Ubisoft is a brave soul. Despite Activision killing the Guitar Hero franchise in 2011 due to declining sales, and Harmonix following in suite with Rock Band earlier this year, Ubisoft is hoping that its realistic band simulator known as Rocksmith appeals to a different niche. Instead of utilizing a plastic, white guitar akin to its fallen button-mashing cousins, Rocksmith opts for a real axe, allowing players to plug in any electric guitar at their disposal via the bundled USB-to-quarter-inch cable. It is a much different experience, but one that can be easily confused with the over-saturated rhythm game genre.
The latest Rocksmith 2014 trailer showcases the game’s new Session Mode, in which players can jam along with virtually any type of band in any style or key. There are more than 70 instruments to choose from, allowing you to splice scuzzy, AI-controlled bass and doom-metal drums alongside your own guitar riffage anytime you want. The virtual backing band dynamically adapts to how you play, thus allowing you to improvise and create your own music solo, or in conjunction with a friend via the game’s Multiplayer Mode.
Additional aspects such as the tempo and pan of individual instruments can also be tweaked, along with the groove and acoustics of the room, and the game’s interface will even show which notes to be play to stay within the appropriate key. Sadly, it probably won’t replicate all aspects of being in a band. After all, your drummer isn’t likely to walk when you start bitching at him about his drinking habits and girlfriend. Shame.
Rocksmith 2014 Edition is due out on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC on October 22.