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Joystiq hands-on: Guitar Hero III


We got a lot of information on Guitar Hero III this week, we even got some solid time with Red Octane's wireless controllers, but what about the game? You can definitely tell Guitar Hero III, from a graphics perspective, was made by Neversoft instead of Harmonix (Guitar Hero I and II). The look is just "different" for better or for worse. For better is that the mouths actually move to the song now instead of just moving up and down, plus the game looks beautiful because it was designed for now-gen systems. For worse is that it just doesn't look like the first two, even the characters we've come to know and love look, um ... different.

But it's not all about the graphics in GH, it's about the gameplay and music. As for the gameplay, it's Guitar Hero, the look may have changed, but the feel is still the same. We were told that many more artists are looking to be featured on Guitar Hero now that it is such a big hit, so there are far less "as made famous by" and far more original master tracks. The most amazing of which is "Paint it Black" by the Rolling Stones. Also, "Cult of Personality" was actually re-recorded by the original band Living Colour to bring it a little bit more up-to-date for Guitar Hero III -- but it is still most definitely the original song. The tracks already revealed for Guitar Hero III show that the game won't be lacking in the rock department.

For fans of the series and for those who don't know all about the Guitar Hero vs. Rock Band kerfuffle, the transition should be relatively smooth. It is Guitar Hero after all and if you already have a guitar you'll be all set, or you can purchase a wireless one, available on all systems with the game, when it releases. The only thing that could resonate badly for the title is that one of the Joystiq crew came back to the room after playing Guitar Hero, having played Rock Band as well, and said, "It's great! It's just a little lonely." But as far as being a Guitar Hero game, Guitar Hero III looks and plays fine as a continuation of the series. Now we shall go seek red doors.

Gallery: Guitar Hero 3 | 16 Photos

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