The most ambitious peripheral-driven game at the time of its release, Rock Band encourages aspiring musicians to drum, strum, or hum to classic and current rock songs instead of being limited to one specific part. Developer Harmonix Music Systems, who created both the acclaimed Guitar Hero and Karaoke Revolution franchises, expands the rhythm genre by introducing a four-player cooperative title featuring four distinct roles: drums, lead guitar, bass guitar, and vocals. To support this endeavor, Rock Band offers a custom designed drum kit, microphone, and guitar peripheral, all of which can be purchased separately or together with the “special edition” bundle.
Fans of the developer’s previous hits will feel right at home with Rock Band, as the underlying engine incorporates many of the same ideas. To “play” the sound with your selected peripheral, you must hit the right color-coordinated notes in time to the music. The singing aspect is identical to the one used in Karaoke Revolution, where your voice’s pitch and phrasing is scored on how close you croon to the selected track. Male or female rockers can be created with a choice of hairstyles, body types, faces, clothing, tattoos, and even personalities before embarking on a “World Tour.” Each tour can be played using only one of the instruments or as part of a band with up to three friends.
Performances at different cities earn characters star points to unlock additional songs or venues as well as cash to purchase new clothing and accessories. Online support is included along with various competitive modes, such as head-to-head battles with a choice of instruments. Rock Band ships with 58 licensed songs spanning five decades, with original master recordings used in all but seven tracks. Among the featured songs are “Gimme Shelter,” “Don’t Fear the Reaper,” “Creep,” “Tom Sawyer,” “Enter Sandman,” “Reptilia,” and “Sabotage.” Online players can also purchase new songs from artists such as The Who, Metallica, and The Grateful Dead soon after the game’s release.
Microsoft Xbox 360
Lyrics, Mild Suggestive Themes
Number of Players
Game Special Features
Team up with friends, online or off, to create a four-person rock band
Earn high score multipliers by stringing together perfect sequences
Personalize your created rock star by purchasing jewelry, shirts, new tattoo designs, and more