I’ve always wanted to play guitar, as far back as I remember I had the image of me being able to.
Being prone to laziness and procrastination however, aren’t the best traits to have when picking up an instrument. Every time I’ve sat down and tried to learn I’ve got to a point where I’d just get bored or frustrated at my inability to hit the simplest notes. For a beginner reading tabs was confusing and chords were a nightmare.
I’ve had Rocksmith since February 2014, the Xbox 360 version initially and now the PC version which has been recently remastered. At the point of writing this review in July 2015 (updated and edited January 2017) and after putting in over 500 hours of time, using Rocksmith as my only learning tool, I have actually learnt how to play an instrument.
Don’t get me wrong I’m not the best guitarist in the world, and I’m still learning day to day, but I’m proud to say that if someone asks me if I have a talent I can reply that I can play the guitar.
As far as Rocksmith goes as a game and learning tool, it is very informative, fun and can be highly addictive.
The game has your basic chord and note lessons as well as lessons in things you wouldn’t normally even think of, from simply putting a strap on correctly to changing strings and tuning the instrument by ear.
Rocksmith’s arcade mode ‘skill games’ are challenging and help with remembering notes, but most importantly they’re fun, the inclusion of score based modes have an appeal that makes you want to do better. Using these tools learning guitar is almost somewhat of a side-effect as you’re just trying to better the numbers on the screen. It’s such a simple concept and it works wonders from a learning aspect, even if its teaching you subconsciously. Your muscle memory will form without you realising it and you’ll find yourself remembering chords and techniques long after you’ve stopped playing the score based games.
The game constantly rolls out DLC track packs so you’re never short of songs to play, of course this means shelling out around £10 on new songs but if they’re tracks you love then it’s well worth forking out. The artists or past track packs are as varied as you can get. From songs by artists such as Blur, Oasis and Radiohead to Queen and Pink Floyd and Blink-182 and Linkin Park. No matter the genre, Ubisoft has got your back.
I also have to mention the custom downloadable content which is being made by members of the Rocksmith community. If you head on over to CustomsForge, they have thousands of songs to download for free. Sign up to the site and search for an artist or song, download the file and place it in the game’s DLC folder and you’re set. Copyright infringement isn’t an issue as under the fair use policy, learning tools are exempt from copyright. The only issue here is if a song is about to be released officially as a track pack item, the song will then be deleted from CustomsForge and you will have to purchase them through your selected platform.
As far as the graphics go they’re sharp and colourful, similarly to Rock Band or Guitar Hero graphics, they aren’t really important in a game like this, it’s a rolling tab with customisation options. Video options go as far as V-Sync and resolution and that’s about it but you’re not looking triple A title settings here.
Overall, if you’re looking to learn guitar and have fun while doing so make sure to pick up Rocksmith.