Rock Band 3

Dominic Sacco

Rock Band 3

TO MANY music fans nothing compares to the thrill of performing songs live – and Harmonix is stepping up its offering in Rock Band 3.

For the first time users can wield new tools of rock, including a keyboard controller, real guitar and a revised drum kit.

The Rock Band franchise has sold millions of units worldwide since the first game was released in 2007, with 75m songs downloaded through its online store alone. The total pool of DLC tracks has surpassed 2,000, adding immense replay value to the series.

Rock Band 3 boasts 83 songs out of the box, including tracks from rock acts across the ages such as Jimi Hendrix, Avenged Sevenfold, Paramore, The White Stripes and Ozzy Osbourne. Songs written by artists from other genres such as pop and reggae also make an appearance including Lady Gaga and Bob Marley.

Players can also port songs across from previous games including Rock Band, Green Day: Rock Band, AC/DC Live: Rock Band and LEGO Rock Band.

Once again players are able to play one instrument by themselves or team up with a group of up to six others to play as a band for the full experience.

Users can rock out by playing bass, guitar, drums and keyboard – plus those who fancy themselves as a vocalist can use a microphone accessory to sing along. The game will also feature three-part vocal harmonies that were introduced in The Beatles: Rock Band.

THE REAL DEAL

The most unique aspect of Rock Band 3 is that the game encourages players to pick up a real instrument after switching the console off.

The official accessories are compatible with MIDI devices and amps, allowing users to play them as they would a real instrument. This opens up a whole new world of possibilities to fans who may not have previously been interested in making music.

Rock Band 3 doubles up as an edutainment package. It has a ‘Rock For Real’ mode that allows players to develop their musical skills, providing consumers an alternative to paying for expensive music lessons, books and DVDs.

Fans can start on the ‘Easy’ difficulty setting and learn basic skills before working their way up to ‘Expert’ and mastering the instrument of their choice.

GETTING THE PARTY STARTED

For the casual player who isn’t interested in playing a real instrument, there are is range of new party modes for instant accessibility.

Party Shuffle is a pick-up-and-play mode that keeps the songs coming, while gamers can delve into the title’s thorough Career Mode with over 700 goals to complete and rewards to discover. This takes each band on a journey as they rise in status from performances at their local pubs to sold-out stadium tours.

There is also Twitter and Facebook integration in Rock Band 3, allowing players to set challenges or display achievements to others online. Xbox 360 owners can also access a range of Rock Band 3 avatar clothing,
accessories and instruments for Xbox Live users to buy via the Xbox Live dashboard. These include MTV Moonman statues, outfits and even a classic Fender Stratocaster guitar.

With its pro accessories, massive database of songs and a selection of new modes, MTV and EA will take a larger share of the music games market when Rock Band 3 arrives on October 29th.

LET'S START A BAND

Rock Band 3 features a range of new wireless peripherals including a new guitar, eight-piece drum kit and a keyboard accessory.

Fender Mustang Pro Guitar
£124.99

This accessory features 17 frets, six strings, a touch-sensitive neck with six buttons per fret. It also allows players to connect it to MIDI sequencers and amps in order to play their own tunes.

Pro Keyboard
£69.99

Music fans can use this to play the guitar, bass or keyboard parts in Rock Band 3. It boasts 25 keys and, like the guitar, can also be used as a proper keyboard. Gamers can use the provided strap, buy a stand or play the keyboard on a table top.

Pro Drums and Cymbal Kit
£119.99

Boasting four drum pads, three cymbals and a bass pedal, this pro drum set also comes with an easy-to-install clamp. The crash, ride and hi-hat cymbals have ten-degree strike angles for precise drumming.

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