Generally favorable reviews - based on 54 Critics What's this?

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Mixed or average reviews- based on 77 Ratings

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  • Summary: For the first time ever, players can customize the make-up of their band by rocking with any combination of instruments in-game: whether it be two guitars and two drums, or three guitars and a microphone, any combination is possible, allowing players to experience music their own way. Brand new, innovative, easy-to-use gameplay modes like Party Play and RockFest put fun, competition and control at center stage as fans tailor the Guitar Hero experience to match their personal style and interests. For extended hours of entertainment, downloadable content from Guitar Hero World Tour is compatible with the game and can automatically be updated to include all of the upgrades and enhancements of Guitar Hero 5. Guitar Hero 5 features the strongest, most varied set list to-date comprised of master tracks from 85 of the hottest bands of today and the biggest classic acts including; Kings of Leon, The Rolling Stones, The White Stripes, Santana, Vampire Weekend, Tom Petty, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, plus more than 25 artists from a variety of music genres that are making their music video game debut. Among the first-time-ever features of Guitar Hero 5 are: Party Play, where players can jump in or drop out of gameplay seamlessly; RockFest, a comprehensive competitive experience available featuring five new head-to-head modes playable online or in your living room; and the ability to play the entire set-list from the first time the game is turned on. Guitar Hero 5 refines the player experience, enhances the art style and redesigns core features such as GHMusic StudioSM, making it the most accessible, fun-to-play and authentic experience for seasoned music gamers as well as first-time players. New innovations such as Band Moments, where bands are rewarded for hitting special note streams together and song challenges where gamers are tasked to play through a song a specific way, add a new competitive layer of excitement and accomplishment to the music rhythm genre. [Activision] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 50 out of 54
  2. Negative: 0 out of 54
  1. 100
    The multiplayer is easier to jump into than Rock Band, but the game's more intense difficulty settings still provide a challenge for the plastic-instrument elitist. The franchise still has a long way to go to catch up to Rock Band's mind-bogglingly large library of downloadable songs, but, on the software side, GH5 is the current feature leader.
  2. I simply cannot resist. And as a little tidbit, I discovered that Sony's SingStar mics work with the game, as well. Once again Activision has put together an extremely convincing soundtrack and have earned my attention.
  3. Activision and Neversoft managed to breathe new life into the series and plays music, even when the genre was showing signs of wear.
  4. 89
    The accessibility, streamlined presentation, solid note charts, and welcome gameplay improvements make this the best Guitar Hero game in recent memory.
  5. You can’t knock Neversoft for resting on its laurels. In what seems like the umpteenth GH title released this year, the company delivers yet more solid work. Guitar Hero 5 is clearly aimed at correcting some gripes shared by long-term fans of the series.
  6. There's no reason for it to take any risks, and it doesn't. [Nov 2009, p.112]
  7. The Guitar Hero series is in dire need of new ideas, and the ones that are introduces in this version are far from enough. The uninspired track listing and meager importing possibilities from previous games makes this purchase less than essential.

See all 54 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 15
  2. Negative: 4 out of 15
  1. MikeC.
    Sep 6, 2009
    Best music game to date. Looking at the track list when it was announced I was really dissappointed. But as I played the game I really had a great time, with or without my friends. Albeit, there is not a lot of people online once you do get on it works flawlessly, with minimal loading. The new features blew my mind, party mode was unbelievable fluid, dropping in and out worked as expected and it was a lot of fun to just mess around and have a good time. Graphically the game surpassed Rock Band and I was really impressed by the visuals. Animations are fluid, even more so then Rock Band. If you love Rock Band, you'll love Guitar Hero 5, not a doubt in my mind. Expand
  2. MikeS.
    Sep 1, 2009
    The best GH game to date, and if DLC doesn't disappoint in the coming month, we might have the best Band rythm game of all time on our hands. Truely stellar! Expand
  3. RobertC.
    Sep 1, 2009
    Great music selection (all songs are unlocked from the start of the game) and being able to literally jump in and play from the title screen make this the best Guitar Hero yet. The graphics are also icing on the cake. Expand
  4. BobbyJ.
    Sep 2, 2009
    The problem with Guitar Hero 5 is the same problem i feel that all of the Guitar Heros have had since Guitar Hero 3: It just doesn't seem like anyone making the games care about the music. Everything about the game is technically efficient but the game never seems to go the extra mile to deliver a fun game you can sit down and play by yourself for hours. While I agree that the new multiplayer aspects in Guitar hero 5 are definitely a step up from last years and is fun, the career mode in this title is quite simply a joke. No setlits, no story, no point. On top of that they still haven't figured out a way to make the animations not seem stiff! And the actual venues all look that same. It just feels like for everything that Guitar Hero 5 does right there's still all the countless problems that are plaguing the game and hindering it to rise to rock band levels of fun. I think it may just be that Harmonix is a company that you can see just loving music so when they make a video game about music they go that extra mile while Guitar Hero seems to be trying to love music but in the end it's about selling a product. It really does make a difference at the end of the day. Expand
  5. trevh
    Sep 22, 2009
    Very dissapointed with this game, the tracklist is poor and while the unlockable star characters are a nice addition there is nothing else to keep me interested. On a lot of the songs the notes you play don't seem to fit in with the music at all. Graphics are average at best. The last GH song I ever buy. Expand
  6. JoseG.
    Sep 9, 2009
    The problem with guitar hero is that, since 3, it feels like the music goes on without you. You never get that sense that YOU are playing the part, only playing along, which IMHO just kills the whole damn experience. I still find the first GH to be the most enjoyable in the rock out factor. Expand
  7. HanL.
    Sep 2, 2009
    Broken and Frustrating. Stupid DLC system makes moving tracks hard. Crappy modes and 4 player mode doesn't work properly. Instruments also keep breaking. Expand

See all 15 User Reviews