Rocksmith – All New 2014 Edition
Developer: Ubisoft San Fransisco
Platform: Xbox One, Playstation 4
Rocksmith was a fantastic surprise to me when I picked it up in 2013. Not because the songs present were decent, or that the mini games were fun, but because the game did exactly what it said it would on the box. Rocksmith 2014 took everything great Rocksmith and made it even better with more songs and more mini-games. Rocksmith 2014 on the Xbox One and PS4 goes one step even further with improved loading times, more mini-games and a set-list that rivaled the first game’s.
My guitar and bass skills have improved dramatically since I began playing it and in a short while I went from knowing a few bass riffs to playing Iron Maiden with my eyes closed. I’m challenging myself daily on my bass guitar but I’m also prone to simply losing myself in catchy songs like ‘Take Me Out‘ from Franz Ferdinand or the wonderfully diverse ‘Knights of Cydonia‘ from Muse. One of the few games that saw me constantly revisiting my Xbox 360, Rocksmith 2014 was the ultimate guitar tool.
It might seem odd to some people then, that Rocksmith 2014 has been ported to the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles. This new updated version of RS 2014 sees with it a few updates and tweaks though, making it the ultimate version of the “fastest way to learn guitar”. There’s no better time to jump into the Rocksmith experience!
In case you are unaware of what Rocksmith is, allow me to introduce you to it. Rocksmith is a rhythm game/educational software hybrid, which allows people to learn and improve their guitar and bass skills while playing music (as well a mini-games) and receiving feedback from the game. It sounds too good to be true but believe me, it works – and it works damn well. I myself have gone from knowing a few bass-lines from classic Metallica songs to being able to play multiple songs from start to finish without even needing the notes on screen – something I consider a fantastic achievement.
The beauty of Rocksmith is that it works so well and that it’s so much fun. If you’ve played games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band but are thinking that Rocksmith will be too hard to be enjoyable, think again. Rocksmith manages to be fun without seeming like a piece of bland instructional software. Do you remember playing Where in the World is Carmen San Diego? and not realising you were actually learning geography and knowledge of the world? Rocksmith will also hoodwink you – you’ll feel like you’re simply jamming along to different songs, but in actuality you are playing the same chords, notes, and lead as your favourite musicians. Can Guitar Hero do that?
Seeing as I’ve already played and reviewed Rocksmith 2014 (read our review here), I will be focusing on the updates in this review. They might not seem like much to the average person , but they make for a decently improved title overall.
Firstly, the game loads quicker on current-gen consoles. It might not sound all that important, but the fact that menus and songs load quicker means less time mucking about on your rig while you wait for a song or game to start was noticeable and appreciated by myself.
Secondly, Rocksmith 2014 on the PS4 and Xbox One looks better thanks to it running at a higher resolution. While the game has a more minimalist design it still benefits from a higher resolution as you need to be able to recognise what frets to hold down and quickly, as well as what technique certain notes require while playing – the higher resolution found in the current-gen versions allows this to be just that little bit easier.
Thirdly, all previously bought DLC will work on the Xbox One and PS4 versions – and be free of charge. All the songs I previously bought were free when I clicked on them in Rocksmith 2014‘s in-game shop. I did have some trouble with song packs that I bought, though I’m sure that Ubisoft are aware of this problem and are hard at work patching it.
- Will improve your guitar and bass skills as well as knowledge
- Accessible – anyone can learn
- Fantastic set list
- Occasional difficulty spike
- Can often assume you’re as good on one instrument as you are with the other, meaning you have to reset progress when switching instruments.