Game Music

E3 2010: Rock Band 3 Is The Real Thing

June 21, 2010 | | 1 Comment Share thison Facebook E3 2010: Rock Band 3 Is The Real Thingon Twitter

While Rock Band 3 announcements were hitting our mail boxes back home as E3 started, we unfortunately didn’t get to check out the title until the very end of the show. The reason that this is unfortunate is because after our on-stage demonstration from the Harmonix team ended, the floor closed down and we were unable to get our hands on the game. We do, however, have a summary of many of the new features in the game that has me actually excited for a rhythm game again, which hasn’t happened in some time.

Want to know what’s new in Rock Band 3 and why you should care? Join us after the jump.

When we entered the demo area, the first thing we were treated to was a 7-member performance of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” which the team had apparently been saving until their last performance at E3. It was awesome, and it was amazing to see so many people on stage rocking out. That’s one thing new with Rock Band 3. Everyone already knows that there will be a 2-octave keyboard added to the array of instruments in the game, but vocal harmonies are also being carried over from The Beatles: Rock Band, which is nice to see although I’ll never for the life of me figure out how to do them properly.

One cool figure they threw out was that by the time Rock Band 3 launches with its 83 songs, there will be about 2,000 songs total in the Rock Band catalog. That’s quite massive, and Harmonix has realized this. They’re implementing a filtering system to let users sort songs by genre, length, and family frinedliness, which they demoed on stage and looked incredibly useful. There’s also a song rating system where you can rate the songs in your catalog which will make them appear more or less often in the random play modes which should weed out some of those songs you don’t care to play anymore.

One of the coolest new features is the “over shell,” which is basically the game’s entire menu that can be accessed at any time for each individual player. Players can select their difficulty, toggle the no fail mode on and off (another carry-over from recent Rock Band titles), and basically manage their entire gameplay experience from these individual menus. This means no more backing out of a song just when everyone is ready when somebody decides to start jamming out on drums or guitar while in the menu.

We also need to talk about Pro Mode, which is one of the biggest developments for the series. Basically, the game’s drum set, guitars, and keyboard are expandable to accommodate real life performances. This means cymbals for the drum set, increasingly realistic guitar controllers, including a REAL LIFE guitar crafted by Fender with a MIDI jack to interface with the game, and the utilization of MIDI keyboard devices for use in the game. This means that people who want to enjoy Rock Band as a game can play alongside professional musicians who have already mastered the instrument, and it also means an incredible amount of work on Harmonix’s end when it comes to note charting. This feature should be appealing to rhythm game enthusiasts who want to go on to actually learn the instrument.

I’m definitely excited about the game, although I’m personally too lazy and cheap to spend the money on the pro instruments and to take the time to set it all up properly. Still, I’m impressed by how ambitious Harmonix is with Rock Band 3, and am appreciative that they’ve giving their fans the opportunity to learn the real instruments and to finally get to play the keyboard.

What do you think of the new developments? Are you excited to jam out on the keyboard, or perhaps waiting to get your chance to show off your true performance skills?

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