North America

Guitar Hero: Metallica

by Neal Ronaghan - April 22, 2009, 4:21 pm PDT
Total comments: 8


For Metallica fans, this game is incredible. For everyone else, it's a decent spinoff in the Guitar Hero series that improves a few things.

Guitar Hero: Metallica is the second band-specific spinoff in Activision's Guitar Hero series after last year's Guitar Hero: Aerosmith. Unlike Aerosmith, Metallica's Guitar Hero game features the full band experience. However, it falls into the same trap as the Aerosmith release: it has a narrow set list that doesn't contain much more than Metallica and similar music. It does have an ace in the hole though. It has better special features and even adds some small things to improve the Guitar Hero band experience.

The set list, all master recordings, contains 31 Metallica songs and 21 songs by other bands that are some of Metallica's personal favorites and influences. The other bands included range from Queen and Lynyrd Skynyrd to Slayer and Mercyful Fate. Also, along with the current members of Metallica, King Diamond from Mercyful Fate and Lemmy from Motörhead make appearances as playable characters. Sadly, not all the songs are available from the start, and they cannot be transferred to Guitar Hero: World Tour. There is also no way to access any downloadable content that you may have amassed in World Tour.

The game plays almost identically to last fall's World Tour, with a few new additions. The biggest one is the added drum difficulty, Expert +, which uses a second kick pedal (purchased separately). Expert + is only featured on a few songs, but that is better than having the harder difficulty level shoehorned into every song.

A star counter has also been added to the in-game display to measure the band's overall song rating from zero to five stars while you play. There is also now a rock meter for each member of the band, which shows how players are doing in the song and helps address the problem of players failing and ending the song, which I brought up in my World Tour review. In addition, the game features a way to view the lyrics outside of the song, a lot of bonus videos featuring the titular band, and Metallifacts, which are music videos for each song that feature the in-game character models and are littered with pop-up facts.

The music studio introduced in Guitar Hero: World Tour is also in the game in its full glory. Added to the studio are more Metallica-influenced sounds, which don't really change that much besides giving the player a way to focus more on creating Metallica-sounding songs.

Overall, how much you will like Guitar Hero: Metallica is proportional to how much of a Metallica fan you are. It's a great package for fans of the band and die-hard fans of the Guitar Hero series starved for new music. If you're not that into Metallica and their genre of music, you're better off waiting for another Guitar Hero or Rock Band game to come along featuring music you like.


Graphics Sound Control Gameplay Lastability Final
8 7 8 7 7 7

The game looks similar to Guitar Hero: World Tour, and the style works well for the game. The added focus on Metallica always shows, as there are constant references to their album covers (and probably other things that go over my head).


As per usual with rhythm games, the music fidelity is excellent. Unfortunately, the set list lacks variety because of the focus on Metallica.


Aside from the optional additional foot petal, the controls remain unchanged from the previous game in the series and they are still very functional.


Just as in World Tour, when one player in the band fails, everyone fails. This makes playing in a band a lot less fun. Besides that, though, the game is fun to play. It's still arcade-like, but the Metallica focus keeps it grounded.


With a set list of 52 songs, there are quite a few new songs to play. However, there is no way to bring these songs over to your copy of World Tour (you'll have to change discs), and the song variety isn't as robust as in World Tour.


Guitar Hero: Metallica is a fun romp for fans of the band, but that's about it. It does add some good new things to the series, but it fails at being more than a band-specific expansion pack.


  • Awesome for Metallica fans
  • New interface changes are great
  • The bonus materials are interesting
  • No downloadable content
  • Nothing special for people who don't listen to Metallica
  • Song selection revolves around one genre, with a few a exceptions
  • Songs not transferable to World Tour
Review Page 2: Conclusion


TJ SpykeApril 22, 2009

Game Trailers has a video of Expert + difficulty, it is freaking insane. I am not sure anyone could hit every note on that difficulty (there are just way too many notes and they travel too fast).

I am not really a Metallica fan, I only like a couple of their songs and a couple of the other bands songs included, so I will probably skip this until it's like $20.

I tried Expert + on a couple songs and it was just funny to me. I'm at about Medium-Hard difficulty on GH:WT and I tried it, but I did horrible.

BrandoggApril 23, 2009

I can do Expert + on most of the songs that use it...not on One yet though. There are people who have FC'ed the entire game, so it's possible. I personally think the game deserves a higher score - especially in control (it does add a new mode, after all - on Expert + you're literally playing the drums) and sound, maybe even in graphics. GH:M, at least on Wii, is the best looking game in the series, I think Rob and Kirk actually look better in the Wii version than the 360 version. The sound is top-notch, the 80's stuff sounds better than it does on any CD you can buy, you have to give it a 9 in sound, at the very least.

I gave the Sound a lower score partly because of the set list's narrowness. I enjoyed the game, but after playing through everything in the Career mode, I went back to play some songs and there were about four that I wanted to play. Yes, that's my preference, but there isn't much variety in this game despite some good efforts (Bob Seger, Lynyrd Skynyrd).

For Metallica fans, this game is a must buy. For everyone else, meh.

Although I do love me some Queen...

NinGurl69 *hugglesApril 23, 2009

I wish it was Metallica-only, with the entirety of Death Magnetic included.

I don't want to see "variety" when Activision is slapping a band name on the cover.

I hate how pseudo-musak gaming is destroying the industry.

MorariApril 23, 2009

Quote from: NinGurl69

I wish it was Metallica-only, with the entirety of Death Magnetic included.

Metallica-only would have only worked had Activision skipped pretty much everything after the Black Album.

NinGurl69 *hugglesApril 23, 2009

Take your Spice Girl Hero angst elsewhere.

BrandoggApril 23, 2009

I agree with Pro, though I already have all of the Death Magentic DLC, so for me it would be useless. I don't mind seeing some other bands on there - but playing Master of Puppets and then playing The Boys Are Back in Town...is a crime against humanity. I think the "limited" song selection should apply to the "Lastability" score - the actual sound *quality* is top-notch.

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Guitar Hero: Metallica Box Art

Genre Rhythm
Developer Vicarious Visions
Players1 - 4

Worldwide Releases

na: Guitar Hero: Metallica
Release Mar 29, 2009
PublisherActivision Blizzard
eu: Guitar Hero: Metallica
Release May 29, 2009
aus: Guitar Hero: Metallica
Release May 27, 2009
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