During gamescom I attended a preview session for Rocksmith 2014 Edition which was hosted by the game’s creative director Paul Cross. The follow-up to Ubisoft’s innovative guitar-learning game is out next month already, so this session represented a timely opportunity to learn what sets Rocksmith 2014 Edition apart from its best-selling predecessor.
Paul began the session by telling us that the original Rocksmith has sold over 1.5 million units worldwide. Despite the game’s success, players raised a number of complaints which Ubisoft set out to address in the sequel. These include latency issues and long load times which Paul says have been fixed in Rocksmith 2014 Edition.
Ubisoft also wanted to improve the game’s usefulness to beginners and in this regard there are over 85 lessons in the sequel consisting of video tutorials and step-by-step instructions to ease newcomers into the ins and outs of playing guitar.
Beyond these improvements, Rocksmith 2014 Edition features a number of new features, modes and user interface refinements. The game recommends lessons based on how you played a particular song, and you can select any section of a song to practice using the Riff Repeater option.
A major new feature in the sequel is called Session Mode which recreates the experience of being a session guitarist by teaming you up with a virtual band which adjust to your guitar playing on the fly. There are 76 instruments to choose from in this mode, so you can recreate the instruments used by your favourite band and then lead from the front with your guitar. Paul showed us some of the settings you can tweak in this mode, such as beats per minute (BPM) which adjusts the tempo of your virtual band’s instruments. It’s hard not to be impressed by the technology underpinning this mode and to feel excited for all the Rocksmith fans who have always wanted to experience playing in a band.
Paul wrapped up the session by sharing a few more details about Rocksmith 2014 Edition with us. All players’ purchased DLC from the original Rocksmith will carry over into the sequel, and DLC bought for the PC version can be transferred to the Mac version as well. In terms of the sequel’s tracklist, it features over 50 classic tracks and contemporary hits from bands such as Aerosmith, Oasis, Paramore, and The Smashing Pumpkins.
Rocksmith 2014 Edition will be released for PC, Mac, PS3 and Xbox 360 on October 22nd in the US and October 25th in the UK.