Guitar Hero has fought off the competition over the years to be one of the most successful party games of all time. Each new incarnation brings new songs and every now and then, a new mode and some characters. Warriors of Rock ticks all the boxes, and in doing so, becomes the most complete Guitar Hero to date.
Anyone who has played more than one rhythm game, like Guitar Hero or Rock Band, will know that the "campaign" mode is always the same. Start at a small venue with crappy instruments and no fans, and work your way up to be the greatest band of all time. Travelling the world, getting sponsors and more than enough money. If you've played one, you've played them all. Warriors of Rock uses the same system of playing a setlist consisting of a certain amount of songs, playing an encore after you do well enough, and finally unlocking the next venue. Where it differs is that you aren't trying to make your band awesome. This time, you are gathering an elite group of rockers to defeat The Beast. To recruit each guitarist, you must play through songs and earn a certain amount of stars. These are not just the typical 1-5 star ratings, you can earn additional stars by completing song and character specific challenges. It adds a level of replayability to the game, and trying to get as many stars as you can becomes quite addictive. Each of the eight characters also has a unique power to help boost your score and achieve more stars. These powers vary from giving you a small percentage of star power for every ten note streak, to not just doubling your score for star power, but multiplying it by six. Whilst these are nice new additions, it makes it easier for the player to get a high score, and takes away the challenge in some cases. In the past, trying to nail a certain star phrase could be infuriating, now it doesn't matter too much because every ten note streak will build up the star power anyway. The powers reward beginner players more than expert players, and it seems a disservice to loyal fans.
The new QuickPlay+ mode is by far the greatest feature of the game. It works the same as previous QuickPlay modes, but if you want it to, it has a lot of depth and will take up days of your life if you want it to. Each song has 13 challenges, and each one will award you one of three medals, depending on how well you do. It is more impressive than the Quest mode, and is the Best in Show as far as I'm concerned. Earning stars and medals will help you level up. Levelling up gives you new instruments, venues, concept art and more. QuickPlay has had a massive overhaul and is all the better for it. Warriors of Rock is worth buying just to experience and master this mode. What also makes it fantastic is that if you just want standard QuickPlay, you can ignore all these features and simply play some songs.
The song list has taken some hits for being too broad, not focusing on one genre. If anything, I see this as a positive point. As the game utilises all of the instruments, it makes most sense to have many genres, otherwise the essence of the Party game would be lost. There has to be something for everyone, and Warriors of Rock has, in my opinion, one of the best setlists to date. The inclusion of Bohemian Rhapsody is a stroke of genius, and makes you wonder why they haven't included it in previous iterations. The song is fantastically good fun to play, and provides a challenge for each instrument and especially the vocalist.
While the sales may have been below par, Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock provides a refreshing experience. It may not be the best game for GH loyalists, the difficulty from previous games does not rear it's ugly head, but it is a great party game with songs to suit every mood and person. Worth the price for QuickPlay+ alone.