hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Rocksmith

Preview: Rocksmith

12:00 PM on 09.23.2011 // Abel Girmay

Music games have had their time in the limelight, sadly opting to fade away than burn out. It's curious then that a big name publisher like Ubisoft would take the time to try their hand at this seemingly dead genre with Rocksmith.

Once you get your hands on the game though, you realize that Rocksmith is something fundamentally different than Rock Band or Guitar Hero. Rocksmith isn't here to sell you a fantasy, this game is for those with a true passion or at least interest in real guitar. Five button flunkies need not apply.

Rocksmith (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC)
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Publisher: Ubisoft
Release: October 18, 2011

So how does Rocksmith set itself apart from the pack? It starts with the games peripheral, or rather, lack thereof. Since this is a guitar simulator, Rocksmith works with any guitar that has a jack outlet. There is the traditional game/guitar bundle for those that don't own a guitar, but if you already have one then the only extra piece you need is the plug that jacks from the guitar to your PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360.

Once you get into the game you notice one of Rocksmith's cooler features -- the scaling difficulty. Unlike music games of the past where you select a difficulty from easy to expert, Rocksmith tracks all of your improvement (or decline) in skill and throws more or less notes at you to compensate. Your aptitude is measured across all songs and note frequency will even change dynamically mid-song. Since I'm, ahem, musically challenged, I found myself strumming notes once about every five seconds, with the pace quickening every time I hit three of four notes in a row. When the notes started coming a little too fast and I missed multiple notes in a row, they scaled back accordingly.

For the newcomers still not assured that the scaling difficulty is going to be enough to help, there are other tools available for improvement. Rocksmith does have its training and practice modes (with a sultry-voiced announcer to walk you through), but it also packs mini-arcade games that challenge different aspects of guitar play.

The mode I played was a strumming challenge that played as an odd mesh of Space Invaders and Duck Hunt. In this challenge, you have to shoot down ducks that fly farther up their lane by strumming the corresponding notes and strings. It's all very silly and has a feel reminiscent of the Jumpstart edutainment series but after a few rounds of that, in conjunction with the training modes, I really felt like I was starting to get a hang of the mechanics revolving real guitar play. There are currently nine of these arcade games planned to ship with Rocksmith with the harder ones unlocked as you progress through the previous ones. There are also leaderboards to keep track of your high scores across all nine games. 

The track list is no slouch either. Focusing on guitar-heavy tracks, Rocksmith features contemporary music from bands like The Black Keys as well as classic standbys like the Rolling Stones. The final track list comes out to about fifty and all of them can be played with a mic as well. We didn't get a chance to see how the karaoke elements pan out and if it will be as much of a simulator as the guitar elements. 

Photo Gallery: (2 images)
Click to zoom - browse by swipe, or use arrow keys



Abel Girmay, Contributor
 Follow Blog + disclosure Tips
Born and raised in Oakland, CA. Avid fan of FPS, RPGs, and Little Caesars Pizza.  more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Can this be Toy Story 4? [youtube]https://youtu.be/XJkZX0rKElY[/youtube]
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Also I will be reviewing freedom wars. I didnt make it to the end. I will not be kind to it. There will be blood.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Yeah....been there before.
techsupport avatartechsupport
MGS V review: When using a character other than Big Boss for missions, the intro credits still say, "starring Punished 'Venom' Snake." Sloppy work, Kojima - no wonder Konami dumped you. 0/10.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Grim Fandango......some real good sruff here. As soon as I complete it (vita version, of course) will probably see about a write up. Not perfect, but theres some good stuff here. Glad it got brought back from obsolescence hell.
Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
*sigh* If only Disqus had a "block/ignore user" option :/
VIRGO avatarVIRGO
Must. Use. This. Blog. More. But. School.
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
Just started playing Hyrule Warriors again. Man is that game fun. A bit mindless at times granted, but fun nonetheless.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
I ate vanilla ice cream and didn't put on any chocolate syrup. Now wondering if that was racist whitewashing #thanksjed.
Jiraya avatarJiraya
The cat dragged in some action figures !
[img]http://i.imgur.com/6Cu2Asg.jpg[/img] [img]http://i.imgur.com/qMFDAw3.jpg[/img] [img]http://i.imgur.com/RPUraY8.jpg[/img] [img]http://i.imgur.com/51DLqjh.jpg[/img]
Dr Mel avatarDr Mel
There's a Custom Soundtrack folder in MGSV. I can't think of a better thing to put there than the old episodes of podtoid I've been running through lately. I'll be fultoning guys and Holmes will be puttin' on mesh tank tops. Perfect.
Shinta avatarShinta
MGSV Pro Tip: Turn your brightness down to 0. It actually makes the view distance for the guards correct, and doesn't make nighttime the best option for you every single time. When guards shoot flares in the sky, the lighting looks like Dragon's Dogma.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Proof I listened to too much Weird Al growing up: I really do hear "Living in America" as "Living with a Hernia."
Nic Rowen avatarNic Rowen
I've been playing a shit ton of Heroes of the Storm recently. It's my first MOBA and I'm SHOCKED at how much fun I'm having. Anyone else into it? Would love to get some games in with Dtoiders.
Script avatarScript
I would wait for a chance to play the game by myself, but I just have to know. Is David Hayter in MGS V in any way? Please no spoilers.
Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
Guys, serious question... How can I make D-Horse to poop?
gajknight avatargajknight
Goddammit @ FullmetalJ, you have poisoned my mind with...whatever the hell this is.[youtube]https://youtu.be/wv0iUKb80C8[/youtube] It's so, so catchy. Go suck a baguette. And thanks :3. Yes I have listened to all of it.
Niero Desu avatarNiero Desu
That time when Mr. Destructoid went to Vegas [img]http://i.imgur.com/hYEQG7z.jpg[/img]
SirDavies avatarSirDavies
As someone who hasn't played the MGS series at all, should I play it by release date or story order?
Vuster avatarVuster
Been watching a good friend play the Metal Gear game on twitch soon. I will say I can understand the appeal 100% and Kojima knows how to make a great piece of work. I think will hold off on a new pc and get this if this keeps up!
more quickposts


Contest!


destructoid's previous coverage:
Rocksmith


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!



Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -