The Hardest Songs in Guitar Hero Live, as Named by Freestyle Games

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The Hardest Songs in Guitar Hero Live, as Named by Freestyle Games

Guitar Hero Live launches on PS4 in just two short weeks! Rhythm game aficionados, myself included, have fond memories of their repeated attempts (and, hopefully, eventual victories) to conquer the series’ most difficult songs: Jordan in Guitar Hero 2, Through the Fire and Flames in Guitar Hero 3, and so on.

Guitar Hero Live

Naturally, when given the opportunity to talk to some folks from Activision, my first question was “What’s the hardest song in Guitar Hero Live?”

With their help, we’ve got a few different answers to those questions, as answered by members from the GH Live team at Freestyle Games. Onward!

Megadeth – Hangar 18

Aaron Grimes, Midi Designer

“This song is hard because of the rhythms in the solos. Marty Friedman is a precise player and moves around the neck a lot so this is represented in the markup. The way to get through it by keeping your eye out for the strummed notes before HOPOS then let your fingering hand do the rest!”

Guitar Hero LiveGuitar Hero Live

Alter Bridge – Cry of Achilles

Nathan Coppard, Senior Game Designer

“The track starts out with a soft acoustic into that is deceptively intricate, any mistakes here will really stand out. If you haven’t already given up, the driving verse riffs require tight, consistent timing. Keep up with the changes in tempo to make it through to the solo where you get a chance to show off. Then all that’s left is the endurance test that is the outro. Everything that you’ve played before means nothing if you don’t hold it down and nail the end. While all of this is going on, you may not have had a chance to take in the epic story unfolding in the animated music video. If you are really good enough you’ll be able to relax and enjoy the visuals while you shred your way to victory.”

Lamb of God – Ghost Walking

Mike McLafferty, Audio Designer

Why is it so difficult (musically)?

This is a classic Lamb of God riff; that bluesy feel with technical curveballs thrown at you every so often finished off with some bar-crossing rhythms to catch you off guard. And of course, a savage solo melts your face off at the peak of the track. A tough one to get to grips with, but nailing the riff is really rewarding once you get the pattern.

Guitar Hero LiveGuitar Hero Live

Why is it so difficult (in terms of gameplay?)

The intro riff on the acoustic throws some fairly quick string skipping in there (black to white) mixed in with lots of open strums, so you have to become quite agile at changing strings. The next thing to get to grips with is the non-standard rhythm patterns that use the open strums as a pedal note. Finally, the solo; it’s just gnarly.

Any tips for getting through it?

The cool thing about GHTV is you can kind of listen to the riff a little bit and get your head round the pattern as it doesn’t kick you out. This is great for just building up patterns by playing ‘chunks’ of the riffs. This is how I nailed the intro riff for Ghost Walking, just step by step and build up the notes slowly. You could also drop down a difficulty, but that just feels wrong to me! Make sure you make the most of the hammer-ons and pull-offs (the glowing gems) so your strumming arm doesn’t get tired; and also nothing looks cooler than throwing some shapes while you nail a section one-handed (what?! It totally looks cool!). Lastly: the solo. This one might take some time to master; I’m still not there yet. Knowing the track is half the battle, so listen through it a few times to know when it goes up and down in pitch. Again, use those HOPOs to your advantage because you probably won’t be able to keep up if you try and strum all of it!

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  • I preordered the game and am really looking forward to it. Love Hangar 18, and love that Dream Theater is in the list of songs. The thing that worries me (even though I preordered it anyway and have even had a chance to try a demo of the disc version and loved it), is playing streaming songs. How on earth will streaming, which tends to have variable latency, and often doesn’t match audio with visual be able to calibrate for a game like this, which requires such precision? I fear that playing GHTV will at best require new calibrations each time, and at worst won’t be playable. I hope it all works right, but that is my big fear on this game. It looks like a big innovation, so I want it to succeed. I guess we’ll find out in 2 weeks.

    • I imagine it will download the song temporarily so you can play it natively, then discard the data when you’re finished. Kind of like streaming a video, in a way.

    • I didn’t get the impression that is how they are doing it. I thought they were actually streaming, and when you jumped to a channel, you would probably start in the middle of the song that was playing. I suppose downloading might work though. I guess we’ll find out.

    • Yeah, I thought the same, +Patsrule0316.
      I think I also heard that you can’t fail?:o

  • Anyone else find it odd that both Rock Band and Guitar Hero both take an absence from making games for years then all of a sudden BOTH release a game the same time…

    • Activision (maker of Guitar Hero) oversaturated the market by releasing a whopping 8 music games in 2009, then abandoned the genre after 2010. On the other hand, Harmonix never gave up on the music genre. They released Rock Band 3 DLC until 2013 and shifted focus to dance games like Dance Central and Fantasia: Music Evolved.

      Harmonix were also the first to announce Rock Band 4 this year. Activision then copycatted them and announced Guitar Hero Live because as always, Activision only cares about making money.

  • “Jordan in Rock Band 2”

    I think you mean Guitar Hero 2 there, buddy.

    • >tries to show off extensive knowledge of music game history
      >types the wrong title in the post

      Apparently that one solo was so hard my brain is still fried from it. :p

  • I thought this game had live action videos while playing, I guess is just for the story mode or something :/.

  • There is nothing short about these next two weeks :x

  • Megadeth is one of my favorite bands I am so happy Hanger 18 in in the game. There will be many failed attempts I’m sure lol looking forward to it…got my copy on pre-order, it is going to be nice to get back into a music game again but with a fresh look and feel.

  • These games shoulda stayed gone. I can’t believe this is actually coming back for another round. Smh

    • …then don’t get the game. There are plenty of other people who are very excited for a new guitar hero. Ive owned all of the guitar hero games at one point and am about as excited for this as i am for fallout 4.

  • Why do they always make the assumption that people who want to play guitar hero are into heavy metal? It’s not called metal hero. I wish they’d add some more kinds of guitar music. Not every guitar song is metal. I’ll pass on this. Megadeath. Jesus.

    • You should actually look at the list of songs in the game, rather than 3 that were selected as some of the hardest songs. There is very little heavy metal in the game. I was surprised at how little metal there is in the game. There are plenty of bands that I don’t like normally that are fun to play in the game. You don’t have to like Megadeth, but they are a talented band and their songs are traditionally fun and challenging to play in games like this.

  • These couple weeks are gonna last longer than the time it took from the reveal until now… And the worst part about it is that in my country the game doesn’t come out on the 20th but on the 23rd, on a Friday. I guess on one hand it’s better because I can relax and play on the weekend (maybe invite some people over), but on the other hand it comes out 3 days later than what it should be…

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