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Guitar Hero: Rock Opera

Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw | 10 Nov 2009 16:00
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Yeah, yeah, Washington DC, live-action video, blah blah, shitting all over the history of a proud nation, etc. Let's move on. I've had one of my ideas for a game that will never ever be made in a million years and I need somewhere to write it down, so this'll do.

Fact is, there need to be more things you can do with Guitar Hero controllers. They take up a lot of space in my living room that I could have filled with, say, liquor cabinets or bean bag chairs. I don't really play it single player anymore because I'm just too good, and I can't throw any more parties because I lost all my friends by playing Guitar Hero too well, so I've got all this plastic just taking up space. Obviously, the best solution to this problem is to come up with more games that use the controllers.

So here's the idea. Guitar Hero: Rock Opera.

Basically, it combines Guitar Hero with a music-themed RPG that's a little bit like Brütal Legend's setup. You're a lone adventurer in a dystopian fantasy world, and you must use the power of a mystical guitar, placed in your possession by a twist of fate, to inspire the people, opposed at every turn by a sinister army of emotion-suppressing killjoys. So quite a lot like Brütal Legend's setup, then.

You drive around the open world in some dystopian rock opera fantasy equivalent of a van. I figure enough genres have already been melded together into sandbox titles that mixing in rhythm games won't be too much of a sting. You control the van entirely with the guitar controller; accelerate/reverse by pressing up/down on the strum bar, steer with the left and rightmost fret buttons, handbrake with any of the other fret buttons. Deploy the tilt sensor to get a speed boost, maybe.

The background music is constantly playing a medley of the songs on the soundtrack with the guitar portion turned down, if not muted altogether. At any point you can stop, jump on top of the van and start playing the background music in classic Guitar Hero style. The countryside is infested with the downtrodden peasants, and when you play, they will stop to listen. The better you play, the more special effects, stage lights and speakers rise up from beneath the earth, widening your circle of influence and inspiring more peasants. Each inspired peasant grants you 1 pair of damp knickers, which are traded in for experience points.

So throughout the game world, you'll find plenty of quests and minigames, as befits the wide-open sandbox genre. There's special concerts where you play specific songs. Duels where you out-play some other, lamer guitar-wielding superhero. But that'll only take us so far, which means there'll need to be combat.

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