Page last updated at 16:30 GMT, Friday, 7 November 2008

Guitar Hero bangs out a new tune

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Jason 'Jay' James, from metalcore group Bullet for My Valentine, talks about Guitar Hero World Tour and life on the road

The fourth instalment of the Guitar Hero series - Guitar Hero World Tour - hits the shops on 7 November.

Developed by Neversoft, the game now has a drum kit and microphone, in addition to the classic plastic guitar.

Using one of the instruments, players accompany a music track trying to match the performance and prowess of an on-screen character.

The game features more than 80 licensed tracks from a diverse set of artists, ranging from Korn to Fleetwood Mac.

You feel like you're actually playing the instrument
Fred Dutton
Official Nintendo Magazine

The series differs from most other games in that it uses a customised controller, rather than the systems gamepad.

Prior editions came bundled with a plastic guitar that simulated an actual instrument, using five coloured buttons on the neck and a "strum" bar, instead of frets and strings.

The new version now has a drum kit and microphone. Percussion consists of three conveniently coloured pads, and two cymbals.

Ben Talbot, Official Xbox Magazine’s community editor, gives his thoughts on Guitar Hero World Tour

The guitar has also been given a makeover. Not only has the look been updated, but the developers have added a touch sensitive panel that can be used for pulling off flash musical stunts.

Hoxton rock

The game launched at the Hoxton Bar and Grill in Central London.

A number of game stations had been set up for people to try out the game and a stage area allowed guests to pretend to be a real rockstar by performing on stage in front of the assembled crowd.

British metalcore band Bullet for My Valentine were on hand for a live performance including "Scream, Aim, Fire" one of the tracks shipping with Guitar Hero World Tour.

Guitar Hero World Tour screen shot
Users have to play in time with the screen to score points

Attendees were fairly positive about the game. Official Xbox Magazine's Ben Talbot said the game was in a new league and was just "so much fun". A view shared by Fred Dutton from Official Nintendo Magazine.

"It's a big step forward from the last game, it's got something for everyone. It makes you feel like you're actually playing the instrument," he said.

"The game's competing with Rock Band and they're both doing similar things. But I think Guitar Hero does it slightly better."

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