“Rocksmith 2014” review

While the Vault did an experiment for the first “Rocksmith” game to come out for systems a little over a year ago, we were unable to do another one for this new version of the game that was recently released.

At first, “Rocksmith 2014” seems like an operating system update to those who aren’t familiar with the game. In fact, this new release is a vast improvement on many of the issues and designs of the user interface.

“Rocksmith 2014” still has the ability to teach a beginner the ropes of guitar and all the techniques they need to know to begin their path to rockin’ and rollin’. The best part is that it’s so much easier to do that now.

The menu is much easier to navigate, so the player doesn’t need to go through the song list to get to the technique games to begin their lessons. This proved to really slow down people’s progress as well as frustrate them in the previous version.

Even the note highway got a makeover

Getting to the Guitarcade is also a breeze this time around. This is a plus since the games are wildly colorful, inventive and fun. 

The Guitarcade utilizes fun mini-games, disguised as retro arcade classics, to teach much-needed skills and theories such as scale progressions, chords and even harmonic notes. 
Games like “Scale Warriors,” “Return to Castle Chordead” and “Gone Walin’” are almost essential for beginners. I’d have to say that “Scale Warriors” may be one of the most important due to it’s focus on the scales up and down the guitar that help to show just how things sound and teaches finger strength and speed.

With all of this learning and practicing, a game like this is nothing without songs to play. This is not a problem as the game has just as many songs as the first, if not more. Not to mention all the downloadable tracks from “Rocksmith” carry over to “Rocksmith 2014.” Also, the game came with a pack (purchasable with points on any platform) that allows the player to transfer a majority of the song library from the first game to “2014” as well.

The songs can now be sorted by title, name, band, year of release, their recommended status by the game for your skill, level of completion by the player, type of tuning and much more.

For those that think “Rocksmith 2014” is just a fancy rhythm game, they’d be wrong. However, for those looking to have a rhythm-gaming experience, that’s also available for each song, just for the heck of it.

Tone designing allows the player to create their custom tones and setups for their guitar in game, just for jamming out and messing around. This can be a little daunting to novices with guitar equipment, but the game takes its time to explain what each aspect of the rig does and how it affects the sound of the instrument.

Set the tempo and jam out to your heart’s content!

Speaking of jamming out, Session Mode may be the best addition to this game by a long shot. The player can pick several instruments to back them up from a library of seemingly hundreds to back them up as they play lead on their own instrument. In short: the game improvises and keeps a rhythm and beat to go along with what you’re playing.

At first, it’ll seem a little slap-dash and you won’t know how to feel about the seemingly improvised backup music, but once you get into your groove and know more about how to play, you’ll enter a state of what I and other players call “The Groove.” It literally feels like you’re in a garage jamming out with a few friends and having a grand ol’ time. There’s just no other feeling like it, save playing with a real band on stage.

With improved note detection, more detailed and planned out game recommendations and lessons, a large library, Session Mode, fun and educational Guitarcade games and more, “Rocksmith 2014” may just be the game that everyone hoped “Rocksmith” would have been when it first launched.

If you’re on the fence for it, jump off and get on this game. It’s worth it and you’ll enjoy it.

A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for the purpose of this review.