Rock Band 3 has arrived and with some new changes to the Rock Band formula. Of course, how much of these changes you experience will depend on the type of financial investment you want to make and how long you want to play. It should be stated immediately that we were not able to get a keyboard or the fancy new guitar. This review is only about the game itself and not the new hardware. With that said Rock Band 3 is a fantastic addition to the Rock Band franchise. Harmonix has made some changes to mix things up and they all work. If you look at the core of the game then it is simply another music game, however, if you choose to look deeper and experiment with what Harmonix has given you then you will find a really great title here.
When you first boot up the game and get to the main menu you have the standard options. You can customize your band, create your own rocker, change your band name and more. There is also training for those who are new to Rock Band or for those who picked up the new instruments. Then of course there is the career mode. Career mode is interesting because Harmonix has done something totally different with it. There isn’t a main storyline this time in career mode. Instead you have a set of goals to achieve. You have different categories such as Rock Band Basics, downloaded song goals, band song progress and more. Say, for example, you picked the downloaded song goals options. You would then have certain goals to obtain such as beating five downloaded songs, twenty downloaded songs, specific free downloadable songs and more. By achieving your goal you gain more fans which will help with the ranking of your band.
In addition to that there are the Road Challenges. This is what most closely resembles the “story” aspect that previous Rock Band titles have had. When you select this option you are brought to a menu where you have different road challenges to choose from. Once you pick one you will go through a quick cut scene and then drive to the place where you are going to perform your first set. Once you are done there you will move on to the next venue in that specific challenge. Once you have completed all of the venues in a specific challenge, new challenges will open up along with new venues. Beating these challenges will require different things be done. In some of them you need to get as many streaks in a song as possible while in others you need to release star power as often as you possibly can. It’s an interesting concept and should keep gamers busy for a while as they try to pass all of the challenges. After you beat a challenge and you move on to the next one you will see a quick cut scene of what is taking place which is how Harmonix moves along the little bit of story in the game. Throughout your challenges your band will travel the world and have to win over fans in each region. Once you meet all of the requirements and have gained enough of a following you can move on to the next challenge.
There are of course online modes in Rock Band 3 as well with different options to that you can tailor the experience to meet your needs. You can select things such as an all instruments mode, no fail mode, vocal options, modifiers and more. You can also connect your game to the Rock Band 3 website and monitor your progress while you aren’t at your console. By doing this you will get detailed stats about your gameplay, share accomplishments with friends and be able to create and compete in setlist battles on the web. It is a great idea by Harmonix and one that should definitely give Rock Band 3 replayability for a very long time.
Overall, Rock Band 3 is a fantastic game. The additions and changes that Harmonix has made work really well and change up the formula enough to where it doesn’t seem like the same old thing. As I alluded to above your experience with Rock Band 3 will depend on how much you are willing to invest in terms of the actual time spent with the game and how much money you want to spend on accessories. If you just want to play songs on your guitar and enjoy the different modes you should have a blast. If you want to try something new with the keyboard or pro guitar than you should have a blast doing that as well. Harmonix has made another great music title and looks set to sweep the holiday season with both Rock Band 3 and Dance Central. Be sure not to be left out.