Rock Band 3 - Xbox 360

  • Publisher: MTV Games
  • Genre:Music
  • Developer: Harmonix
  • Release Date:Oct 26, 2010
  • # of Players:1 player, 7 online
  • ESRB:T - Teen (Mild Lyrics,Mild Suggestive Themes,Use of Alcohol)
  • Platforms:
Game Description: Rock Band 3, the third installment in Harmonix and MTV Games' massively popular music franchise, features a keyboard and a realistic guitar with strings for hours of 83-song setlist game play.
G4TV Rating
5 / 5
  • Avg User Rating
    (10 Ratings)
    4.9 / 5
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E3 2010: Rock Band 3 Preview

E3 2010: Rock Band 3 Preview

By Andrew Pfister - Posted Jun 10, 2010

Rock Band 3

What We Already Know:

Rock Band 3, we suspected, would have to change things dramatically. We had run out of things to do with a guitar/band-based music game, and all that was left was to complain about why our favorite songs still weren't in the setlist. Rock Band Network was an important step forward in addressing that area, but there needed to be something on the average consumer level that breathed new life into a mildly stagnant genre. The Beatles: Rock Band meant that we'd most likely see vocal harmonies, but there had to be something more with Rock Band 3


What We're Seeing Now:

And there is quite a bit more. We're getting vocal harmonies, which we heard at a pre-E3 demonstration in the form of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody." Rock Band 3 supports up to three singers now, with each performance tracked and scored independently. So that's one thing.

The second thing is that finally, after years of semi-joking, semi-serious requests for a keyboard/keytar peripheral…we're getting a keyboard/keytar peripheral. Designed by the hardware gurus at Mad Catz, the Rock Band 3 keyboard is a 25-key instrument that actually doubles as a legitimate MIDI controller. Naturally, this will provide new possibilities for song, band, and even genre choices for disc- and download-based songs. And though they're not doing so immediately, Harmonix is considering exploring the back catalog and revamping Rock Band songs that already have keyboard parts to take advantage of the new instrument. ("Roll with the Changes", please.) So that's another big thing.

Rock Band 3

The third big thing, the biggest thing, to change in Rock Band 3 is something that directly addresses the bevy of complaints over the years from musicians who think that music games are doing nothing to teach you anything real about music theory and playing instruments. So Rock Band 3's "Pro" mode is going to teach you exactly that.

Rock Band "Pro" is something that's built entirely separately from the regular Rock Band experience we're all familiar with. Requiring the use of brand new hardware (again developed by Mad Catz), the Pro guitar is a six-"string," 17-fret axe that has sensors at every position. This means actual notes and chords show up on the expanded note highway that kind of looks like mobile guitar tablature. The idea isn't to be complex for the sake of complexity, but to actually teach players how to make proper chord shapes, how to do real hammer-ons and pull-offs, and the musical theory behind everything. Basically, skills that you can transfer directly from your Rock Band guitar to a real guitar.

Rock Band 3

The keyboard in Pro mode is also more complex. The note highway represents a full octave, and as you move up and down, the highway will slowly shift to the left or right depending on where the notes are headed. In our demo, there didn't seem to be an option to play with both left and right hands; if that turns out to be true, it's most likely a space limitation on the instrument and the note highway. The Pro drum set offers an additional three cymbals, but otherwise remains largely intact.

Harmonix isn't going to throw all of this at us at once; the Pro mode will still have difficulty options that range from easy to expert, slowly introducing chords and concepts in a way you'd expect a music teacher would start out a new student. Every presenter and speaker during the event was very earnest and heartfelt in wanting Pro mode to be something beneficial, and we got the impression that they're taking this very seriously.

