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You also can’t just synchronise the guitar with your console, something console owners will recognise as one of those annoying third-party controller issues. Activision includes a small wireless dongle for you to plug into one of the few USB ports your console offers, and this will connect with the controller pretty quickly.

From here, it’s time to get into the game and start rocking out.

A different take on the guitar game, Guitar Hero Live is less about just playing the songs though, a formula worked over by its predecessors one too many times. Instead, Live tries to offer an experience based on what it would be like if you were already part of a successful band.

Forget about trying to scale the heights of a band, playing the pub gigs, because you’re on tour already, and have amassed a legion of loyal fans. Loyal, at least, until you make a mistake, and then they’re ready to turn on your in a heartbeat.

But we’ll get to that shortly.


For now, know that Guitar Hero Live will thrust you into the game with a full motion video walk up on stage. You see the roadies, the band members, you high five, and hear the crowd scream for your to come out. And then, just like that, you’re there: the crowd is waiting for you to play.

Stand in front of the TV and it feels even more real, which we suspect is kind of the point.

Your band members are real and appear to be playing music around you on various instruments, and as you start to strum, following the white and black finger patterns by pressing the controller points and strumming the button at the bottom of the controller, your band responds. The camera shifts and you look at the drummer who cheers you on, and you walk out to the crowd who look up to you and shout and cheer.

And you think to yourself “this must be what life is like as a guitar hero”, which is the point.


You see Guitar Hero Live is less about being another dinky music game and more about a simulation, because when you do well, the crowd cheers you on.

But when you start to miss the notes and play things that are just plain wrong, your crowd won’t think you’re doing a Spinal Tap jazz experience. No, they’ll think you’re just plain being terrible, and will instead shout at you, boo at you, while your camera will shift to the band who will also be yelling at you.

Kind of like the real thing.