Rhythm rocks the drums on Guitar Hero World Tour

Rhythm spent a highly productive afternoon in London last week Total Guitar Magazine checking out the new 'drum kit' that comes bundled with Guitar Hero's new World Tour game, all in the name of magazine research, of course. As well as the plastic, five-buttoned, guitars that gamers and musicians alike have grown to love on the previous games, World Tour also includes a microphone and midi drum kit with velocity sensitive pads and cymbals, allowing a full band to rock out to tracks such as Eye Of The Tiger and Livin' On A Prayer.

The drums are impressive. The rubberised pads are a pleasure to play and it's a very satisfying game when you're on the money with a roll or crash a cymbal at the right time. Our only word of warning to drummers is that, you may be good behind an acoutic kit, but don't expect to nail this game instantly. It's a real test of timing and co-ordination and doesn't always follow a pattern you'd expect. Expert mode is a whole different monster leaving the drummer to play beats without any guidance. Not as easy as it sounds!

The game also includes videos to help beginners nail their first beats, and a recording studio where players can record their own songs and upload them to the Guitar Hero site for others to download. Clever stuff.

You check out a video over at T3.com to see the drums in action!

The Guitar Hero titles have sparked a lot of controversy in the guitar world. Should aspiring guitarists be playing the game when they could be practising on a real guitar? What do you think about bringing drums into the game. Is it a pointless exercise, or do you think it might introduce more budding drummers to our instrument, or expose people to music they may otherwise never have heard? Let us know what you think by emailing rhythmmag@futurenet.co.uk

Chris Barnes

I'm MusicRadar's eCommerce Editor. In addition to testing the latest music gear, with a particular focus on electronic drums, it's my job to manage the 300+ buyer's guides on MusicRadar and help musicians find the right gear for them at the best prices. I dabble with guitar, but my main instrument is the drums, which I have been playing for 24 years. I've been a part of the music gear industry for 20 years, including 7 years as Editor of the UK's best-selling drum magazine Rhythm, and 5 years as a freelance music writer, during which time I worked with the world's biggest instrument brands including Roland, Boss, Laney and Natal.