So yeah, this is the official box art for Guitar Hero 5

When Activision sent us an email containing the official, final box art for Guitar Hero 5, we didn’t expect that much. I decided, before I had seen the images, that I’d be the one to run the story.

“You know, it’s only box art,” I thought to myself, “so I’m there’s not much to say. But I’m sure it will be interesting enough for people to want to check it out. Maybe it’ll have some cool art. A dragon or a snake. Or a tiger! Maybe a snake-dragon-tiger-man with a guitar?”

Boy, was I wrong. I had a chance to see Guitar Hero 5 in action at E3, and I’ll admit that the game is looking tip-top. The visuals have been given an impressive new overhaul, the announced setlist is solid, and the new modes (particularly the new suite of multiplayer features) look pretty bad ass.

But I don’t know who got sick or went on maternity leave at Activision’s art/marketing department when they threw this one together, but… wow. It’s a box with a picture of a box on it. And they’ve decided to plaster the front of the box with some of the game’s artists and some new features. Just… no.

Of note is that the game will feature 85 songs by 83 artists, which means the game will be doubling up on tracks by single artists, kind of like they did with Tool in Guitar Hero: World Tour. So if you particularly dislike those bands, tough luck.

Hey, it’s only box art, though. I’m still pumped to play the game with some friends; I heard Tom Petty’s “Running Down a Dream” like 600 times at E3 — I’m ready to go!

Nick Chester