It’s been a while since the last plastic-instrument driven music game hit the market. But Harmonix seems to think the time is right for more. Rock Band 4 is pretty much the same as the previous games. You and your friends choose from a variety of instruments or a microphone to sing into. Then you play the instruments by following a pattern of colored bars that roll down the screen. There are unique patterns for each instrument and different levels of difficulty for each song.
In Rock Band 4 guitarists will have the opportunity to play solos in free style. In this mode you can play guitar solos however you choose. The game will give you suggestions on what might make a good solo, but you can totally ignore them if you want to. Your creativity won’t affect the score your bandmates worked so hard to earn.
Rock Band 4 will have new songs and new instruments, but the most attractive aspect (for me, anyway) is that the game will be backward compatible with most of the previous DLC and instruments. That means you don’t necessarily need to go out and buy new gear and you can re-download most the songs you purchased in previous games for free. If you’ve never downloaded songs before, you’ll have access to the vast library of DLC from the previous games.
There are lots of great artists included in this game too. From Fallout Boy to The Protomen, there’s probably going to be a song in there that you absolutely love. Or at least, a song that you’re willing to make a fool of yourself over.
It will be interesting to keep an eye on rhythm and music games this fall, as Guitar Hero Live comes out at the end of October.