That's not to say they're ignoring "regular" Rock Band 3…far from it. Catching up with the Guitar Hero series, Harmonix is introducing drop-in & drop-out play at any point in the game, in any mode. The user interface is getting some major overhauls, including player-personal menus that let everyone in the band to make simultaneous changes, as well as some very-appreciated filters for the song library. You'll be able to organize your songs by a host of specific criteria, including genre, personal rating, length of song, even the game it originated from. Songs can be rated from 1 to 5, which affect the frequency they show up in random setlists (rate a song 1 to doom it to obscurity). These can then be turned into custom setlists that you can save and share via rockband.com. Career mode is getting a bit of a story to it, with the goal being to accrue as many fans on tour as possible, and that incorporates a new feature called "Road Challenges," where you need to accomplish an assigned task, whether it's using overdrive to reignite a bored audience or playing perfectly to impress a judge.

Rock Band 3

Harmonix is taking a calculated risk with Rock Band 3. They're keeping the core concept of the band game with some much-needed housekeeping, but also sticking their necks way out there with the Pro mode, sensing that the much-needed change the music game genre needs…is actual music. The Pro guitars will be pricier for certain, and just like learning to play a real instrument, it will take an investment of time as well. But if it can get the likes of Jack White and Jimmy Page to reconsider their thoughts on the usefulness of video games, then it appears to be a risk worth taking.

Announced Tracks for Rock Band 3:

  • Metric, "Combat Baby"
  • Rilo Kiley, "Portions of Foxes"
  • Them Crooked Vultures, "Dead End Friends"
  • The Vines, "Get Free"
  • The White Stripes, "The Hardest Button to Button"
  • Phoenix, "Lasso"
  • Ida Maria, "Oh My God"
  • Juanes, "Me Enamora"
  • Jane's Addiction, "Been Caught Stealing"
  • Smash Mouth, "Walkin' on the Sun"
  • Spacehog, "In the Meantime"
  • Stone Temple Pilots, "Plush"
  • Dio, "Rainbow in the Dark"
  • Huey Lewis and the News, "The Power of Love"
  • Joan Jett, "I Love Rock and Roll"
  • Night Ranger, "Sister Christian"
  • Whitesnake, "Here I Go Again"
  • The Cure, "Just Like Heaven"
  • Ozzy Osbourne, "Crazy Train"
  • Queen, "Bohemian Rhapsody"
  • Jimi Hendrix, "Crosstown Traffic"
  • The Doors, "Break On Through"


Comments are Closed

  • Mandark XX

    Based on this early look, I'm very excited about the RB3 release. A keyboard and "stringed" guitars are a huge plus! I am hoping for better songs though. Many of the ones announced are either retreads from either GH or previous RB games. I hope to see some new material that will really excite me. (As a classic rock and 80's fan, I'm hoping for the likes of Led Zep, Yes, more Tull and and Joe Jackson, to name a few.)

    I also hope they allow you to port RB1, RB2 and DLC tracks to RB3. I would expect to and gladly pay a fee for that.

    Looking forward to more news as the date gets closer...

    Posted: June 15, 2010 11:41 AM
  • Snootchies

    Juanes?!?!?!? IM SO IN!!!! This is the next step further. breaking the language barrier and getting music from different ethnicities. Good job Rock Band

    Posted: June 15, 2010 12:58 AM
  • starclassics

    so, instead of actually picking up a guitar and playing, you can go into "pro" mode and play a fake guitar to TRANSFER to a real one?

    Pardon me, but just pick up a real damn guitar already. I love RockBand, the guitar heroes, etc, love playing them.

    But this notion of making real chord shapes on a fake guitar is just great. Reminds me of taking your Ipod, syncing it, erasing everything on the Ipod, and then syncing it again. It's pointless.

    Posted: June 14, 2010 9:59 AM
  • RAWR22

    I never found expert on drums hard at all. I can;t wait to try the Pro mode though. Using both toms and cymbals, but alternating them sounds a little more challenging then just hitting the pad for every single note. I really cant wait for this. But will they do Pro mode for all the other dlc and songs from Rockband 1, 2, Beattles, Green Day, ACDC, and all the disc packs? I hope so!

