Did somebody forget to tell the good folks at Ubisoft that rhythmic gaming is dying? I mean, didn’t they hear all the big news about Activision pulling the plug on the Guitar Hero and DJ Hero franchises?
I guess they didn’t hear, because Ubisoft has just announced a brand new music game franchise called Rocksmith. What sets Rocksmith apart is that instead of a guitar-shaped controller, you play it with any real guitar. It has to be a guitar with a standard quarter-inch input jack, but through a process that Ubisoft is keeping top secret, the game will somehow be able to detect whether or not your guitar chords and strums are correct, and reflect that in-game, in real time. Rocksmith is also said to feature an adaptive difficulty, that keeps up with your skill level as you play.
Ubisoft is also keeping mum on the set list, revealing only a handful of artist names like the Animals, the Black Keys, David Bowie, Interpol, Nirvana, and the Rolling Stones, but boasts that it will include both current hits and classic rock songs. There will be a multiplayer component, and according to the game’s official website, it will also include parts for both lead and rhythm guitars, as well as effects pedals, interactive chord charts, and mini-games.
Ubisoft has one of the most solid track records of any game studio, with mega hits like Assassin’s Creed, Splinter Cell, and Rayman Raving Rabbids under its belt. So I want to believe that they’re onto something here. But I’m still worried about the music game genre as a whole, and can’t imagine another guitar game revitalizing sales — even one that uses a real guitar.