From new DLC songs that have themes centering around resurrection and the survey that floated around to tens of thousands of people, asking upfront what people would like in a sequel, the writing has been on the wall for a little while now and with the confirmation here it’s time to dig into what lies ahead for Rock Band 4.
The plan is for the new Rock Band is to focus on the new graphics capability and audio fidelity the current generation of consoles has given them access to. Harmonix has ensured that they listened to every bit of information they’ve gathered from their survey; from whether or not people want brand new plastic instrument peripherals, to how fans want their previously owned DLC playlists handled.
Right now the plan seems be focusing on simplicity and accessibility being top priorities. Previously purchased songs and playlists will be ported over to the current consoles from the previous generation with no extra charge, however only if you’ve stuck with the same brand. Harmonix have also said they want old instruments to be able to be used, to allow for a smoother transition as well as to help ease costs on both sides of the fence, but new ones will still be made and released. That said though, the old “Pro” controllers, more realistic controllers made to help roughly teach players of Rock Band 3 how to play real life instruments, will not be making a return and Harmonix seem to be aiming for the party game crowd first and foremost.
This idea about capturing the spirit of playing in a band, rather than dealing with the nitty gritty details of learning how to play a real guitar, could help set Rock Band 4 apart from its more contemporary competition. Activision’s Guitar Hero series has been hinted at aiming for a more realistic feel. Meanwhile Ubisoft’s Rocksmith titles, which let the player use almost any electric guitar, have been incredibly popular as a learning tool.
It could be time for the music rhythm genre to make a comeback. Brick and mortar stores would appreciate the sales brought by physical peripherals required to play, and this could inject some more life into the current consoles. If handled properly, Rock Band 4 could hit some very high notes and revitalise the genre, both serving new a new audience and old dedicated fans.