Note: We didn’t receive the new instruments for Rock Band 4, only the game code so this review will not include anything on the new instruments as we used the legacy instruments.
I’ve only just recently played my first Rock Band game after being more of a Guitar Hero player, but with Rock Band 4’s announcement I wanted to try out Rock Band 3. I was hooked, and wondered why I had taken so long to give this great series a try. It just makes it that much more of a shame that Rock Band 4 is just not on that same level as Rock Band 3, don’t get me wrong it’s a good game still but it doesn’t eclipse what Rock Band 3 left us with. We’ll talk about all this and more in the review.
I have to praise the team at Harmonix for their stance on legacy content like the songs we have downloaded over the years as well as the instruments we have purchased. Although there was a few launch issues with downloading old songs to Rock Band 4, I didn’t mind due to Harmonix importing over 1700 songs which will obviously come with some issues and delays. As for the legacy instruments, I used my PS3 Guitar and Drums from Rock Band 3, and it was just like setting up on the PS3, put the USB sensors in to the USB port of the PS4 and then press the PS button. It was just simple as that to use the PS3 instruments on PS4.
One thing that left me extremely disappointed regarding legacy content though was the lack of Keyboard support. I loved using my Pro Keyboard in Rock Band 3, and it was used just a little bit less than the guitar which I played a lot in Rock Band 3. So with the Pro Keyboard being used so much in the previous game, it was a big disappointment that I’d not be able to continue playing the Keyboard via Rock Band 4.
Freestyle Guitar Solos are a new addition to the Rock Band series, and they are a great addition too. They replace the ordinary button based solos from Rock Band 3 to give a sense of freedom and your own originality to your favorite songs. You play what you feel like playing during these solos, and at first it will sound weird playing something that doesn’t sound like the song your playing, but after a while, and when you start to figure out the solos you can play you will fall in love with these new guitar solos. It’s a great addition because now when you play the guitar you’re not just flat out trying to perfectly play a classic song, you can now make each song unique with these solos. There is also an option to just play a complete song as a guitar solo.
One of my major problems was the removal of features/content and the lack of customization options. One major removal I noticed was the practice mode which for me personally is a mode I really need. I like how could break the songs in to parts and play them at different speeds to get good at the song, but in Rock Band 4 you’ll just have to play the full song at normal speed and get good that way. As I said previously, this was a big disappointment for me.
Then there was the real lack of customization options for creating characters. You can purchase new hair styles and clothes with in game currency, but even then there’s hardly enough. In Rock Band 3 there were more clothes options, more hair styles, more face options, ect so it was a real shame to see there were less in Rock Band 4.
The Final Verdict
Rock Band 4 is another solid addition to the series, although the move from the previous generation to the current generation didn’t do that much to make the game any better than previous instalments. The game suffers from lacking in content that we had in previous Rock Band games and as well as limited options. The developers get all the credit they deserve for what they did regarding legacy content, and I feel more companies should follow what they did to make fans feel like they’re getting a great deal. Altogether though, it’s a good, fun yet lacking Rock Band game.
+Still fun as ever to play a Rock Band
+Freestyle Guitar Solos
-Lacking in character customization
-No Keyboard support
-No practice mode for songs