Rocksmith was such an innovative piece of technology, let alone an amazing concept for a video game. But the game had slow loading screens and a few minor hiccups. The game developers looked at the list of complaints, and not only fixed them, but have added even more amazing content to teach any idiot how to play guitar and become a rock god.
No really, ANY idiot! I’m a drummer, have been drumming for over a decade. I’ve tried, and failed, might I add on many occasions to learn guitar. Tab is like alphabetty spaghetti and sheet music is something I’ve never been able to sight read (unless we’re talking drum sheet music). So I’ve struggled to learn guitar, not only have I not understood what’s happening and what I should be playing, but dodgy tab websites don’t show you how it should be done either.
So lessons seem like the only logical choice. But not everyone can afford to buy a guitar, amp and then weekly lessons for their children or even themselves. So what’s the next best option? Rocksmith.
Rocksmith 2014 is a vast improvement on the previous instalment of the game with even more tutorials and features. Creative Director Paul Cross was very good at showing us just how you can learn from the game. He demonstrated the bending tutorial and showed us all the features. You can bend and if you over or under bend, the game will recognise and tell you. So now it’s just like having your own tutor in the room. You’ll quickly learn the right way, can view videos to see how the bend should be done and you’ll be picking it up in no time.
And I did. I had a go of Avenged Sevenfold’s Bat Country and whilst I may have only been on 10% of the overall song, I was surprised at how well I was doing and how quickly I was picking it up. I could see exactly what I should be playing on screen, how I should be playing it and quickly I was learning the beginnings of the whole song. Now for somebody who has spent a decade being hopeless at any instrument that isn’t the drums, I was pleasantly surprised. As was the staff member who had help me set up.
The countless hours the creative team spent on this follow up is evident and the track listing for the game is also an immense improvement on the last, not that I dislike classic rock, but there’s always a joke that pop rock is easy to play. So to prove the talents of this game, the makers have thrown in a ton of metal bands. If it can teach any idiot to play a ripping guitar solo from the likes of Mastodon or Pantera, then it truly is much more than a game.
Rocksmith 2014 has a wonderful built in jam feature. No, not the stuff you spread on toast, the thing mates do together with their instruments when they’re thinking of starting a band. Well Rocksmith 2014 saves you having to rely on other band members to practice because it gives you virtual ones. The AI band members all respond to how you play and you can pick from a range of sounds and instruments to put this band together. It’s actually pretty funny to set up metal drums and a folk bass and throw in something random like a banjo. But it can also be really useful. And if you set up your virtual metal band and just jam our a solo, your fellow musicians will accompany you beautifully.
This technology could easily lend itself to so many more options and I fully expect Rocksmith 2014 to start a wave of extra uses for video games consoles, considering nearly every household has access to at least one. Yes, you can use them for games if you want and hold the controller the standard way, but who needs controllers when you can use a guitar? ROCK ON!