The Beatles: Rock Band Preview
They are without question the most influential rock band of all time, having covered virtually every sub-genre of rock music and even going as far as creating a psychedelic sound that nobody can ever match. The Beatles are the world's most famous rock quartet, and perhaps the biggest music license in the industry. So, last year, when rumors began to circulate that EA, MTV, and Harmonix were able to secure a license from Apple Corps., the hype train began rolling. Following on the trails of Guitar Hero: Aerosmith and the very hot trails of Guitar Hero: Metallica, The Beatles: Rock Band will launch September 9th, and it looks fantastic.
Unlike GH: Aerosmith and Metallica, which were largely based on GH3 and World Tour, respectively, The Beatles: Rock Band is built from the ground up and has nothing to do with any of the past Rock Band games. Much like other band specific games, Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr were the prime sources of input for the game, in addition to Yoko Ono Lennon, Olivia Harrison, and Giles Martin. Martin is also the producer of the game, meanwhile Dhani Harrison, son of George and Olivia, is contributing in the form of modeling for the game's animation.
Now, keep in mind that MTV Games has yet to make any of this information official, so the info here isn't concrete and can end up different in the final product. The game's progression is said to cover the band's early days starting out in Liverpool, then pass through the psychedelic phase of Srg. Pepper, into the self-titled 'White Album', Abbey Road, everything in between, and even things we've never heard before that the band never released, which on its own mkes this game worth the price of admission already to people like me. In addition to the audio also comes never before seen video.
As you should all know by now, The Beatles: Rock Band will give four players the chance to team up and reenact a rumored 45 tracks using their Beatles themed Rock Band instruments. These themed instruments will be based on the instruments most frequently used by the band, such as Paul McCartney's Hofner bass, and a Ludwig branded drumset with design inspired by Ringo's actual setup. Despite the themed instruments, your original Rock Band controllers will work with The Beatles: Rock Band, so feel free to purchase the stand alone copy...but I think many would rather opt for the bundle, it's just that cool.
Unfortunately, due to licensing limitations, these Beatles tracks will not be made available as content for Rock Band 2 or future Rock Band games, largely for the same reason they're still not available on services such as iTunes. Again, that can all change as the release of the game gets closer, and this is not the final word. Back to the gameplay, word has it that the game will support duets, allowing players to use two microphones with the game. Most importantly, the game will not only boast the 40% collection of Beatles tunes owned by McCartney and Ono, but will also include the catalogue owned by Sony/ATV (a publishing collaboration between Michael Jackson and Sony formed in 1995), so fear not.
Information for The Beatles: Rock Band is still somewhat scarce as we don't know how the game's career mode will play out, but we're sure it'll be chronological. Look for it September 9th.
4/29/2009 Arnold Katayev