Activision celebrated the relaunch of Guitar Hero yesterday with a bells-and-whistles event at New York City’s Best Buy Theater. And with help from Fall Out Boy‘s Pete Wentz and My Chemical Romance‘s Gerard Way, the company unveiled its new iteration of the game in the most rock-star way possible.
CEO Eric Hirshberg first unveiled the official Guitar Hero Live trailer before an industry-heavy crowd, before giving the microphone over Jamie Jackson of FreeStyleGames, the designers behind DJ Hero who are updating the franchise for the 2015 market. He offered a detailed account of the first-person perspective and redesign of the guitar-shaped controller; for the latter, Jackson noted how the necessity of the ring and pinky fingers on the old fret board design often made it impossible for users to make it past medium difficulty, jokingly referring to the issue as “danger pinky.”
To show off the game’s new capabilities, FreeStyle’s co-founder then welcomed Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy to the stage, inviting the bassist to play along to the band’s Save Rock and Roll hit “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark” (which will be one of the selections available on GH Live). The musician played his band’s song on Advanced, messing up a few times to the chagrin of the game’s virtual audience who react dramatically to all of the user’s successes and failures.
Hirshberg returned to the stage to present another key component of the new game: Guitar Hero TV. In the this mode, music videos spanning all genres are culled from the web for users to play either on their own or against another user. My Chemical Romance’s Gerard Way competed against Jackson on MCR’s “Na Na Na,” with Way coming out on top after a close game.