Whether you’re an avid video gamer or not, chances are you have heard of the Rock Band series. The last few installments have been “band” focused (Green Day & The Beatles) but now Harmonix is back with their third installment in the Rock Band series, aptly named Rock Band 3. Can Harmonix manage to bring some new life into a genre that many think might be already past its prime? Read our full review to find out.
One thing I should mention at the top of the review is that I am in no way shape or form a musician. Normally with these types of games you would probably be scratching your head and wondering why I would mention this, but I mention in because of the brand new “Pro” mode which can be played on Guitar, Drums, and Keyboard. So I should mention these modes are for those that either have a musical background or want to have one going forward. Sadly I am not in those two categories. I did however give a go at both the Guitar and Keyboard pro modes and found them to be extremely well done. Although my musical skills could not keep up it was still pretty awesome to be playing the keyboard and actually nailing real notes.
So with that area of the game out of the way underneath some of the really cool features for musicians there is still a stellar game of Rock Band underneath that includes the ability to play keyboard the newest instrument to the Rock Band lineup. The core Gameplay of Rock Band 3 has gone unchanged from past games. There is a much improved career element that has you going through the list of songs but like many music games before it, it doesn’t necessarily make you feel like your part of the whole “Rock Band” experience but rather just playing song after song. In my eyes it is still a big miss for the genre as a whole that I would imagine one day will be met.
An area that I think has been somewhat overlooked with Rock Band 3 is its track list and it’s actually quite impressive with a great mix of music. Not to mention that you can of course import music from the past two games as well as downloadable content. All of this with the keyboard support, an amazing new track list, and of course Pro mode and you have one stellar music package.
Visually not much has changed over the years of Rock Band’s existence which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I have always been a big fan of the way Harmonix has designed their games and I think Rock Band 3 continues to be a pretty good looking game. With the new keyboard added into the mix as well as the pro mode the visuals are even more important and luckily everything works out really well.
What really impresses me about Rock Band 3 more then anything is that it renewed my interest in a genre that I have been burned out on for the past year or so. You may be wondering what about Rock Band 3 helped revitalize my interest. Well first off I have always wanted to play the keyboard, and this is an opportunity to pretend to be playing the instrument and if I ever got the inclination to want to learn I could do that as well. The crossover to not only have a game that you can just sit down and enjoy but also learn at the same time is a pretty impressive feat to accomplish.
If there is one thing that really stands out to me about Rock Band 3 is that in a time where music games are starting to feel dated, Rock Band 3 manages to still be fresh. There is just a plethora of great content on the disc and when you combine that with past tracks and DLC this is a game that can keep those musical juices flowing for quite some time.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.