Gamescom was awash with Rock Band 3 fever, with a large stage area set up for some professional musicians to show off the much anticipated title.

Most of the talk was about the latest instrument to hit the series - the keyboard (or keytar if you want to pick it up). 

And that was also the instrument that Pocket-lint got its hands on...


Rock Band 3

What platform is it on?

Xbox 360 (also available on PS3, Wii and DS)

When's it out?

29 October 2010

What other game is it like?

Rock Band 2, Guitar Hero

Does it use any new tech?

Yes - the Harmonix MIDI-compatible 25-key unit

The pitch

Rock Band 3 will have an incredible 83-song set-list, as well as support for the over 1,500 existing Rock Band tracks (Rock Band and Rock Band 2 discs, DLC, track packs, AC/DC Live: Rock Band Track Pack, LEGO Rock Band, and Green Day: Rock Band).

The setlist contains songs from some of the best bands from around the world, including bands that have never appeared in a music game! Don't think it stops there - the regular weekly DLC releases will continue after Rock Band 3's release.

The storyline

Rock Band 3 lets you simulate being a rock star using the instrument controllers that mimic lead and bass guitar, drums, keyboards and vocals. It has three-part vocal harmonies and the game will also feature a new Pro mode, where players will have to accurately portray the playing of real instruments, matching specific fingering on frets and strings, striking the cymbal pads in addition to snare and toms, and using precise fingering on the keyboard.

Our first impressions

We had a bash at Spacehog's 1995 classic In the Meantime using the keyboard controller.

Fans of Rock Band have been crying out for a keyboard inclusion for a while now and whilst we can see the appeal - we found it all a bit tame.

It was much easier than the guitar or drum parts of the game, after all - you only had to push a few keys. It was like playing Tap Tap Revenge on the iPhone.

However, we're well aware that the game will feature much more complex modes during the career narrative, so we're not writing off the keyboard function just yet.

Looks wise, Rock Band fans aren't going to be disappointed. You've still got the trusted formula of mad looking band members and an even madder looking audience.

Rock Band 3 is no game-changing, er, game, but simply a natural progression for the series.

We weren't able to have a play at the new no fail mode or the band tour challenge, but what we did see, we liked, even though the keyboard option did seem a bit simple.

Please note

Gamescom is a fantastic chance to see the latest games due out over the coming year, letting us get a glimpse into what are going to be the big titles and the ones to avoid like the plague.

The big problem however, is that for most of the titles that glimpse is, well, just that. At the show you'll get to play a level here or a multiplayer map there.

So with that in mind we present you with our Quick Play.

What we've done is broken down the key facts you need to know and then given you our first impressions based on around 15 minutes of gaming. For us that 15 minutes isn't enough to do a First Look review. How can you rate a game that offers over 30 hours of gaming on just 15 minutes of play? However, it should hopefully give you an idea, a feeling, a notion, of what to expect come launch day.