Generally favorable reviews - based on 69 Critics What's this?

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Mixed or average reviews- based on 100 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: 63 out of 69
  2. Negative: 0 out of 69
  1. 100
    This is the game that can actually bring both hardcore and casual rockers together for a good time. 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.
  2. 90
    Someone must have switched to regular coffee because Guitar Hero 5 is fresh and reinvigorates the series with outstanding presentation value and entertaining modes.
  3. The core gameplay mechanics are as good as ever, the presentation has been toned down for the better, there are some brilliant new multiplayer options, and everything feels more streamlined than before. Well worth adding to your playlist.
  4. The ability for players to jump in and out of the game in Party Play removes a lot of hassle of previous games when you are just looking to kill some time with friends.
  5. Guitar Hero 5 manages to achieve a huge leap, and brings a great game after the unremarkable Guitar Hero: World Tour.
  6. The genre's star might be fading ever so slightly, and this game is no revolution, but it does deliver great music and a more refined band experience.
  7. If I were Bob Dylan, I might ask, “How many versions of this game must we suffer, before we get something really new? “.

See all 69 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 23
  2. Negative: 9 out of 23
  1. MichaelB.
    Sep 6, 2009
    The most user friendly, good looking, fun to play music title available. It hits all the right notes (if you'll pardon the pun), and is extremely fun. Will keep you busy for quite some time. This is a must own game for any music game fan, period. Expand
  2. RickM
    Sep 28, 2009
    Nice improvements on graphics, the new modes like Party Play, challenges, and Rock Fest are great new features. Love the ability to create, save and load your own setlists! Play whatever instrument you want is a HUGE success at parties. Decent setlist. Detailed sorting and information displayed per song. Can't really think of any downsides to the game. Well maybe one. On multiplayer its hard to see the base pedal not since it comes up white. Not so good, but minor. Expand
  3. AndrewH
    Dec 25, 2009
    This is the best version of Guitar Hero yet. The game is improved over last years release in almost every way. The most interesting new feature is the instrument specific challenges for every song. It adds a whole new level of depth and gives you a reason to play in a way that is different than you're used to. The set list is fantastic, it includes 85 songs, the vast majority of which are great choices. It also includes the ability to import some of the songs from GH:WT and GH: Smash Hits. It's somewhat disappointing that you can't import all the songs, but still you get quite a few at a bargain price. If you're not already heavily invested in Rock Band DLC then I'd highley recommend this as a purchase, Neversoft as finally surpassed Harmonix in the rythm game category with this excellent game. Expand
  4. CalebH
    Oct 21, 2009
    Accessibility; that's what Guitar Hero 5 is all about. Making an experience that anyone can jump into, right from the get-go. Better than past iterations, but never again will the Guitar Hero franchise be a trailblazer. Setlist is inanely eclectic, game modes are over done, vocals are broken, and the ability to use any combination of instruments is as pointless as the mindless (yet somewhat fun) "improved" music studio. Guitar Hero 5 further cements my belief that the series will forever be in the shadows of its bigger and better rival, Rock Band. Guitar Hero 5 is a jack-of-all-trades, and master of none. Rock Band is the clear master, now. Expand
  5. JohnS.
    Sep 2, 2009
    Good technical advances, but the tracklist is shockingly bad. This is GUITAR hero, people. How about some songs that you can actually air guitar to? 5/10 - Not enough rock, not enough riffs! Expand
  6. SethB
    Nov 9, 2009
    I was certainly disappointed when I paid 60 whole dollars for a game that hasn't improved in any way from World Tour. The new "features", if you can even call it that, are incredibly underwhelming, with each one having already been done well by Rock Band. The music setlist in this game is terrible, in my opinion. There are a few good songs, however, but even these become tedious when you realize that everyone else that played the game thought the same way about the music. The rest of the songs are uninteresting to play, and most players being younger, don't recognize them. (And seriously, Du Hast? Surely you can be more creative than THAT.) Overall, very disappointing game, I'd advise renting this game instead of buying it. But then again, I'd advise you to not even play it. Expand
  7. Fei
    Sep 11, 2009
    A cash in, a commodity, no respect or honor for the artists. This is the same game with a new tracklist that couldve easily been downloaded into gh4. You are paying for presentation and a few new feature sets. Expand

See all 23 User Reviews