Guitar Hero Metallica – Behind the Music

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Hey everyone, this is Alan Flores and I am the lead designer of Guitar Hero Metallica. I just wanted to share some thoughts about why Guitar Hero Metallica is so important to me and why I think we owed it to all the metal heads out there to make the best game we could possibly make.

Recently, I was flying back from San Francisco after doing some press for the game, and I was reading a music magazine. Inside was an article on the history of thrash metal which listed what they felt were the quintessential 12 thrash metal albums of all time. I looked over the list and realized that I have nine of these records on vinyl and one on CD. Yeah, thrash metal, especially Metallica, played such an important role in my life when I was in high school, and now 20 years later being able to work on a Metallica game is nothing short of a dream project.

Guitar Hero Metallica - Record Collection

A small sampling of my vintage thrash metal record collection

It seems like almost everyone I know has a story about how Metallica has meant so much to them, and I’ve definitely heard that sentiment here at Neversoft a lot. There’s a group of people here that would work on the Metallica game for 30 hours a day. From that perspective, we really wanted to make a game that we felt spoke to all the metal heads out there and would make them want to get up and scream about how freakin’ awesome it is.

We approached the game this way and really tried to put as much stuff in there that we (as fans of the band) would want to see. Awesome playing Metallica songs, check. Absolutely amazing opening acts (like my favorite band in high school – Slayer), check. Great character models, venues (with lots of pyro!), lifelike animations, Metallica-themed Pushead UI, check. Then we were like, “Wouldn’t it be great if we could get some old photos of the band? How about putting some rare live footage in there?” One of the first things people ask when they hear we’re doing a Metallica game is whether the game will support a second bass drum pedal so gamers can play the double bass tracks. With time schedules and such, it’s really easy to limit ourselves, but we felt pretty strongly that to have an authentic Metallica experience we need to have a second bass drum pedal. We also worked with the fan club, who are Metallica fanatics, and they gave us old photos and live footage of the band and really helped us pack this game with tons of cool bonus content.

I just want to talk about one more thing before I sign off. We have this new feature in the game called Metallifacts and it’s kinda like DVD commentary where the song will play back sans notetrack and you get information in a text box about the song that’s playing. It’s great to get context about the guest artists (why is Lynyrd Skynyrd or Bob Seger in there?) and for getting some insight straight from the band about what a song is about or how they wrote it. Also, one of the things that is really exciting to me about Metallifacts is that metal heads always seem to get a bad rap as uneducated or not very intelligent, which is totally bogus. Lots of metal songs are written about some pretty deep stuff so with the Metallifacts, we can educate people a bit about the music in the game. For example, did you know that the intro to Diamond Head’s “Am I Evil?” is based on Gustav Holst’s “Mars” from “The Planets Suite Op. 32,” that Mastodon’s album “Leviathan” is based on “Moby Dick” or that Metallica’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls” is based on the Hemingway novel?

I apologize for gushing about Guitar Hero Metallica since I did work on it, but it’s really been a labor of love and I feel it’s the best Guitar Hero game yet, and certainly the most “Metal!” game ever. But you guys can decide for yourself when the game comes out this spring!

Alan Flores

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72 Comments

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  • I will get this game, but I won’t be happy about it. You guys are going to kill the GH franchise with these minimalist track lists. A Metallica game with only 28 Metallica songs on it? That is uber-lame. It should be double that. Or are you saving those for a Metallica 2 if this game sells extra well? If I was a giant I would gladly take a squat over both Activision and Neversoft HQ and release a massive dump as often as possible.

  • Man. From reading these comments, although I’m not a Metallica fan, by ANY means, I gotta give it up to you guys at Neversoft for tackling something everyone can get crazy about.

    Whatever, you’ve satiated my appetite with Smashing Pumpkins and No Doubt, so I’m good.

  • I own rock band 2, haven’t picked up GHWT yet because there hasn’t been the right songs to interest me(maybe if they released more Tool, though*wink wink*).

