E3: Rock Band 3 Preview

harmonix logo
Harmonix and MTV just aren’t satisfied. They can do better.

MTV was showing off a bevy of new options this year, including a highly touted “All Instrument” mode. This mode allows easy access to three mics, bass, guitar, keyboard and drums all at the same time.

“In previous editions of the game, you’d have a group of friends over, but only 4 were able to use instruments. Maybe you’d have another buddy who’d love to sing along without a mic, but it just wasn’t the same. Now, almost everyone that can fit in your 500 sq.ft. apartment can join in,” said a Harmonix representative.


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The game now caters to not only the hardest of core, but all the most casual. Rock Band 3 now features “No Fail” vocal tracks, and a “Song Filter,” which allowed players to search through all 1,500 potential Rock Band tracks by difficulty, genre, length, or almost anything any user might think of. The perfect party option to drop in and out of songs and sets was a fantastic idea long awaited, and finally implemented.

The two most amazing features new to this year were the addition of the keyboard, or keytar, and “Pro Guitar” mode. The keyboard allowed for two octave play, where the board would be divided into five sections, for five different notes. Where orange, the most difficult key in Rock Band, would have the smallest amount of keys committed to it, and green, the easiest, would have the most.

Pro Guitar, on the other hand, was the ability to have your special Rock Band guitar plugged into not only the game console, but a freestanding amp as well. On the fly, you could switch the game over from standard Rock Band music play, to playing through your amp, while Rock Band continues to track your progress. Because you were playing through an amp with a traditional guitar cable, the option to use distortion pedals was always an option, and even displayed to us through an elaborate stage show.

If you’re lenient about Rock Band at this point, don’t be. A lot of people might have been “Guitar Hero’d” out, but Rock Band 3 has given us every option to “drop in” again.

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Written by Adam R.

This author procured a media pass for E3 under false pretences, and no longer writes for Critical Gamer.

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