First up is our disclaimer. We received this game for review purposes only, and as such all opinions in this review are our own. No money has been exchanged for this review.
Do you find clacking away at a piece of plastic to be boring and lame?
Ever considered learning how to play guitar like an actual rock star?
Want to be the chick-magnet at the party?
With Rocksmith 2014 you can.
It only requires the game, a specific audio cable and a working electric guitar. Who said that education was not fun? A most noteworthy side effect of learning how to play a guitar is the ability to preform on an open street (in order to pay off the electric bill and cost of new strings). After all, they will eventually snap and lose their sound.
However if you are serious about learning to play, then this is a small price to pay. With the good comes the bad. It requires Uplay and cold hard cash to get more songs to expand the selection, and for some reason there is no search function in the store. There is only a sorting option and several hundred songs. These can be bought alone or in packs of songs from the same band. The store page could really be improved a lot.
I recall my first six strings.
Each guitar string has its own color. As the the notes come sliding towards the screen, you’ll have to press where the squares indicate and strum the string. This builds up your combo score, unless you miss a note. After all, it is a guitar.
It’s easy to play, but you will have to deal with a short tutorial and a tuning session, where the narration keeps saying “make sure you don’t hit the other strings”. This happens due to the lower string vibrating a little.
Due to the lack of exiting screenshots, here is one from the heist minigame.
Within the main menu there are a lot of options and a wholesome archive of guides and lessons. You can learn virtually everything there is to know about playing different guitars. After all, there exist several guitar roles such as lead, the one who shreds most of the fancy riffs . The bass on the other hand keeps the rhythm going, and the rhythm guitar is the one that keeps the melody going. Since picking, sliding and finger positioning are hard to handle, any part of the song can be slowed down and put on repeat. This is a very welcoming feature, as songs start off deceptively easy, until you start noticing that the best guitarists play like mad. There is a reason why those solos sound so amazing.
Session mode is a funky multiplayer mode where one can assemble a band and team up with a friend. The computer handles the drum beats, while the tone editor is a way to make custom music and notes. Arcade mode is probably the most amusing and random of the menu options. On a list there is a varied selection of skill-improving mini-games, with fancy retro style graphics and a high score system. There is also an online multiplayer mode where you can compete or cooperate against others, or just stat a jamming session. It’s great fun. Should you be really hardcore and press yourself to the limit, there is a “nonstop” mode as well, where the player sets a time limit.
Another mini game.
It should be noted that the menus are not always stable and sometimes the game will lock up. However I’ve yet to experience this during normal game play. Keep in mind the graphics are decent, the music quality is awesome and that to master a song requires a lot of practice. The best are the best for a reason. Even if the list is most impressive, I’ve yet to see bands such as Metallica in there, and there should really be some more Guns N Roses. However I have a sneaking suspicion that those bands have insane royalty fees.
Although anyone and their mother can play this game, fewer will succeed, and a guitar does cost money. However the software is very user-friendly. All you do is to jack in the USB and then the guitar, and your all set. All the audio output from the instrument will come though the PC/ TV speakers. However it will use all of the audio channels and disable the microphone temporarily. This means that most chat programs have to be restarted in order to pick up voice again.
The Rocksmith homepage