Sunday, July 13, 2008

Activision adds Line6 amp modeling to Guitar Hero: World Tour

The next in Activision's popular line of rhythm-based music simulation games is scheduled for release in Fall 2008, and is single-handedly changing the style of the game with the addition of many new features.

World Tour will follow in the footsteps of Rock Band, offering a drum kit and vocal microphone in addition to the expected guitar controllers, which have reportedly also been upgraded. An eight-player "Battle of the Bands" mode, extended character customization, and online career mode, as well as "the largest on-disc set list in a music-rhythm game to date," have been added. A complete set list, however, has not yet been released.

But one of the most notable additions is also by far the biggest departure from the Guitar Hero norm: GH: World Tour adds the Music Studio music creator which will allow gamers to create music from scratch using just their controllers. An announcement from Activision came today saying that Music Studio will now feature the full Line6 POD feature set.

Line6 is well-known among musicians for having created the immensely successful POD digital guitar amplifier modeling unit. The first of its kind, the POD took line-level guitar signals and digitally reproduced the sound of various classic amplifier and speaker combinations. Now a technology over ten years old, the same effects can be created through software plug-ins.

This adds a legitimate musical creation tool to what has until now been only a game.

Rock Band improved upon what the Guitar Hero series had created, and now Guitar Hero is improving upon Rock Band and taking it even further. Fans of the series, however, are already complaining that it's too bloated. The latest version is expected to have a $180 price tag, which will soon be over half the cost of a new Xbox 360 Pro. Though the new controllers promise to be high quality, those Guitar Hero fans who also purchased Rock Band will have to clutter up their closets with even more peripherals.

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