Picture the scene: the year is 2005, you’ve just got back from a stressful day at high-school with your favourite pack of Doritos and Mountain Dew that you bought from the local corner shop. You walk in the door, run up the stairs, avoiding your family at all cost so that you can run in and turn on the PlayStation and spend hours trying to complete bark at the moon (hardest song in the game) to then brag about it the next day to your mates. Life was good…
…Fast forward 16 years and those days have gone. The fun times you had trying to 100% your favourite songs seem a memory of the distant past, although you still can’t seem to break the habit of binge eating Doritos. (don’t worry, me neither)
When Activision, the company in charge of publishing the legendary guitar hero games, decided to end the funding for their Guitar Hero studios back in 2011, the community slowly started dwindling and left just a couple thousand hardcore fans to keep the flame of rock alive.
Since then a new challenger has emerged from the depths to appeal to a new wide range of PC players who will be the saviour of rhythm games. Clone Hero was developed by a group of die-hard fans of the guitar hero franchise, who released the software back in April of 2017. 4 years on and the game has reached incredible notoriety with one former guitar hero player, who wished to stay anonymous saying: “it’s great to see them keeping the game running, I saw You-Tubers playing the game back in 2019 and it was amazing to see the community still going and how much fun people were still having.”
Clone Hero has made such an impact that it has appeared in the charity event “Games Done Quick” which is held every year to raise money for charities, with speed-runs being the forefront of the event.
The Clone Hero discord server has over 20,000 users with 72 streamers amongst them.
I decided to chat to someone who knew a lot about guitar hero and the community, a metal-head called Tanner Wood, a 12 year veteran of the series.
What do you think about the community now compared to back in the day?
“I think its brilliant that they’re trying to bring back the game from the dead. I do feel that now the game is a bit more inaccessible for newer players now though as the songs back in the day were easier to learn.”
How does it feel coming back to the game after so long, is it like seeing an old friend?
“sort of I guess, it removed a lot of the story from back in the day with band progression. I feel like it is now a better solo experience but as a co-op experience the guitar hero games were considerably better.”
Due to the success of Clone Hero, do you see rhythm games such as guitar hero making a comeback?
“I’d like to see more games such as rock smith make a return as they allow you to learn whilst also playing guitar. Guitar Hero itself id love to see it come back, more so along the lines of Guitar Hero live as they had a feature where you could play any song as long as it had a music video, this allowed new players to access the game much easier and have more fun. So yeah I can see it happening with the new generation of consoles.