|System: X360, PS3||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Conspiracy||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Epicenter / UFO Interactive||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 19, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Cole Smith
Imagine a band with Hendrix on guitar, Keith Moon on drums, that guy from Slipknot who died on bass, and Michael Jackson as the frontman. Okay forget Michael Jackson; that's just too scary. Let's replace him with Bon Scott. That band would rock - if they weren't all dead. And if you're thinking Rock of the Dead is about bringing deceased rockstars back to life for a postmortem concert, you are dead wrong.
You may already know Rock of the Dead requires the use of your guitar peripheral, and/or drum set. I know what you're thinking, but it's best not to have any preconceived ideas about this game or once again, you'll be dead wrong. This is not Guitar Hero of the Dead. It's not Rockstar of the Dead. It's not even Typing of the Dead. Hell, it's not even a rhythm-based game like you're thinking. How do I know what you're thinking? I knew you were going to ask that.
Rock of the Dead utilizes your dust-collecting, plastic guitar to defeat zombies and other creatures including mutated insects, robots, and flying saucers. The guitar is essentially a glorified controller. You don't actually hit the buttons in time to the music. There are only a few moments where you attempt to play solos to the music, but this only takes place during a few boss battles. Most of the time you are doing nothing more than hitting the buttons in sequence to the patterns that appear onscreen. It's all about speed, not rhythm or finesse. In this way it has more in common with Typing of the Dead, but it even falls short when compared to that game.
During a concert performed by living musicians, a meteorite shower disperses intergalactic radiation into the earth, causing the dead and other nasties to rise to the surface and kill everything in sight. Hey, stuff happens. Your main defense against the undead, hordes of insectoids, and more falling meteors, is your guitar. The developers have decided there are more unused guitar controllers than lightguns, and a lightgun would definitely be my preferred choice of weaponry. I am a huge House of the Dead fan. As enemies approach, a colored button sequence will be displayed in front of them. You must play this sequence on your guitar controller. Doing so successfully, and quickly, will eliminate the threat. But even at that, things don't always go according to plan.
Often there are numerous enemies onscreen at the same time, but at different distances. Logic would dictate you tackle the monster closest to you, but it's not always possible to discern which pattern is assigned to whom or what. Some start with the same colored button, and before you know it you've destroyed the enemy at the back and failed to stop the most immediate threat, resulting in your demise. Fortunately, there are some screen-clearing attacks you can use when in such a pinch. You have to earn these attacks by making combo kills or collecting power orbs.