experience remains the same; players can choose between using guitar,
bass, drums, or a microphone to play their way through an ever growing
library of songs. But new features like Freestyle Solos, shown off at
PAX Prime, introduce an entirely new way to enjoy your favorite Rock Band songs.
do away with the strict “press correct button, produce note” format
favored by games in the past. Instead, players obtain the freedom to
create whatever kind of sounds they want. Different strumming speeds,
button changes, and strum directions all help dictate what the solo
sounds like. During the solo itself, players are offered a bit of
guidance on which note variations to use, but ignoring the prompts can
still produce awesome-sounding riffs.
out different notes on the guitar and see what sounded best, but more
skillful players should note that there is an art to creating solos.
Switching notes at the right time or using certain strums with certain
chords all create different and unique sounds. The notes themselves may
change slightly to fit with the key of certain songs, but those patterns
do not. With a little time and effort, players can figure out how to
create specific tunes in Freestyle Solos and create their own finely
crafted guitar solos from scratch.
Playing around with solos, both in the training modes and in actual
songs, made me feel like I was actually good at the game. The half hour I
spent with Rock Band 4 marked the most positive experience
I’ve ever had with a music game of any kind. As someone who is
chronically clumsy with any sort of rhythm game, this endorsement
doesn’t come lightly. I can only imagine what some of those hardcore Rock Band players will be able to do with Freestyle Solos when the game releases for PS4 and Xbox One on October 6.