You’re in the green room, waiting for your curtain call. You can hear the throngs of rabid fans in the audience, just waiting for you and your group of rock and roll rebels to take the stage.
You and your bandmates head out, winding through backstage. You flirt with a cute blonde production assistant; a bearded roadie hands you your favorite axe. You step out onto a massive stage in front of a crowd of thousands. You totally suck at playing the guitar. The crowd, fickle as ever, turns on you.
No, this isn’t that anxiety dream you’ve been having ever since you were a teenager, this is the new Guitar Hero, a new video game with a familiar name and a very different experience.
Activision has completely revamped Guitar Hero, changing what players see from the cartoony video game characters of previous outings into a first-person, live-action video perspective. There’s a new plastic guitar, as well, with two rows of three buttons, letting would-be shredders master playing more quickly and providing hard-core gamers with a serious, more guitar-like challenge.
You’ll also be able to play the new iteration of Guitar Hero on your smartphone or tablet, taking it with you on the go, or even connecting your iPad to the TV, letting you have the full-on Guitar Hero experience without an Xbox or PlayStation.
“You can have that home experience with the same guitar, playing on the same television, even if you don’t own a console,” Tyler Michaud, a senior director at Activision, told Polygon. “That’s exciting, because if you’re not of the tens of millions of people who own a console, but you are one of the hundreds of millions with a phone or table, no problem. You can experience this full game in an uncompromised way if you want to.”
This is pretty exciting for a franchise that hasn’t seen an entry in five years. But wait, there’s more.
Guitar Hero will also have a 24-hour-a-day stream of music videos that will let you compete with friends and internet buddies over the top of popular tracks.
You’ll be able to jump in and play your plastic guitar over the top of official music videos on the service; it’s like MTV with a plastic guitar you can use to rock your favorite songs. Called GHTV, the music video service will have several pre-set theme channels (including some premium ones, we bet) to keep you entertained. And? The team plans to bring all of this to mobile devices, too.
“The goal or ambition early on was, can we bring you the full experience, uncompromised, on your phone or your tablet?” said Activision’s Michaud. “We can.”
There’s no release date, as of yet, but you can look forward to hearing more about the revamp of the hottest video game genres this summer at E3.