plus they're far less prone to making the loud 'clacking' noises that occur when using the Harmonix version. Your neighbours will no doubt be grateful for this improvement, though they'll still have to suffer the noise of your cat-like wailing as you murder your way through Living On a Prayer.

While the new drum kit is clearly the star of the show as far as peripherals go, this year's guitars are also really rather swanky. For a start they're bigger and feel a bit weightier, while the strum bar has been made longer and easier to get at. Like the drums, the guitars now feature a pressure sensitive pad, located further down the neck from the standard buttons; this can be used as an alternative to the standard keys, or to trigger effects in the new studio mode - something we'll cover later. Finally, there's a new button near the strum bar which allows you to trigger star power (a kind of bonus scoring mode) without changing your stance - although old-school players can still just raise the neck of their instruments, as in the previous games.

There's a surprising amount of character customisation

There's a surprising amount of character customisation

All in all, the new gear is excellent. We're sure that's not the news a lot of you wanted to hear, since it might persuade you to fork out more of your hard-earned cash - but the truth is that if you want to stick to the kit you've already got, that'll be fine. You'll be able to get World Tour on its own or with just a guitar if you're not fussed about the new toys; if you do want the full meat n' two veg, it should cost you around £180 in the shops - or £150 if you pre-order. Some retailers are lobbing in a free bass guitar to people who do this, so it's worth seeking one of these offers out if you're thinking of going the whole hog.

Without further ado, let's get back to why you'd want to get World Tour in the first place. The core gameplay remains largely untouched: you pick an instrument and a song, then play along as you watch notes slide down a scrolling vertical track. Hit the notes in time and you'll knock out a pitch-perfect rendition of the tune; mess things up and your instrument will cut out - incurring the wrath of your audience. This basic system will be familiar to pretty much everyone by now, but for absolute newcomers there's now a beginner difficulty level where notes don't matter at all and all you have to do is strum in time. We can't imagine many of you will be need to use this, but it's nice to know it's there all the same: it means that you can jam away like Hendrix on the expert setting, while your gran supports you on bass. Good for Boxing Day, n'est-ce pas?

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User Comments

TURBO_RAD's Avatar


Well i just played this on my cousins Wii bc this game has never really interested me personally.......well that has changed and i will prob b at their house playin it all the time...could use a few more songs but other than that its great.
Posted 09:42 on 11 January 2009
Bill's Avatar
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It seems like a few folks here have been doing their homework which is great and adds tremendously to the review, as Tin pointed out it's hard for a UK site to review a product like RB2 if they don't have access to it.
I'm in North America, so I had access to both, but still spent hours pouring over reviews trying to find out which would be better for my family to play as a group and from everything I saw RB2 beat Guitar Hero World Tour for group play.
Having said that, GH:WT seems to have a huge fan base and many single players seem to favor the GH:WT over single player Rock Band 2.
As for the setlist, to each their own. Both sets have great music and some crap, it all depends on which music you prefer, Rock Band seems to lend itself to more punk style music and GH towards more rock style, if you don't like one style you will obviously prefer the other for that reason only.
I compiled a bunch of information to try and help other people decide which way to go as well, so if you need more information that wasn't listed on this review or in some of the great comments you can find it here, go
Posted 17:53 on 06 December 2008
mary's Avatar
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i am up set cause you cant use the controler on this one like you can on 2 and 3
Posted 04:35 on 03 December 2008
chris's Avatar
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i recently got the ACDC expansion for RB2, it is better than anything GHWT could have slapped together. all of my already gr8 RB2 songs now with 18 classic ACDC tracks, you cant even compete GH :P
Posted 14:23 on 20 November 2008
david's Avatar
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i cant believe the argueing on here, have any of you even played on guitar hro world tour?
the graphics are crisper that GH3, smoother, character animations are much better, songs better, everything is better. im not saying its better than rock band 2 but its certainly a step up from rock band OR GH3
Posted 16:41 on 17 November 2008
someone's Avatar
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the setlist is sh*t, career is sh*t. just an overall fail.
Posted 04:04 on 16 November 2008
Woffls's Avatar

Woffls@ Thats_Bull

I realise the futility in the next few minutes I'll spend typing this, but there are some things that need to be cleared up.

