Rocksmith is Ubisoft’s attempt at reviving the rhythm game genre by bridging the gap between musical gaming, and actually playing an instrument. The game has a good balance between being advanced enough for seasoned guitar players to have a more realistic experience than Guitar Hero or Rock Band, but also still accessible enough to teach beginners how to use a guitar… and before we go any further, you need a real guitar to play this game. Duuuuuh.
You are given a 1/4 –inch adapter cable with the game so you can connect your guitar to your console of choice (for the purpose of this review, I’m going to stick with Xbox 360) which also leads me to your setup, if you are running your sound through a HDMI cable, prepare yourself for a bad time – this leads to a hell of a lot of lag (tried and tested) and makes the game a pain to play. You are far better off using component cables. The suggested “best” setup for the game is to use an audio adapter linking to your speakers and an HDMI cable linking to your monitor.
The campaign starts you off by having you practice small groups of songs, playing single notes to get the feel for each song, before letting you play a slightly more advanced version back-to-back in a concert. You start of learning ALL the basics – simple licks, single notes added to some really slow pacing allows beginners to get accustomed to the basics of guitar playing whilst also allowing the more experience players to decipher the note runway (which really does take some getting used to!). Each string of your guitar is associated with a colour and the numbered block that appears on screen corresponds to the location you’re supposed to put your finger on, so a red 7, means play the E string on the 7th fret.
The game is really quite nice to players as you can’t fail midway through a song for performing badly, instead, if you don’t earn enough points to add up to the minimum point score by the end of the song, you can just replay it to your heart’s content. The really cool thing about Rocksmith is that the game judges your playing ability automatically, if you start nailing the power chords instead/as well as the single notes, you’ll level up faster and soon see more chords being tossed at you than single notes and the same happens in reverse, if you’re really struggling and the screen is getting a bit too busy for you, Rocksmith tones it down a bit and gives you less to concentrate on.
Earning more rock points with each song allows you to unlock more venues, songs and bonus content as well as slowly increasing your rank – making the game up the complexity of the songs and chords, solo’s and note for note phrasing. There are a great mix of songs in the game, tunes that all ages will be able to recognise and all the songs have several different versions that feature single notes, full chords and more advanced arrangements. If you want to practice a particular skill, Rocksmith has also included a nice selection of arcade-style minigames, allowing you to take a quick break from all that hardcore rocking.
After all the amazing things Rocksmith has to offer, it is let down majorly in one way. The presentation for this game is sorely lacking. The menu is somewhat confusing and really bland and the venues are also dark, drab areas that lack any source of atmosphere. The campaign is fairly weak – giving players a fair amount of tunes to rock through and some great content to unlock, but the structure itself is quite boring. Although I moan about the overall presentation of the game, it makes sense as clearly a LOT of effort has gone into the actual gameplay and I’m merely picking minor flaws in an overall fantastic experience.
Rocksmith is a fantastic game that has been implemented with a cool dynamic system to cater to players of all types – ultimately making playing the game an incredibly enjoyable experience. There could be a few minor improvements to the presentation of the game, and more songs to play to would be nice, but overall, I recommend this game to everyone. This game really does deliver everything it offers. Go get it!
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.