Rocking Hero, a Guitar Hero-esque PC VR game, is coming to Early Access later this week. The game lets you live out your guitar fantasies and rock out to music on a simplified guitar in VR, with a variety of different controller options.
Any VR owner is aware of the absolute plethora of rhythm games available on headsets, and while technically Rocking Hero is a rhythm game, it’s also probably unfair to just lump it in that category. Rocking Hero is significant because it’s clearly inspired by the beloved Guitar Hero series, and attempts to bring that same familiar gameplay to VR.
However, unlike those classic Guitar Hero games, you won’t see the same caliber of iconic music in Rocking Hero — there are only 10 songs on offer here, all of which are original tracks. But there’s also a song editor that lets you load your own songs and record your own note mappings for them, a feature that has huge potential to encourage an online custom map community — definitely something to keep an eye on post launch.
The original Guitar Hero games on consoles all required a plastic guitar peripheral to play, but Rocking Hero has options. The game offers several solutions and control options, including the use of external peripherals if you have them. Valve Index owners (or those with Index controllers) have the best option right out of the box, with finger tracking as a clear and easy control method that seems closest to that classic gameplay. Each area of the sensor bar on the controller represents a different color note to strum, just like Guitar Hero.
Those without Index Controllers have a few different options. Touch controllers (or other similar VR controllers) can use a method where moving the whole controller up and down the neck of the guitar positions you above a different color note. This is a neat solution, but will probably reduce the potential complexity of the mappings available for this method, given that you play notes using hand movement and not finger movement.
Alternatively, you can use a PC or console guitar peripheral (like an old Guitar Hero one) or even use a gamepad like an Xbox Controller, if you prefer. The last, and most amusing option, is to physically pick up your keyboard and hold it like a guitar, with the 1 through 5 keys acting as buttons for each respective note color.
While there are only 10 original songs, there are 2 different groups for each map, featuring mappings suited for finger tracking and hand tracking method, to ensure that the mappings are optimized for your preferred control method.
Rocking Hero releases on Steam for Valve Index, HTC Vive and Oculus Rift headsets on August 6.