Rocksmith 2014 Edition - PlayStation 4

Release Date:

October 04, 2014

Also on:

PS4 Xbox One
8.1

Summary:

In Rocksmith 2014 Edition, Ubisoft's musical instrument sim is designed to work with real guitars and makes its debut with more than 50 new songs, a variety of new and updated modes, and a completely redesigned interface. While the game's action takes the form of a color-coded "note highway" that should be familiar to anyone who played Guitar Hero or Rock Band, and the new interface has been designed to be clearer, faster, and easier to use for those who cannot read sheet music, many of the changes in Rocksmith 2014 were made with more experienced guitar players in mind.

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by Ubisoft
Release Date: 10/20/2015

Details

Technical Information

  • DualShock Compatible:
    • DualShock 4
  • Required Disc Space:
    • 6.2GB Minimum
  • Supported Video Output:
    • 1080p
  • Engine:
    • Gamebryo
  • Game Format:
    • Blu-ray Disc
  • Average Playing Time:
    • 60 Hours
  • Number of Track(s):
    • 66 (More available as DLC)
avatar name

Posted:
2015-02-19

Darren_Summerell

Writer

PS4

8.0

Rocksmith 2014 Edition is a music based video game that was released on the PlayStation 4 back in November of 2014. The game was developed by Ubisoft and meant to build off of the rapidly growing audience of rhythm based gamers but with the added twist of being an actual instrument based experience. It is the primed and polished follow up to the original 2011 released, Rocksmith. In the game you can plug in either an electric or bass guitar and the unveiling of the game occurred at E3 2013. Despite how complicated the game seems at first glance, it was critically acclaimed and for good reason. So if you want to learn guitar while gaming, keep on reading!

The fastest way to learn guitar!

The cover of Rocksmith 2014 would have you believe that it is truly THE best, and fastest, way to learn how to play the guitar. The basic concept of the game is that you plug in your real life instrument, be it an electric guitar or a bass guitar, and then you let the video game lead you down the path to truly rocking out. Once you plug in your guitar, through an interface that works with your input jack, you are confronted with a couple of different choices. Picking your 'path' is probably the most important decision you will make in the game as it will change the way that you play. There is: lead guitar, rhythm guitar, and bass guitar. Each different path will show you how to develop your abilities in the real world playing of that style. A rhythm guitar is more chord based and progressions are easier to memorize. A lead guitar insists on more complicated licks while the bass guitar is rooted to the four strings of the heavy instrument. Each path is trainable so feel free to follow whichever one feels right to you at the time.

So how does it look?

Well, Rocksmith really shouldn't be considered as a video game insomuch as it is really just a learning tool. You wouldn't look down on your textbooks for having average illustrations, as long as the pictures conveyed the information that they needed to. And that's how it is with Rocksmith. The visual image of the game is simple and it is reminiscent of the other 'Guitar Hero' style games. You have a six string representation of your guitar (or four strings, if it is bass) on the screen. There you will see the frets numbered out. Cycling down the screen toward your vision you will see chords charted out for you to play. So imagine the 'blue, orange, yellow' rhythm of Rock Band and exchange those symbols for actual chords. Harder, yes, but way more beneficial. You are actually LEARNING something.

Looking at the 2014 release of 'Rocksmith' we have to ask ourselves if we are actually seeing something new. Obviously the PS4 has a much better motor to run everything, but does it matter that much for this sort of game? The answer is a muddled: sorta. The game looks much cleaner and sharper on your screen, especially if you are practicing on a large screen, and the resolution is definitely improved. Would you want to buy this game for the graphical improvements? Probably not. But it still looks nice and is definitely an upgrade over what we had before.

So what's new in this release?

Rocksmith had time to gestate and music had time to catch up with this sort of video game. So the largest change that we've seen between the two games is the availability of musical selections for you to learn and rock out alongside. If you paid for any DLC content for the original release it will seamlessly port over to this version. Outside of that you will just have more DLC to choose from and in doing so, you will have more to actually learn. A single new song can give you days, or weeks, of information to learn. Jamming the guitar isn't easy, and practice is downright necessary.

Not all that glitters is gold, unfortunately. While there is a quality step up in the new version of Rocksmith, there are also a few little problems. Audio latency will always be the bane of rhythm based musical games and the effect here is no different. The original Rocksmith barely had any issues keeping up with the music, and so it was easier for you to get your guitar in rhythm. For some reason the PS4 isn't quite as optimized and so you will have to really spend some time calibrating the sound. Even being a fraction of a fraction of a second delayed will aggravate you to no end.

Does it play well?

The final question you have to be asking yourself is this: Does it actually play well? And by that we want to know if you will actually learn the guitar via the exercises that the game offers. The answer is, fortunately, pretty simple. By following the practice tracks that Rocksmith 2014 offers, you will be able to learn the guitar quicker than ever. Having the on screen companion to guide your fingers is an excellent way to reinforce good habits and prevent you from making poor decisions. By minimizing the audio latency you will be close to actually playing alongside a really good teacher. In short, give Rocksmith a go if you really want to learn the guitar.

Are you ready to rock out?

To wrap things up we have to commend the PS4 version of Rocksmith 2014 Edition for its ability to push the boundaries of what an educational game actually can be. The game is graphically on point and the song selection is wonderful. The ease with which you can interface your guitar and the video game is laughably simple and playing through the different paths is a great way to learn how to jam out. You will pick up good habits by following the directions and you will be well on your way to starting your own band in no time.

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By:

Ubisoft

Release Date:

October 04, 2014

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