    This is a definite maybe(I love oxymorons :), though. I’m a big Thrash fan, and I saw there will be Demon Cleaner by Kyuss, which is a bad ass song. And you can’t go wrong with some Corrosion of Conformity.

    And I like megadeth and all, great music, but I never thought Dave was a very good vocalist. I just don’t like his voice except for on a select few songs.

  • WOW!!!
    D.R.I.
    CREEPING DEATH
    M.O.D.
    U SIR ARE A DAMN LEGEND :'(!!

  • lol! storm troopers of death lp!!

    used to love that as a kid.

    this is the first Guitar hero/rock band/whatever this modern day version of simon that sparked my interest.

    very cool idea. this may be my first GH!!!

  • Hmm, there’s the first two Celtic Frost albums in that lot. I hope that doesn’t indicate that you stopped following them before the legendary “Into the Pandomonium” album. Even better was Monotheist, released only a few years ago.

    If you start adding in massive support for Celtic Frost then I might actually buy this game. ;)

  • Hate guitar hero since RB came out but… hey it’s metallica, you sold me.

  • What i would do for that Master Of Puppets Vinyl omg.

  • This game is just about enough to finally get me to buy a copy of Guitar Hero.

    And that is an extremely fine record collection you have Mr. Flores.

  • I can’t wait. Since there’s a history of the band theme in the game, I hope you guys do the honorable thing and include Jason and Cliff in it!
    I’m pretty sure you won’t as metallica hardly ever honored anyone but themselves, but hey., there’s some good music there.

    ps: I have 90% of those albuns in Vinyl. Awesome collection, but blurring the Anthrax – Fistful of Metal cover was lame :P

  • Yawn…it just seems like alot of greed to me. Why not just release some DLC for ‘World Tour’. They must have release 4 different products in the last 12 months….crazy!!!!

  • Someone above me mentioned the double bass pedal…you can get it by pre-ordering at GameStop. I just saw the sign for it.

    Seems like you guys put alot of extras into this “sub-title” I will be picking it up for sure. Thanks!!

  • I just want metallica thrash metal trophies haha

  • If you’re going to make a “Metal Pack” then make one. Don’t make a “Metal Pack” that is half Metallica and half crap, then call it “Guitar Hero Metallica”. You’re ripping us off!!! Cut that crap out and give us what we are paying for and what we want in this package….METALLICA!!!

    Honestly, the band are a bunch of morons for allowing you to pass off a “Guitar Hero Metallica” that is bloated with non-Metallica music.

    It’s just as bad as going to a fast food joint and ordering a large pop that has more than 1/2 of the cup full of ice.

    I will not be buying this.

  • man are you guys gonna put any megadeth songs in this game cuz that’d be sick! also on the cover of the official playstation mag they said this game is ps3 exclusive. Is that true or was it a typo?

  • Nice metal collection but I would just rather be able to download the songs instead of another game.

  • I’ve heard the songs WON’T incorporate a second guitar track, and instead replaced with a bass track. That’s a shame, for a band that goes with the double guitar sound of Thin Lizzy.

    Good list, but come on… metallica – dual guitar tracks should be a given.

  • they should make a game called “Guitar Hero: Rock Out” and let us send songs to a server, where they get turned into GH tracks. it would be complex, but with large enough servers, they could pull it off. plus, if someone has requested the song already, you can Dl tit from the PS store! just an idea…

  • I can’t freakin wait to play this! MetallicA is my all time favorite band. They’re the reasons I got into metal when I was a kid. So many memories! I’ve been wanting a GH Metallica game ever since the first one came out.

    BTW, nice metal collection!

    GH: Megadeth next? Screw the Megadeth haters just because Mustaine is the frontman. I don’t give a damnit what their past was, Megadeth’s music is fk’n awesome!

  • We meed more Slayer
    Postmortem or Angel of Death

  • yo are rb1 guitars compa with GHM stupid question but just wanted to know thx

  • FYI: GameStop has an ad featuring lots of gameplay: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nN_Qg4YDHiA

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