Originally Posted by chris
first of all the career is a joke you monotonously play ever growing setlists that you have no control or choice over
The way GHWT's setlist evolves is better than GH2/3 or Rock Band handle it. You always have at least half a dozen groups of songs to choose from, much like Rock Band, but the difference is you don't have to play them over and over again like you do in Rock Band's World Tour Mode.

Originally Posted by chris
the music studio sucks, i personally dont like the games set list, some songs are good and well known but most are underground lesser known bands,
Have you used the music studio? It is very complicated, but also very in detailed, and if you are willing to put in the time it is very rewarding. I managed to make the main riff to For Whom The Bell Tolls, sure it took me ages and I had to make a custom scale to record it, and it still doesn't sound that good. But damn was I proud.

Regarding the setlist, you make it sound like having lesser known bands is a bad thing? Rock Band has more well known songs, yes, but I don't assume that they are more appropriate for the game. While playing RB1 i experienced that the guitar career was very bland until the last two tiers, because the songs were chosen with the other instruments in mind. GHWT manages to do this, but keep the guitar career thorougly enjoyable, moreso than previous iterations for sure. That said, for some people it's really about what you're hearing than what you're playing.

Originally Posted by chris
the DLC as of now sucks. DLC is NOT integrated into gameplay. you CANNOT pick your character in quickplay
It's called quickplay for a reason.
DLC, no, it's not as good as Rock Band's. If you're content with paying extra for more and more songs then get Rock Band because it will always offer more DLC than Guitar Hero. However, GH's has improved drastically since GH3. The list of DLC available now and soon is here

Originally Posted by Sad
In Rock Band, you had actual goals and real progress: fans, money, tour bus, plane, etc. Where is that fun in World Tour? World Tour's graphics are also lacking compared to Rock Band 1/2, the characters are as stiff as ever.

If you really care about the graphics you are playing it wrong. I get a sense of accomplishment from completing hard songs, I appreciate this isn't the same for everyone, but I know when i've achieved something by how well i'm playing. There is a more material representation of achievement in being able to buy new things, and personally that holds more value than a number of fans that you have, or a having a tour bus/plane which is actually of absolutely no use to you in the game, and you wouldn't know if you had it or not anyway!

Originally Posted by Thats_Bull
WOW that makes you sound really smart. An in depth review by a real musician is worse than this? Either you are lazy, illiterate, etc etc

I don't want musicians reviewing games. I want gamers reviewing games. It might be an in deth review, but it didn't tell me why I should buy Rock Band instead of Guitar Hero. This might partly be due to me playing Guitar Hero very differently to how most people play.

On a seperate note, the new guitar for World Tour is absolutely phenomenal, and makes playing the game so much more enjoyable. Also, I think Guitar Hero's tracklist is more varied, rather than just the songs people already know. Finally, Guitar Hero World Tour is more of a fun challenge than Rock Band 1 was, where I often found a song really easy, or punishing. I'm thinking specifically about the snakes towards the end of the green grass solo.
Posted 19:43 on 09 November 2008
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plastic rocker

guys why dont you just calm down for a bit? we as the consumers take profit from the fact that there is competition in this rather new genre. i guess we would still play just the plastic incarnation of a guitar wouldnt there be such competition. really no need to take sides and define the other as totally inferior - simply because the differences are minor when it comes to the actual gamplay. so at the end of the day what remains are new impulses (studio-mode!!!) and subtle improvements (drumkit) that will take this genre further - or does anyone doubt that?!
i thought the review just valued this and otherwise was by no means biased.
Posted 11:35 on 09 November 2008
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if i had to choose a superior game i would go with rock band 2, alot of things about GHWT annoyed the sh*t out of me. first of all the career is a joke you monotonously play ever growing setlists that you have no control or choice over. the music studio sucks, i personally dont like the games set list, some songs are good and well known but most are underground lesser known bands, and whoever put those 5 songs in spanish or wutever i wanna castrate them. band play feels a bit broken since you MUST unlock every song seperatly in every mode.the DLC as of now sucks. DLC is NOT integrated into gameplay. you CANNOT pick your character in quickplay. i was really dissapointed in this game, id give it a 7 out of 10.
Posted 14:40 on 03 November 2008
Tin's Avatar
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At the end of the day all country's outside the US were left with no choice but to review GHWT without the ability to compare to RB2. If it ain't for sale here then it ain't reviewable. I believe the reason we have not seen a RB2 release to co-incide with GHWT was because Harmonix used the late non US RB launch to shift surplus stock out the US. To be honest Harmonix really shot themselves in the foot by deaming all non star spangled banner nations inferior. GHWT deserves to be welcomed with open arms here.
Posted 09:33 on 03 November 2008
Sad's Avatar
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You sir (RB copied GH), are the one who needs to get your facts straight.

