Rock Band 4 Screenshots Revealed, New Features Detailed

May 4, 2015 Written by Jason Dunning

Kicking off their month of reveals for Rock Band 4, IGN posted some screenshots of the title (above), while also discussing many of the new features you’ll be able to experience when the game launches later this year.

Reminding everyone that Rock Band 4 runs on a new game engine at 1080p/60fps on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and is compatible with over 2,000 previous Rock Band songs, IGN talked to Product Manager Daniel Sussman, who discussed Harmonix’s goal to add more player freedom:

Personal expression is one of those areas where, when you’re playing a song, regardless of one of those areas, whether you’re playing in your parent’s garage, or playing on a giant stage at Madison Square Garden, the music doesn’t happen unless you play it. And giving people that sense of ownership of the song is really important, and it’s a huge part of the fantasy, and it’s one of the things you want to do as the spotlight’s on you. It’s your moment to do something, and it’s not just about execution, it’s about expression.

He adds that personal expression is somewhere “we’ve really doubled down” on, without sacrificing the original, refined gameplay.

Looking at specific instruments in Rock Band 4, drummers will count in your band when you’re ready to begin the song by tapping the green tom 3-5 times. Not only that, but Harmonix has replaced the Overdrive-triggering free-form fills with realistic fills, which are random and based on the song’s genre and difficulty. To make the new fill feature even better, it will work in all legacy DLC and all songs going forward.

Switching to the microphone, vocal harmonies from The Beatles: Rock Band are included in Rock Band 4, with harmonies added to every previous song as well.

Creative Lead Greg LoPiccolo then discussed freeform melodies, which allow singers to be more creative:

For hard and expert players, there was this premium on just hitting that exact pitch that was authored into the songs. And what we discovered was that a lot of really good singers were constrained by that; they couldn’t have the kind of fun – the expressive fun – that they wanted to have as singers. So, we’ve added a feature now where as long as you’re singing in tune, you can kind of color outside the lines. You don’t have to stick with the prescribed part; you can make up your own harmonies on the fly, and as long as you sing them in tune, the game will give you credit for it. It’s a little bit hard to describe, but to actually do it, it’s incredibly liberating and fun. It’s a whole new way for singers to be creative with Rock Band.

We’ll learn more about the campaign in Rock Band 4 later this month, but for now, Designer Alli Thresher says, “We’re just working really hard at making everything feel like you are living this story, feeling what it’s like to be a musician playing gigs, playing shows.”

While support of previous generation instruments is yet to be 100% confirmed, Sussman says the development team is working to get the Rock Band Stage Kit working with Rock Band 4.

[Source: IGN]