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April 30 2009
Guitar Hero: Metallica - PS3 Preview
Release Date Distributer Publisher Developer
27/5/2008ActivisionRed OctaneNeversoft
Offline Players Online players Price Anticipation
1-42-4$89.95 (stand alone)
$169.95 (with guitar)

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Metallica are rocking on!
There is no doubt that Guitar Hero is a phenomenon. Sales of each title to date have been enormous and the franchise has been the catalyst to bringing music based video games into the home. Last year Guitar Hero: World Tour was released which allowed two guitars, a drum kit and microphone to be used together within the game. After the success of Guitar Hero: Aerosmith Activision and developers Neversoft have turned to another of the worlds biggest bands, Metallica.

Guitar Hero Metallica includes most of the bands most famous tracks as well as over 20 other rocking acts who inspired or have worked with the band over the years. In this game you can enter the world of Lars Ulrich, James Hetfield, Kirk Hammett and Robert Trujillo and experience the intensity and skill of one of the greatest bands of all time.

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Guitar Hero: Metallica retains the visual style.
The big difference which gamers will notice with this game is that it goes well beyond just guitars. As we've mentioned above if you've purchased Guitar Hero: World Tour then you can use the second guitar, drum kit and microphone for the full band experience. The one disappointment is that Activision won't be releasing Guitar Hero: Metallica with the full band, and you will need to purchase the other game to get the full experience. The good news is that, while we never purchased the game, it's well worth a purchase. It's sensational.

In case you are unaware the gameplay is pretty simple. The game plays as follows... As the songs play the guitar riffs fall down the screen. It's your job to hold down the corresponding fret button, and then hit the strut bar as the notes pass the bottom of the screen. It's all about timing - miss the note and you'll start sounding terrible, and your Rock Meter will drop. Should it drop too far the song will end to the boos of the crowd and you'll need to restart. If you're on the drums, hit the correct drum in time with the notes on screen, and if you're singing, well, sing at the right pitch. Of course the game can be played with the full band, but if you don't have all your friends there then you can play with one, two or three instruments in any combination as well.

One aspect which we aren't sure of as yet is if the second bass pedal for the drum kit will be released in Australia. It is coming out in America - I believe with pre-orders of the game - but there has been no confirmation as yet of an Australian release.

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Characters really do look great!
Guitar Hero Metallica includes all the features of Guitar Hero World Tour but includes updates to the Music Studio featuring samples from James Hetfields ESP Truckster guitar and of Slayer fame, Tom Arayas signature ESP bass guitar, GHTunesSM, and the Rock Star Creator. Online game modes allow competing gamers to see who tops the charts in Face-Off, Pro Face-Off, eight-player "Battle of the Bands" and Battle Mode as well as the online Quickplay mode that allows up to four gamers to shred together regardless of physical location.

One new addition to this game is the ability to, after nailing a song, test your Metallica know-how by replaying the song with trivia pop-ups. The on-screen displays give information about the song being played, and with guest artist songs, information about how the band is tied to Metallica will be displayed along with details such as band history and lyrics.

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It's not just Aerosmith that appear in the game.
As with other games in the franchise Guitar Hero: Metallica includes venues from the numerous 'key' moments in the bands career. These locations or events include The Forum, Donnington Park, Damaged Justice Tour, Hammersmith Apollo, The Ice Cave and The Ice Cave to name a few. As with Guitar Hero: Aerosmith this game will include unlockable venues, commentary, videos and behind the scenes footage.

Most importantly this release has a superb track list which includes 28 tracks from Metallica, and another 21 from other bands. If you've downloaded the Death Magnetic album from the Playstation Store previously these tracks can also be imported into Guitar Hero: Metallica.
All Nightmare Long
Creeping Death
Disposable Heroes
Dyers Eve
Enter Sandman
Fade to Black
Fight Fire with Fire
For Whom the Bell Tolls
Hit the Lights
King Nothing
Master of Puppets
The Memory Remains
Mercyful Fate (Medley)
No Leaf Clover (Live)
Nothing Else Matters
Sad but True
Seek & Destroy
The Shortest Straw
The Thing That Should Not Be
The Unforgiven
Welcome Home (Sanitarium)
Wherever I May Roam
Broken, Beat & Scarred*
My Apocalypse*

Non-Metallica Tracks
No Excuses - Alice in Chains
Turn the Page (Live) - Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band
Albatross - Corrosion of Conformity
Am I Evil? - Diamond Head
Stacked Actors - Foo Fighters
Hell Bent for Leather - Judas Priest
Demon Cleaner - Kyuss
Tuesday's Gone - Lynyrd Skynyrd
Beautiful Mourning - Machine Head
Blood and Thunder - Mastodon
Evil - Mercyful Fate
Armed and Ready - Michael Schenker Group
Ace of Spades - Motorhead
Stone Cold Crazy - Queen
Mother of Mercy - Samhain
War Ensemble - Slayer
Mommy's Little Monster (Live) - Social Distortion
War Inside My Head - Suicidal Tendencies
The Black River - Sword The Sword
Toxicity - System of a Down
The Boys Are Back in Town - Thin Lizzy

* Designates a downloadable track from the Playstation Store as a part of the Death Magnetic album.

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Now that's a great concert hall.
As you have probably already noticed Guitar Hero: Metallica keeps the same visual style used in previous games with cartoon styled characters, a clean menu and great design. The game retains a solid frame rate and the developers have even motion captured the four members of Metallica to ensure authenticity. This motion capture not only includes the body, but also the facial expressions.

Guitar Hero: Metallica should be a wonderful title when it hits shelves in a few weeks times. With hit songs including "Enter Sandman", "One", "Master of Puppets" and "For Whom the Bell Tolls" before we even look at the non-Metallica songs there is little doubt this includes some awesome tracks. Metallica fans should line up for this game on launch day.