Back in the not-so-distant past, you would’ve been forgiven for thinking you were a rock god of the gaming world when you were able to bust out the full 7+ minutes of Dragonforce’s Through The Fire And Flames’ on expert Guitar Hero.
Nowadays the market is unfortunately less fruitful in the guitar-based rhythm genre, and players need something fresh and exciting to have bragging rights over. Rocksmith could well be the answer, but with it comes the use of the fabled ‘real instrument’.
Claiming to teach actual guitar knowledge, Ubisoft has created a teaching aid for all you wannabe rock stars, in the guise of a videogame. Finally, you can honestly say you can play a riff from a well-known song, rather than losing face in a failed attempt at strumming a chord.
Rocksmith teaches you from the ground up, beginning with the basics; how to position your guitar, tune the strings, and hold the pick. You’re taught really simple note progressions, working through the career mode until you’re finally able to play a song to the end perfectly.
It’s pretty intuitive to how well you’re advancing, becoming more difficult with each playthrough of a song, or slowing down if you stumble. You play much like you would Guitar Hero; the strings are marked as colours, while the fret numbers indicate where to put your fingers and when to strum.
Look at how complicated that is! Guitar Hero would have never taken off if it looked like that.
It even comes with stickers for your guitar’s fret board so you don’t get lost, and a unique lead: USB to a quarter inch jack, so you can play using any electric guitar you find lying around. If you fancy a jam, rather than playing the set list, you also have the option to use your TV as an amp, which includes a range of pedals and effects – perfect to annoy the neighbours with.
The set list is always open for those who want to show off what they’ve learnt, or for those who believe they already possess the musical prowess of Clapton or Hendrix and want to jump right in.
Mini-games aim to build on certain techniques while giving you a break from the career mode, and split-screen multiplayer is available for you to rock out with a friend if you want to go public with your skills. With a multitude of classic and more recent rock hits available, Rocksmith can definitely teach anyone a thing or two about guitar playing.
It’s not a chore to learn using the game, and with a host of DLC on the horizon, Rocksmith definitely has longevity. Keep practicing and with time you can almost certainly claim to be a rock star.