The era of pretend rock gods may soon return, as signs are pointing to a new Guitar Hero potentially being announced during E3 2015. Get ready to fill your closet with even more plastic peripherals than ever before!
In the early 2000’s, Guitar Hero came onto the scene and completely changed the gaming landscape for the next decade. The premise was simple: Hold a fake guitar, press the appropriate buttons when they’re highlighted on the screen, and strum another plastic dongle when prompted. Do it well enough and you would make the virtual crowd go wild. Perform poorly and get booed off of the pretend stage.
The formula quickly caught hold, spawning a large number of sequels and spinoffs, as well as a full-on genre powered by these plastic instruments including games like Rock Band, DJ Hero and, more recently, Rocksmith, which utilizes an actual guitar. More sequels led to more peripherals, including turntables, drum kits, microphones and even keyboards. Yeah, it was kind of a big deal.
Late last generation, however, the folks at Activision, Harmonix and other publishers decided it was time to play a final encore and walk off the stage for good. Weekly DLC tracks dried up and all of those plastic peripherals started finding their way to yard sales by the hundreds.
The rock stopped and time marched forward.
Now it appears as though Activision could be looking to put together a reunion tour, as Kotaku is reporting a new Guitar Hero could be in development. According to a pair of unnamed sources, the publisher is looking to unveil a new game in the once-beloved series during this year’s E3 trade show, with the latest addition to the franchise being planned for launch on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
As you probably guessed, new guitar peripherals are also reportedly in development, and the graphics are rumored to be far more lifelike than the cartoonish aesthetics of previous entries. Considering the fact that we’ve also heard speculation that a new Rock Band game is being developed, it seems like we can expect an attempt at a full genre revival in the coming year.
But the question remains: Are gamers ready for rock to return? By the time Guitar Hero and Rock Band closed shop, it seemed like the majority of gamers were ready to move away from their particular brand of gameplay. But like any great rock band, sooner or later, the crowd will hunger for more. I’m not entirely sure we’ve been given enough time to “miss” these types of games, but I guess time (and sales figures) will be the ultimate judge. Until E3, or at least something a bit more concrete surfaces, these should be chalked up as nothing more than rumors.