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Rock Band 3 Has Its Beans Spilled

USA Today has managed to get some info out on the game. So what do we know about it now? Well, a couple days ago Darrin talked about another game, Power Gig, which is said to use a much more realistic, and usable, guitar. Sounded cool, right?

Rock Band is known to have some really polished games, but what did they change that made this game even more noteworthy, besides being a household name by now? Turns out, one of the two instruments for the game is a real guitar. A fully functional, six string Squier Stratocaster. It uses tech in the neck and bridge to figure out where your fingers are, so no buttons. There is also a more standard controller, but much different from what we’re used to:

The other is a Fender Mustang Pro controller from accessory maker Mad Catz with a field of buttons in each fret. As your fingers compress the smaller non-colored buttons on that guitar’s neck, your finger positions are represented in the game’s display. “You can go from plucking single notes to power chords and bar chords, we have crazy stuff like tapping and slides,” Dubrofsky says. “If you ever had any aspirations of connecting with the music in a deeper way … you are really going to like Rock Band 3.

Even the drums have supposedly been upgraded (to include 3 cymbal pads, plus the current 4 drum pads, so 7 in all). And you’re required to his the correct cymbal pad at the right time, too (no surprise, really, but this totally adds to the realism in a big way). They say it’s much, much more like playing a real, professional drum set.

Now, remember the keyboard logo spotted in Green Day: Rock Band? Turns out that, other than the obvious fact that Rock Band 3 was going to have the controller, the game will include a 25 key MIDI keyboard. What does the developer have to say about it?

We’re actually utilizing the full two-octave range that the keyboard controller has. Everything that you are playing, whether you are playing on easy or expert, is accurate musical information. The track looks like a real keyboard track, and you are playing notes on the keyboard that if you were to step away from the game and were to play on a real piano, they would be the right notes.

For those of you wondering, the new “Pro” mode allows for players to learn how to actually play the instruments, and apply what they learn to the real deal if they want to get serious about playing real instruments.

This new music learning mode lets players develop real-world music-playing fundamentals for keyboards, guitars and drums. More realistic music notations replace the standard color-coded notes during gameplay. For guitar, numbers flow down the screen along six guitar strings, telling you where to place your hands on the neck and when to strum.

With over 2000 songs to be available to the series by year’s end (yes, it sounds like past downloadable tracks will still be playable on this one), they’re also revamping the song filtering system, by allowing user to search for songs by which game it is from, what specific genre in what decade, and how long the song is in duration.

The story/career mode has also had a huge overhaul. Your characters can be seen in cutscenes, interacting with each other, etc. and even appear while you select a song, so you can grow more attached to the band mates you create. But what about the mode itself?

We developed this entirely new career mode based around unlocking achievement-like goals to show your progression through the game, and also give you incentives to get better.
We have hundreds and hundreds of these goals across instruments and gameplay modes and across (downloadable content). It is a really great way to finish Rock Band in your way, based on your skill, and not on some predetermined path of songs.

Overall, this sounds like Harmonix is really going all out on this game. There still isn’t any known Rock Band 3 footage, but we’ll probably see a huge showing at E3. With the inclusion of far more realistic instruments all around, it appears the music genre as a whole might just see a whole new light. If you’ve seen the recent Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock guitar, in comparison, they’re so last generation :P.

Here’s the track list so far, thanks to IGN (there will be 83 songs in all):

Combat Baby — Metric
Dead End Friends — Them Crooked Vultures
Get Free — The Vines
Lasso — Phoenix
Me Enamora — Juanes
Oh My God — Ida Maria
Portions of Foxes — Rilo Kiley
The Hardest Button to Button — The White Stripes

Been Caught Stealing — Jane’s Addiction
In the Meantime — Spacehog
Plush — Stone Temple Pilots
Walkin’ on the Sun — Smash Mouth

Crazy Train — Ozzy Osbourne
Here I Go Again — Whitesnake
I Love Rock and Roll — Joan Jett
Just Like Heaven — The Cure
Rainbow in the Dark — Dio
The Power of Love — Huey Lewis and the News
Sister Christian — Night Ranger

Bohemian Rhapsody — Queen
Break On Through — The Doors
Crosstown Traffic — Jimi Hendrix