Guitar Hero Live vs Rock Band 4: What’s the Difference?

There’s all this buzz floating around about music games being back, with Harmonix’s announcement of Rock Band 4, and Activision’s trailer for Guitar Hero Live. Already, YouTube personalities are talking about one or the other, and fans are starting to compare the two.

Here, we’re laying out some of the important details for you.

What’s going on with Rock Band 4?

Rock Band banner

Harmonix partnered up with Mad Catz, the gaming hardware company, to create what they’re promising will be the best Rock Band game ever. From the Mad Catz website:

“Mad Catz has been working hard with Harmonix to make a suite of all-new music game controllers for rocking out with Rock Band 4, which we believe will prove to be the ultimate music platform for the new generation of consoles! We’re convinced that fans of the franchise will love the new controllers we’re cooking. We’ve turned everything up to 11 this time around! We’ve tweaked several features such as the tilt-sensor on the guitar controllers for extra accuracy and sensitivity. Mic response has been tuned, build-quality has been refined, but more about hardware later. Suffice it to say, we think you’ll all be very happy.”

Wait, new controllers?

That’s what they’re saying! They have design photos on their website for the new guitar, drum kit, and microphone. Additionally, Harmonix is releasing a special edition of the PAX East Stratocaster guitar featuring “Gabe” from Penny Arcade.

Looks sick! What about the songs?

The Harmonix website says Rock Band 4 will be featuring 2000+ songs available as DLC for the game, which you will be able to purchase from the Rock Band store online. Additionally, free song packs will feature favorites from the previous three Rock Band games.

That’s all we know so far! If you’d like to go more in-depth, check out the documentary-style press release video from their YouTube page, allowing you to see their creative team:

Okay, so what happened with Guitar Hero now?

Activision released a trailer for Guitar Hero Live, which we have to admit, is pretty enticing. Go ahead and watch it real fast, so we can talk about it:

Wow, that’s so different from how I remember Guitar Hero…

I know, right? Guitar Hero has a history of changing developers though, and this time the Guitar Hero franchise is in the hands of  British independent game developer, FreeStyleGames, who originally made expansions for the popular Playstation 2 game, Buzz! as well as DJ Hero and Sing Party.

So, it’s in the First Person?

It appears that way, which is kinda cool, but a little disappointing. Fans of the beloved Guitar Hero franchise seemed to love the character selection, outfits, and various funky guitars you could choose from in the game. Now we just see the other band members on stage along with a reactive crowd in the audience. Guitar Hero Live will also feature “Guitar Hero TV,” which involves a music video in the background instead of the concert setting.

Additional issues we foresee with the gameplay have to do with the loss of the group play featured in Guitar Hero: World Tour. Now we’re back to just guitars (and maybe bass?).

Okay, but what about songs?

We don’t have a full song list like we do for Rock Band 4, but they did mention featuring artists like Ed Sheeran, Fall Out Boy, Of Monsters and Men, The Black Keys, The Rolling Stones, Skrillex, My Chemical Romance, and others.

Unlike Rock Band 4, you won’t have to purchase the song library expansion, but rather unlock songs like the gameplay from the previous games.

When will we know more?

The press releases for both games promise to reveal so much more at E3 this year, so be sure to check us out in mid-June for more coverage of this story!

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