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Guitar Hero 5 is the fifth main game in the musical rhythm series. Similar to the previous title, Guitar Hero: World Tour, the focus is on a band-experience, with a lead and bass guitar, drums and vocals. The title is available standalone or bundled with the instruments.

Next to a new soundtrack with 85 songs, many animated lead singers are now modelled after famous musicians such as Johnny Cash, Carlos Santana, Shirley Manson, Kurt Cobain, and Matthew Bellamy. Players can still compose their own songs in the included studio and the game relies heavily on downloadable content, through tracks and full albums. A portion of the songs of Guitar Hero: World Tour, Guitar Hero Smash Hits and Band Hero can be imported in exchange for a small fee per song.

In the Band Lobby players can assemble a party of local and remore players to form a band, play the Career mode or opt for Quickplay. Most of the competitive multiplayer modes are carried over from former versions, along with two new ones: Party Play (random song selection with the option to join and leave at will using any instrument) and RockFest, a band mode for up to four (local) or up to eight (online) players with a variety of submodes. The songs are divided in smaller portions and for each section the players are rewarded based on a variety of conditions.

General new features introduced to the gameplay include drop-in/drop-out play, where it is possible to join in the middle of a song or stop playing without interrupting gameplay. There is also a new Challenges section in the Career mode.

The different game versions are identical, except for the PS2 version that lacks online game modes and downloadable content, drop-in/drop-out play and song challenges. It is also limited to two instruments and the multitap is not supported. The Wii version is very similar to the major console versions, including downloadable content on SD cards, multiplayer through the global Wii address book, and the Mii Freestyle mode from the previous game. It also supports interaction with the Nintendo DS to edit videos and provides access to the Roadie Battle mode, similar to the main battle mode of Guitar Hero III, where players complete mini-games on the Nintendo DS to sabotage the players on the console.


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Promo Images

Guitar Hero 5 Screenshot
Guitar Hero 5 Screenshot
Guitar Hero 5 Screenshot
Guitar Hero 5 Screenshot

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User Reviews

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Critic Reviews

IGN Wii Sep 01, 2009 9.3 out of 10 93 Xbox 360 Sep 24, 2009 9 out of 10 90 (UK) Xbox 360 Sep 11, 2009 9 out of 10 90
GamingTrend Xbox 360 2009 90 out of 100 90
InsideGamer Xbox 360 Sep 11, 2009 9 out of 10 90
DarkZero Wii Oct 04, 2009 9 out of 10 90
Xbox World Australia (XWA) Xbox 360 2009 88 out of 100 88
Meristation Xbox 360 Sep 11, 2009 8.5 out of 10 85
Gaming Age Xbox 360 Sep 08, 2009 B+ 83
Game Over Online Xbox 360 Sep 28, 2009 70 out of 100 70


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References to the Game

The game is featured in the 2010 Sofia Coppola film Somewhere. Johnny (Stephen Dorff) and Elle Fanning (Cleo) can be seen playing the track So Lonely by The Police. Afterwards, Johnny plays the song 20th Century Boy by T. Rex by himself, failing at the hard difficulty.


  • 4Players
    • 2009 – #3 Best Game of the Year
    • 2009 – Best Party Game of the Year
  • Cheat Code Central
    • 2009 - Best Music/Rhythm Game
  • GameShark
    • 2009 - Worst Music Game People Bought in Droves
  • GameSpot
    • 2009 - Worst Box Art (Readers' Choice)
  • IGN
    • 2009 - Best Wii Music Game (Editors' Awards)

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Contributed to by Jeff Robinson (68)