Review: Rocksmith 2014

Rocksmith 2014 logo

After the success of Rocksmith, there was bound to be a follow up. But will it have you rocking out or will your TV be thrown out your window? Let’s take a look.

Some tweaks and a nice polish has made Rocksmith 2014 feel like new – gone are the long loading screens, the menus and layout have also had a fine tune to present you with the new and improved, slick Rocksmith 2014.

The Journey mode has been replaced with Mission mode. Mission mode gives you suggestions of how you can improve on each song in terms of practicing scales or using the Guitarcade games to gain some confidence with a particular section. What’s good is none of these suggestions prevent you from moving along if you decide you don’t want to do them.

It’s apparent that it Rocksmith 2014 really wanted to listen to their audience and create new ways of doing things and making improvements to the game from these views. This has made Rocksmith 2014 completely accessible and customisable to any guitar player which is absolutely unique. Where as in the original game, the game decided for you when you were ready for more notes, but then if you missed one or two it would drop the complexity, Rocksmith 2014 still does that – but not in such an extreme way as before. You can also adjust your difficulty level in settings and now the Riff Repeater has been made accessible anywhere in the game to help adapt to your personal method of learning.

The way to make you feel like a true Rock God (or Goddess) is when you ace every single note in a song, the notes then disappear as if by magic leaving just you and your guitar rocking out. If that doesn’t scream success, then I don’t know what does!

The game doesn’t leave behind it’s predecessor, if you own the original you can import the songs from the first (with a one off fee) and it also carries over any additional DLC you purchased. That is definitely a nice little addition which just shows how when developers listen to their users, they can get things so so right.

With a huge range of new Guitarcade mini-games, including the old ones, it now allows you to kill zombies with a chord and beat up street thugs with notes. The mini-games are better presented and provide a very fun way to learn things that wouldn’t always have been fun to get under your belt. It’s quite clear that Rocksmith 2014 knows its audience rather well with the inclusion of these Guitarcade games.

The one unfortunate flaw that continues to eat away at Rocksmith 2014 is it’s calibration depending on what your set up is (HDMI into your TV causes lag), and although when you DO have the ideal set up as suggested by the game the gameplay is absolutely top notch.

To sum up
If you loved the original Rocksmith and want to take not only your game, but your guitar skills to the next level – Rocksmith 2014 is the way to go. It would have been a huge shame if the Rocksmith 2014 had slipped backwards in its evolution of musical game playing and it does not disappoint.

PopBucket Review Score 9


Version reviewed: Xbox 360

Rocksmith 2014 is out now on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.

Author: Zara Waqar

Associate Editor (Films) and veteran of PopBucket, gamer girl and resident film guru. She loves anything zombie and laughs roughly 80% of the time.

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