Rocksmith even comes with a set of stickers to obviously point out each fret on your instrument’s neck, just in case you don’t know, so you can follow the numbers in the game.
It’s exactly like Guitar Hero or Rock Band: when you’re supposed to play the right note, the game points you to a bar and string – denoted by colour and position – and you just follow along, playing with the real recording of the song in the game.
Like in the music games before it, you’ll play an event with a set of songs, rehearsing them and then “performing” these songs in front of an audience, made out of a lovely bunch of people rocking out to your song. If you do well – and here’s hoping – you’ll get to play an encore, and possibly a double encore for more points.
With an included track listing of over fifty songs, including big names like The Rolling Stones, The Pixies, Muse, Radiohead, The Black Keys, Tom Petty, Eric Clapton, Cream (yes, two different Claptons), Kings of Leon, Incubus, The White Stripes, and more, you’re likely to find a good ten or twenty tracks you love, if you don’t fall in love with the entire soundtrack altogether.
There’s more stuff coming downloadable through the Xbox Live and PSN stores, too, provided you don’t mind spending a few bucks on new songs to learn and play.
Interestingly, you can actually replace the songs listed that you’re “supposed” to play at each event, switching them out for music that you may like more. We found ourselves doing that more and more, because while repetitive, it allowed us to get better and better at the songs we really liked, and we weren’t subjected to playing songs we neither understood nor really liked the sound of.
If you don’t mind playing all the songs and want to work your way through every piece, you can separate the sections into riffs, working on each part until you’re happy with how it all sounds.
When it’s all good, it’s time to rock out, nailing the notes on the right timing and avoiding wrong notes for a better score. The more points you get, the more of the game you unlock, with bonuses including extra basses, different pedal and amp sounds, and of course, more events.
Or you can just ditch the events and hit up the menu, where you can simply select the songs you want to learn, playing them until your heart’s content.
In fact, depending on the sort of gamer you are, this is where you’ll probably stay, as it’s sort of like your very own rock and roll fantasy camp, where the jukebox is as your fingers and you can just follow along with an animated instructor at your leisure.
While this writer is a bassist, we actually found it easier to just go ahead and play in performing mode. Rehearsal mode, strangely, didn’t offer the same line for you to follow as we found in the performing mode, which surprised us. In essence, it means you can learn a lighter version of your parts in the rehearsal, with the real test coming in performance, which didn’t make a whole lot of sense to us.