Electronic Arts may just change the face of rhythm games forever, with their upcoming game, Rock Band. Taking cues from games such as Karaoke Revolution and Guitar Hero, Rock Band allows up to four different players, with various instrument types, to play together. Now, you can live your dream of forming your own rock band and touring, with a guitarist, bassist, drummer and singer.
As an interesting twist, all multiplayer modes allow any combination of local players and online players, allowing you to get together for a rockin' party or to practice with friends located across the country or across the world.
Rock Band will include a Quickplay mode so you can just jump in and have fun jamming out, a Practice mode that allows you to work on your skillz, both a Solo Tour and a World Tour mode, to give you a "career" experience, Band Co-op play as well as a Head to Head mode where two players duel for bragging rights, in person or online, but the duels have to be of the same instrument, so, unfortunately, no Drummer vs. Bassist opportunities here.
When I went to my EA "appointment" and was just sort-of left to my own devices, I gravitated to Rock Band and just stood there watching for a while. They actually had a small stage, with about a 6 to 8 inch rise, and had a television on the ground for the players to watch, allowing them to play while facing the onlookers, very concert-style. It was an amazing thing to watch how popular Rock Band was. There was no public relations person or developer explaining anything, just a whole lot of excited gamers (most, if not all, being gaming press) watching the performance, waiting for their turn and then just letting go and having fun... and, so far as I could tell, none of them were drunk. Just think how much more rowdy and entertaining Rock Band will become under typical party conditions.
As I heard one member of the press put it, let's hope that Guitar Hero can survive with such obvious direct competition as Rock Band. Rock Band is scheduled for a Fall 2007 release on the 360 and PS3.