Activision and Neversoft bring us the latest Guitar Hero franchise, but with a twist. Guitar Hero: Aerosmith focuses almost exclusively on… you guessed it, Aerosmith. The game follows the career of Aerosmith, spanning from its first show at Mendon Nipmuc High School in 1970 to the 2001 Super Bowl XXXV halftime show, to their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. You’ll be able to play as the usual Guitar Hero (GH) characters or unlock Aerosmith members Joe Perry, Brad Whitford and Tom Hamilton. You’ll even get the chance to rock out as DMC from Run DMC.
The gameplay in GH: Aerosmith is identical to its predecessor Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock. There are no new features, which is somewhat disappointing considering you’re paying for a complete game and it feels like it’s just a large add-on pack. Like its predecessor there are different gameplay modes. Career mode is broken into six sets of five tracks, each based on a period in Aerosmith’s history. Each song can be played at one of four difficulties: Easy, Normal, Hard, and Expert. By completing songs you’re awarded money that can be used to unlock ten bonus songs in “The Vault” as well as additional guitars, outfits, and videos about the band. The Career mode features one Boss Battle mode as introduced in Guitar Hero III, where you’ll face off against Joe Perry. Any unlocked song can be played in Quickplay mode, Co-operative mode, with one player on lead guitar and the other on bass, and Competitive mode, including the Battle modes. Unlike Guitar Hero III, there is no Co-Operative Career mode.
With the title Guitar Hero: Aerosmith you’d think the game would be exclusively based on Aerosmith songs. Unfortunately it’s not. Within each tier, there are two Opening Acts, featuring non-Aerosmith songs, that must be completed before the Aerosmith songs can be played. It’s unfortunate that it’s been presented this way because you’re missing out on such popular hits like Amazing, Crazy and I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing, while you’re forced to play some Joan Jett and Lenny Kravitz.
A new feature found in the game comes in between the different sets, once an encore is completed you’re presented with video clips from the band talking about their history and sharing some information on their past. The video clips are actual video and not converted into the GH look. They also contain subtitles just in case you can’t understand Joe Perry’s mumbling.
Ultimately Guitar Hero: Aerosmith is a game geared towards a specific fanbase, Guitar Hero fanatics and fans of Aerosmith. Causal gamers might be put off by the lack of diverse music, but then again the game was created with a specific band in mind. While it’s not a bad game, the relatively short length is somewhat disappointing. If you’re a GH fanatic or a fan of Aerosmith then this is definitely for you, if you’re not and still want to check it out I’d recommend a rent.