The feature that should have been available at launch, setlists, will make a triumphant return to Rock Band 4 in the coming months.
Things are a bit odd for Harmonix right now. The release of Rock Band 4 had not been the sales boom that publisher Mad Catz had been looking for, with the end result of roughly more than a third of their staff being fired recently. Despite problems on the hardware side, things are looking up on the development of the software, with ongoing updates planned for the future. The most prominent is a long-overdue feature that should have shipped with Rock Band 4 in the first place: setlists.
The news was announced on the Rock Band 4 subreddit amidst talks about an upcoming leaderboard wipe. In a sort of a “State of the Video Game” address, plans were announced to fix an issue in which an Overdrive exploit allowed for artificially higher scores than what should have been possible. That will go up in March, while April will see songs in the back catalog get updates. Songs that had no guitar might see a new track, charting issues will be corrected and, most importantly, players can finally add songs in a formalized setlist for continuous playing.
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Currently, the only way to play certain specific Rock Band 4 songs in a row is to go to Quickplay, pick a song, play it, return to the song select screen and pick and play the next one. Now, as illustrated in this webm made by someone with questionable music tastes, you can select what songs you want to play ahead of time and let the good times (rock and) roll. You can even pick the same song multiple times in the setlist, whether it’s in a row or throughout a full setlist. A bonus new feature includes how long the setlist will run in total song time.
When I reviewed Rock Band 4 back in October, I had noted how the game had taken steps back while presenting a finite, core gameplay experience. I still play every week or so with friends locally, but arguing over a select random bunch of songs through the “Play A Show” option never really appealed to us. The freedom to choose what songs you want to play sequentially is an essential gameplay service, one that took way too long for Harmonix to implement. It’s still roughly two months away, but I can’t wait for setlists to come back.