Rock Band 3 will teach you how to play keyboards, guitar
And you thought those piano lessons were a waste of time.
USA Today was lucky enough to score a backstage pass to meet Rock Band 3, and they’ve come back with loads of juicy details, not the least of which is confirmation of a new instrument: a keyboard.
The new peripheral will work just like the other Rock Band instruments, tasking players with matching colored keys flowing down a virtual note highway. It isnâ€™t just another plastic toy, however. Boasting 25 keys, it plays just like a legit keyboard, and can even be used outside the game, thanks to full MIDI functionality.
Emphasizing the game’s more realistic approach is the newly unveiled Pro mode. Playing keyboards in this mode requires the use of all 25 keys; at its highest difficulty setting, it will closely match the actual keyboard parts, potentially turning gamers into real players.
That mode will be extended to the other instruments as well. For guitarists, realistic musical notation will replace the familiar colored notes, guiding players up and down the fretboard of two brand new guitar controllers. One is a full-sized Fender Squier Stratocaster — six strings and all — that, says Harmonix PR head John Drake “can tell where your fingers are based on technology in the neck and the bridge of the guitar. No buttons.”
The other guitar is somewhere in between the real deal and the plastic peripherals. Created by accessory maker Mad Catz, it’s modeled after a Fender Mustang Pro and features a neck covered in buttons.
“You can go from plucking single notes to power chords and bar chords, we have crazy stuff like tapping and slides,” senior designer Sylvain Dubrofsky told USA Today.
A slew of other features were revealed, including full jump-in/jump-out functionality for all players, the ability to change instruments without pausing, a new goal-driven career mode, improved song filters, and a new 83 song soundtrack featuring keyboard-driven artists like The Doors.
Due out this holiday for the Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii, Rock Band 3 will face plenty of competition. Activision has already revealed the next Guitar Hero game and the anticipated sequel to DJ Hero — both slated for fall releases — while upstart Power Gig: Rise of the Six String will try to wrestle away market share by including a guitar peripheral that can be plugged into both the game and a real amp.