The Rock Band 4 Campaign Will Incorporate RPG Elements


One of the more prominent stories coming out of 2013, in my mind, was the then end of weekly Rock Band songs DLC. It was meant to act as the final shot into the dark, with Harmonix’s choice for a fitting farewell being “American Pie” by Don McLean. Something happened along the way, however, as Rock Band 4 was officially announced earlier this year. Now, throughout the rest of the month, Harmonix will be releasing tidbits of information about the game through IGN, including the fact that the new game’s campaign mode will effectively play as an RPG.

“We’re just working really hard at making everything feel like you are living this story, feeling what it’s like to be a musician playing gigs, playing shows,” Rock Band 4 designer Alli Thresher told IGN. “We want you to step up to the mic and interact with them, tell jokes, have them respond to your jokes, you know? Everything’s about all the stuff that all of us might have experienced, and want to share it with the people playing the game.”

Outside of telling a more fleshed-out story in the Rock Band 4 campaign, there’s a lot of new information to take in. The game will run at 1080p and 60FPS in a brand new game engine and the backlog of 2,000+ songs from old games will transfer to this title, but how you play songs of old and new has changed. An assortment of drums fills will be inserted into songs to start Overdrive now, replacing incoherent mashing until the green tom shows up like so many did before. Vocals will now have the option to sing in freeform melodies, emphasizing individuality in owning a song while maintaining the same key.

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There will be more nuggets of information coming out in the coming weeks, including the first official list of songs coming to Rock Band 4, but even based off of what we know right now, I have to say I’m quite excited. Building a Rock Band gaming platform for PS4 and Xbox One with the intention of creating a music gaming institution (rather than releasing modified versions of the same game over and over) should help avoid market oversaturation that made the genre suffer in the final throes of the last generation of gaming. Hopefully, with music adapting towards a digital age in a big way with programs like Spotify and Tidal over the past few years, a wider variety of bands will be interested in having their music played for years to come.

Rock Band 4 is scheduled for a 2015 release.

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