Guitar Hero: Aerosmith is the second spin-off of the popular Guitar Hero series. It is developed by Neversoft and published by Activision, and is was released on June 29, 2008. The game contains a story that mirrors the band's career, progressing from Aerosmith's first show at Nipmuc Regional High School in 1970 to the band's induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.
The game's six tiers are broken up by short videos featuring the members of Aerosmith talking about the importance of that tier's venue to the band (i.e., the experience of being signed at Max's Kansas City when that venue is reached). Longer versions of those videos can be purchased from the in-game store.
The playable characters include the standard characters from Guitar Hero III, such as Axel Steel, Johnny Napalm, and Lars Umlaut. These characters act as the guitarists for the opening band in career mode and can only be used while playing non-Aerosmith songs. New additions are Joe Perry, Tom Hamilton, and Brad Whitford of Aerosmith. It also features DMC of Run-DMC, who takes over as the lead singer when the player plays King of Rock or Run-DMC's version of Walk this Way, as well as being a playable guitarist.
Each character (aside from the unlockable ones) have two costumes. Each costume has a set of palette-swaps that can be purchased from the in game store, The Vault. Each palette swamp not only changes their specific costume's color, but changes certain accessories/designs as well. Aside from a few extra palette swaps, the initial characters appear in the game just as they did in Guitar Hero III.
Initial Character List
Unlockable Characters (Purchased in The Vault)
Guitar Hero Aerosmith, while being poorly received by gaming press, included many first and lasts for the Guitar Hero franchise. It has been the only entry in the series to incorporate five band members on stage (Singer, Guitarist, Rhythm-Guitarist, Bassist and drummer) opposed to the standard four (sans rhythm-guitarist) usually implemented since the original. This was done to have all five members of Aerosmith be shown on stage at once. As a result, Neversoft had to program new camera angles and shots to compliment this change. To fill the fifth spot for the opening band, a new fictional NPC band member was created, the female rhythm guitarist. This would be her only appearance in the entire series thus far.
Musically, this was the first Guitar Hero to include a rap/hip hop song on the setlist, found in Run-DMC's King of Rock. It was also the last game in the series to have a set-list that included covers. One feature that future GH iterations would note is the fact that all songs included on disc are master-tracks. While Guitar Hero: Aerosmith does include a majority of master recordings, four of the non-Aerosmith songs are still covered.
As well as Guitar Hero: Aerosmith having the only appearance of female rhythm guitarist, it was also the last console game to feature the non-playable band first introduced in the original. Throughout the Guitar Hero franchise, playable characters were accompanied by a specific NPC singer, bassist, drummer and occasionally key-board player. These characters would stop appearing come the release of Guitar Hero World Tour, although the male singer/drummer make a cameo appearance during the game's opening cinematic.