The upcoming Guitar Hero: Metallica will feature the band's four current members. And just those four. Those hoping for a digital reincarnation of deceased former bassist Cliff Burton need to stop hoping.
Speaking with MTV, the game's lead designer Alan Flores responded to a question about Burton's inclusion with:
I think I can definitely say no. That was actually kind of sensitive thing with the guys in Metallica. We asked them about that and they never said no. They just went, “Ehhh.” They didn’t want to make [current bassist] Rob Trujillo feel like he wasn’t as important a part of the band as he is. So there’s no Cliff Burton in the game, but there’s Cliff Burton in spirit. You get to play his basslines. We talk about him in the Metalli-facts [trivia] as well.
Presumably that means no Jason Newsted, either (though presumably that means we'll also get to play Jason Newsted "in spirit").
Now a little something for the Slayer fans in the house: the game includes the Slayer track War Ensemble, from Seasons in the Abyss (what, no Seasons of the Abyss itself?). That's...OK. Better than a kick in the shins.
But originally, the dev team had managed to get "Angel of Death" in the game.
The Slayer story was interesting. We’ve had Slayer in [a "Guitar Hero" game] before. But now, you can sing their lyrics. It’s a totally different ball of wax. We had the song “Angel of Death” cleared.
Or so they thought. Flores says the song was then taken out of the game, loosely citing concerns from parents and elaborating with "We couldn’t get that song cleared, and we had to take it off". But...but...you said you had it cleared! *sniff*...