One of the latest items of news in the music game scene is that Sting is now confimed to be lending his likeness to Guitar Hero : World Tour, along with the already announced / leaked likes of Ted Nugent, Billy Corgan, Jimi Hendrix, and Ozzy Osbourne.
Now, I can imagine marketing men getting excited about being able to include famous characters in a game, in a wonderful brand marketing / halo effect / leveraging synergy moment, but I look at these announcements and really can’t give a rat’s arse. I wondered if it was just me that thought this feature was completely pointless, but it appears I’m not alone.
See, I play music games because ‘playing’ along to tracks you love, particularly with a bunch of friends, is a huge amount of fun. I don’t play them because I want to ‘be’ Slash, or Sting, or Ozzy, or anyone else. I don’t want to be them, I just like to play some of their tracks. If anything, embodying some of these rockers in a game would put me off; let’s face it, some musicians, despite being very talented, are total wankers. There are plenty of bands I can think of that I like, but would never want to socialise with even if I had the opportunity. Personally I don’t hold being a bit of a twat against them if they make great music, but would I want to pretend to be them? No thanks.
Of course the ability to compete against & then play as rock stars arrived in GH3, and not only was I not interested in playing the characters in that game, the way they were introduced was one of the worst mechanics in the entire game - the boss battles. These were so irretrievably awful and painful to play that I can only conclude that either the entire QA team was completely retarded, or that they raised the fact that the boss battles were a rubbish idea but were overruled by those higher up because it was a great bullet-point on the box, even if in practice it was crap. I’m betting it’s the latter, and I’m also betting that these same people are responsible for using precious resources on getting more rock stars faces into the game, resources that presumably could have been spent elsewhere on the core game experience. It makes sense from a marketing point of view, but makes absolutely bugger all difference to the actual game.
Suits: 1 Game players: 0
I’m still reserving judgement on GH:WT until I get to play it, but focussing on stuff like this when they haven’t even confirmed the setlist yet seems like an odd set of priorities, and after GH3’s many rough edges they still have everything to prove to me. A lot of people concentrate on Red Octane’s hardware (which is looking good) as GH:WT’s advantage, but since instruments will now be interchangeable I don’t buy this so much; the experience delivered by the software is paramount. We’ll see.