"Guitar Hero 5" Exclusive: 10 Bands in September 1st Game

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The rock video game war will heat up again in the fall: both of the industry's flagship series are hitting consumers with tantalizing titles in 9/09. Harmonix's The Beatles: Rock Band arrives September 9th, and now Activision has confirmed Guitar Hero 5 is due September 1st. The game will boast 85 brand-new master recordings, and this week Activision is announcing the band lineup in a series of scavenger hunt-like stories; fans who track down all the featured artists can enter a sweepstakes to win five tickets to concerts at a venue of their choice.

Rolling Stone can exclusively reveal that tracks from Queen & David Bowie (presumably "Under Pressure"), Kings of Leon, Santana, Sonic Youth and A Perfect Circle will appear in the game. The title will also come equipped with tunes by Weezer, Bon Jovi, Billy Idol, Elliott Smith and the Bronx.

According to information posted on the game's official Website, the entire set list will be available for play immediately, and for the first time home rockers will be able to select any combination of instruments — so multiple guitarists, bassists, drummers or vocalists will be able to play at the same time (the perfect use for that army of plastic instruments cluttering your living room). There's also a new Play Party Mode, which allows instruments to join and drop out of a song without interrupting or ending the track; players need to just pick up an instrument and hit a button to join the action without navigating any menus. Gamespot reports that there's a new series of competitive modes called RockFest, which include Momentum (difficulty level shifts mid-play) and Streakers (bonus for nailing 10-plus perfect notes). A new Revival Meter allows band members to save a weaker player who has failed out.

CNET adds that Guitar Hero 5's new features and downloadable content will be compatible with Guitar Hero World Tour. The Rolling Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil," Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower," Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire," Tom Petty's "Runnin' Down a Dream" and the White Stripes' "Blue Orchid" will also appear on the game's set list, along with songs by Blur, Blink-182, Kiss, Band of Horses and Iron Maiden.