Bad things can happen when a video game franchise switches developers (see Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2). So when Activision purchased Red Octane and gave Guitar Hero III to Neversoft (makers of the Tony Hawk series) for development, many fans found cause for alarm. Sure, Guitar Hero is relatively simplistic in concept and there’s not much to screw up, but why mess with a formula that has already proven itself?
With Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, Neversoft has proven (for better or for worse) that they are more than capable of sticking to the formula crafted by Harmonix in the first two games.
From head to toe, Guitar Hero III reeks of rock and roll. It possesses the same karaoke-invoking, leather pants-toting, Mohawk-inducing spirit of its predecessors while at the same time tossing in a few new tricks of its own.
If you loved Guitar Hero and/or Guitar Hero II, you will love number three – it rocks in all the same ways.
The cornerstone of the Guitar Hero franchise has always been the track list. If the songs are not fun to play, the game won’t be either. Guitar Hero III ships with 71 total songs, 51 of which are master recordings. The 46 songs that make up the campaign set list are a definite improvement from Guitar Hero II’s offering in terms of both selection and sound (recording) quality.
As a whole, the songs create an almost entirely seamless learning curve that allows newcomers a chance to get acquainted with the mechanics of the game while, at the same time, giving veteran shredders more than an ample challenge.
The genres of rock represented in Guitar Hero III are varied and work well next to each other in the single-player set lists. From punk to grunge, metal to classic, all different generations and styles of rock and roll are well represented. Especially noteworthy tracks include “The Seeker” by The Who, “My Name Is Jonas” by Weezer, “Cult of Personality” by Living Colour, and “Lay Down” by Priestess.