It may have been quite a while since the last instrument-based game graced the gaming world, but the genre is far from dead. With the concept behind the critically acclaimed Guitar Hero and Rock Band series growing stale, developers of these popular titles knew that, eventually, they would need to return to the drawing board lest they risk loosing the public’s interest entirely. In this race for innovation, Harmonix wound up pulling all the stops to formulate the idea behind their next downloadable title, Rock Band Blitz.
Dropping the instrument support that gave Rock Band its main appeal, Harmonix is putting the basic console controller back in the limelight. Gameplay has players switching between the various instruments as they try to work their multiplier up to the max for each track. Initially, it looked as if Harmonix planned to undo the near 7 years of instrument-based gaming with Rock Band Blitz, but the musically inclined developer was simply switching gears in an attempt to reach out to all gaming types. Despite the instrument drop in Blitz, owners of Rock Band 3 will find this new entry to act as little more than a 25-song set list expansion as the song list featured in Blitz will be backwards compatible with the 2010 multi-platform title and vice versa.
Though news for Blitz has been quiet since its announcement, Harmonix was sure to quench any curiosities about the title by releasing the names of 15 of the 25 included tracks. Included in the 3rd Quarter release are:
- All-American Rejects – “Kids in the Street”
- Barenaked Ladies – “One Week”
- Blink 182 – “Always”
- Collective Soul – “Shine”
- Elton John – “I’m Still Standing”
- Fall Out Boy – “A Little Less Sixteen Candles”
- Foster the People – “Pumped Up Kicks”
- Great White – “Once Bitten, Twice Shy”
- Iron Maiden – “Wicker Man”
- Living Colour – “Cult of Personality”
- Pink – “Raise Your Glass”
- Quiet Riot – “Metal Health”
- Rick Springfield – “Jessie’s Girl”
- Shinedown – “Diamond Eyes”
- Tears for Fears – “Shout”
Any veteran to the Rock Band series knows that each game’s soundtrack has been a veritable mix of today’s hits and yesterday’s golden oldies, a pattern that Blitz seems to hold onto. From classic rock to heavy metal, Blitz track listing promises to have something for everyone.
Anybody looking to this new entry as a return to the musical simulation that made the series famous may find themselves slightly disappointed. In an interview with project director Matthew Nordhaus, Blitz was described as being “an arcade game” with more of an emphasis on “fast, and loud and silly and a little over the top” gameplay.
Rock Band elites and all newcomers to the series can dive into this musical interlude later this year. The downloadable title will be available on the Playstation Network and XBOX Live Arcade, with Harmonix seemingly leaving those poor Wii owners behind.