Way back in 2005, a little company called RedOctane PUBLISHED a game called Guitar Hero. It was DEVELOPED by a little company called Harmonix. Harmonix was bought by MTV Games. RedOctane was subsequently purchased by Activision. Because RedOctane only owned the NAME Guitar Hero, Activision's Tony Hawk company NeverSoft was tapped to DEVELOP Guitar Hero 3 and Guitar Hero World Tour and Guitar Hero On Tour, etc.

Harmonix could no longer use the name Guitar Hero, but they were no longer restricted to using just guitars, so they decided to call their new game Rock Band.

THAT is why they can't sue Rock Band.

Now, I do agree, the controllers for Rock Band are pretty sh*tty. That doesn't mean the game isn't over-all way better.
Posted 18:36 on 29 October 2008
RB copied GH's Avatar
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RB copied GH

To all you idiots supporting rock band over guitar hero and whining about how guitar hero wt is just a remake of rock band, get your facts straight. Guitar hero is definitely the original and pioneer of this genre. Why they did not sue rock band I do not know, but that is besides the point. If you people will actually take the time to sit down and play both games I see no reason why GH WT wouldn't be the winner. Yes, rock band is fun to play, and I have spent a good bit of time playing it, but the guitar just doesn't compare to Guitar hero. Also now, the drum set that is used by rock band is by far obsolete compared to the world tour drum set. Another thing, no where in rock band is there the ability create your own music, something that I have always wished there to be in the genre, but hey what do you know Guitar hero invented it. So for sheer replay and overall fun Guitar hero beats rock band hands down.

p.s. Leave the reviewer alone if someone wanted your expert opinion they would pay you for it like they do for him. Just because you can criticize him for doing his job doesn't give you any more credit or cash.
Posted 09:09 on 29 October 2008
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Neon Kelly/mydeaddog, I pity you for not having played Rock Band 2 yet, they took what was great about Rock Band (and their original creations, Guitar Hero 1&2) and have really improved upon it, so I hope you can get your hands on it soon.

But how can you say that World Tour is better than Rock Band much less Guitar Hero 3? In Rock Band, you had actual goals and real progress: fans, money, tour bus, plane, etc. Where is that fun in World Tour? Where is that sense of accomplishment? What's the point of just playing a game to unlock songs?
At least in Guitar Hero 3, you followed a story and had fun cut-scenes and moved forward. World Tour only hints at the days of old with the opening animated sequence.

World Tour's graphics are also lacking compared to Rock Band 1/2, the characters are as stiff as ever.

I will give somethings to World Tour, the new bass line adds another sense of realism to the game. And it is nice that it's a little easier to hit the notes. And it is innovative to introduce a music creator (though annoying you can't record vocals).

So it's Red Octane and Neversoft that have a lot to live up to. Harmonix has moved the rhythm games forward to an entirely new level of fun, and the audacious song library, much less the organization, only add to it.
Posted 07:13 on 29 October 2008
CraigK's Avatar
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Brad, Rock Band's drums aren't velocity sensitive, Rock Band 2's are though

Peace :P
Posted 04:12 on 29 October 2008
Brad's Avatar
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also one fact that everyone misses is that Rockband drums RE VELOCITY SENSITIVE TOO! like holy crap people everyone is like omg its velocity sensitive, same with rockband bitch, and wireless, the rockband 2 drums are wireless too?
Thats_Bull im behind you 100% man!
And Johhy5 you are truly a ****ing dumbass, Harmonix made Guitar hero 1 and 2, and then activision bought it out, so harmonix made rockband, so technically Neversoft is copying harmonix!

Posted 03:35 on 29 October 2008

Game Stats

Guitar Hero World Tour
Out of 10
Guitar Hero World Tour
  • The music studio is extremely powerful
  • It just kicks ass, okay?
  • Huge fun, and more accessible than ever before
  • The complete setup will cost you.
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 07/11/2008
Platforms: Xbox 360 , PS3 , PC , Wii , DS , PS2
Developer: Neversoft
Publisher: Activision
Genre: Music
No. Players: 1-4
Rating: BBFC 12
Site Rank: 5,143 245
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