    Posted: June 13, 2010 5:12 PM
  • jaespur21

    I could care less about learning how to play a guitar. I wouldve done that when my brother was learning if i wanted that. I chose to play basketball instead. Still couldnt care about learning to play guitar.

    Posted: June 13, 2010 2:34 PM
  • Annihil8tr13


    Posted: June 13, 2010 2:06 PM
  • Sighatxplay

    Yah for crap songs again with a few exceptions... where the hell is all the hard rock?

    Posted: June 13, 2010 11:53 AM
  • acid7

    Looks likes The Beatles Rock Band had a major influence over this game. which is a great thing!

    Posted: June 13, 2010 9:06 AM
  • Jackal904

    This pro guitar mode sounds pretty close to the real deal as far as I can tell. I play real guitar, and I'm wondering if I should bother with the pro guitar stuff in RB3 since they're so close to each other. You're typical guitar game is so different from real guitar, that I don't mind having both. But the pro guitar seems so close to the real guitar, that you just might as well get a real guitar. But it seems like the pro guitar stuff in RB3 will be great for beginners. And it will help beginners develop skills for real guitar without having to pay a bunch of money for lessons every week.

    Posted: June 13, 2010 8:24 AM
  • Mazariegos1

    yeees!! im buying this

    Posted: June 11, 2010 3:33 PM
  • insomic

    for the keybored players and singers we dont need break on through (even tho its a great doors song) we need the end or light my fire lol

    Posted: June 11, 2010 1:34 PM
  • insomic

    why madcatz their stuff is a reliable as a illegal immigrant . now we need to get logitech to make this stuff then i will be happy

    Posted: June 11, 2010 1:32 PM
  • pigeye

    The concept looks great, but the songs look like garbage with the exception of 3. Looks like hard rock can expect to be crapped on.

    Posted: June 11, 2010 1:15 PM
  • ww2_honor

    I'm a hardcore drum fanatic and they are all I play (I use the Ion Drum Rocker) and frankly I suck at guitar, which is why I focus on drums the most and do pretty good on expert (most songs I get <98% on), but this is actually making me want to try out the guitar again. If it is priced decently I may pick the game up with the guitar bundle instead of the game alone. I really want to learn a real instrument (mainly drums) but my parents don't want the noise so this would be a great opportunity for me to finally learn an instrument (in this case guitar). Can't wait to see more at E3!

    Posted: June 11, 2010 1:15 PM
  • napkinshower

    hahha the male character singing the cure song had guyliner on ahaha! ah how emo was that.

    Posted: June 11, 2010 1:09 PM
  • XXXSpartan118XXX

    Allow us to use our Ipod as a music selector to. Like download playlist to RB3.

    Posted: June 11, 2010 12:07 PM
  • gambit1023

    I'm getting a little worried about having to drop another 200 bucks for this game now. The setlist is great but there are a few unanswered questions:

    1: Can I use my old instruments with it or do I have to buy the new hardware.

    2. Are all my old DLC songs compatible with RB3

    3. Will they sell the keyboard as a stand alone peripheral?

    4. Where is "In the Air Tonight"???

    Posted: June 11, 2010 6:12 AM
  • publicnme77

    I've loved all the Harmonix music games I've played, and am now officially excited as hell for RB3. Been waiting for someone to make the leap to teaching actual guitar. Very cool.

    But if there's one feature I've desperately wanted since the original RB, it's this: is there any way we can get the option of sorting songs by when they were added to the library in quickplay mode? Not by release week, mind you, but by when I downloaded them? That way, when I am given a 2000-point MS-Point gift card and go berzerk in the music store, I don't have to sift through my entire catalog of tunes, trying to remember which among them I just downloaded?

    Posted: June 11, 2010 5:18 AM
  • Phategod

    The models look pretty good too.

    Posted: June 11, 2010 3:12 AM
  • insomic

    i play guitar and rockband so i know where people get irritated by saying learn how to play a real guitar so im amped for the pro mode and i wont mind using it myself to keep from getting rusty if i dont have a guitar on hand

    Posted: June 11, 2010 2:08 AM