Rock Band 4 is finally back this fall with a new feature shifted towards celebrating the music, rather than climbing the leaderboard. What you have come to expect from Rock Band remains the same. Players can choose between using a guitar, bass, drums or a microphone to play their favorite songs from the Rock Band library. The newest feature in Rock Band 4, called Freestyle mode gives fans a new way to experience songs by allowing fans to control the music.
Freestyle Solos offer players a chance to take a solo off, and just enjoy playing along friends, co-workers, or even online bandmates. The new modes is less strict on its long-standing emphasis of hitting the correct button at the right time to get points. It breaks down the mechanic that you likely recognize and gives you creative control over the notes.
During the solo, you are given variations to use from different strumming speeds, button changes, and strum directions. If you want to keep in rhythm of the song you’re given prompts. I found myself creating an entirely new solo that I could call my own. Rock Band 4 is more about hitting the chorus at the right time together rather than performing sick guitar solos.
“Rock Band 4 is about enjoying the music. It’s no Longer about climbing the leaderboards of your favorite song.”
During my time with game at PAX Prime, I came away surprised by the new mode. Whenever I play the series I prefer to sit down and play the drums instead of shredding on the guitar, but I was impressed by how well the tutorial system taught the player. It uses only two color palettes–the blue color scheme is for the lower, lighter buttons, and the orange color scheme plays the heavier buttons on the top of the guitar. This concept is only limited by the old plastic hardware from previous games, which could hold back the mode from platinum status.
This represents a paradigm shift for Harmonix Studios, who are choosing to get away from its Amplitude, and Guitar Hero roots. Gone is the need to obsess over building up a note streak in order to get five stars. When Rock Band 4 releases on October 6th for PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, I plan on experimenting with the new Freestyle Solo mode and see what I can come up with.