When I heard that Guitar Hero was making a spin off to World Tour based on the heavy metal band Metallica, I shrugged it off as another shallow cash in by Activision. I hadn’t been impressed with Aerosmith and personally wasn’t a huge fan of Lars Ulrich and co’ either. Why would I want a game devoted to just one band, when Rock Band and World Tour were already offering huge amounts of discography as downloadable content? Even Metallica’s latest album ‘Death Magnetic’ was available to play on Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock and World Tour.
So I was slightly worried when Harmonix announced they too would be taking on an individual band project. Surely the pioneers of rhythmic music games wouldn’t be cashing in now? I love the Rock Band series, particularly for it’s commitment to DLC and backward compatibility. Often putting the views of gamers over PR companies, their releases somehow still feel indie despite their huge global success. I should never have doubted them as developers though when the first trailer leaked for The Beatles: Rock Band.
As a teenager born in the 90’s, I can admit that just a couple of years ago I hardly knew anything about the legendary band. Sure, I had heard Yellow Submarine and Come Together a few times on the radio, but I didn’t really know anything about who they were. Or how they had influenced people. Or how they had taken over the world for 10 years with 15 number one albums in the UK. It’s hard to take in that no-one has ever managed to do that since. So in this media build up I’ve started listening to their albums and slowly began growing with excitement. For each song Harmonix are creating stylised videos that represent where they were in their career, the style they were playing and the fashion they were wearing on stage. Brand new instruments are being made to model after the Rickenbacker guitar, Gretsch Duo Jet guitar, Hofner bass and Ludwig drum set that the Liverpool gang used to play.
Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr are putting in key creative input to make sure this is the most enjoyable and accurate gaming representation possible. The title will consist of 45 songs from their discography, which is 17 more than Metallica offered in Guitar Hero’s project. New features including a vocal harmony system will allow up to three players to sing at once and choose different parts of the Beatles often complex compositions to try.
The career mode will be crafted to seamlessly take players through the history of The Beatles, taking us to recognisable venues such as Abbey Road and Shea Stadium. Which I greatly prefer to the madness of air craft carriers and music video sets. The songs currently announced include…
I Saw Her Standing There
Twist And Shout
Do You Want To Know A Secret
I Want To Hold Your Hand
Can’t Buy Me Love
I Wanna Be Your Man
I Feel Fine
Eight Days A Week
And Your Bird Can Sing
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
With A Little Help From My Friends
Within You Without You/ Tomorrow Never Knows
I Am The Walrus
Back In The U.S.S.R
Here Comes The Sun
Dig A Pony
I’ve Got A Feeling
So are you excited yet? I suppose it depends on your view of The Beatles, just as mine did on Metallica. If you’re a die hard fan of the band then this is a no brainer, but if you’re just curious like I was then maybe some listening before hand is necessary. You’ve got plenty of time to indulge in some musical education before the release anyway. The Beatles: Rock Band is being distributed on Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and Nintendo Wii on 09.09.09. I can’t wait.