AC/DC Live is the laziest title we’ve played in a long while. It’s the ultimate in barebones gaming; just eighteen songs and virtually nothing else. There's no band involvement a la Guitar Hero: Aerosmith; there are no interviews; no documentaries… AC/DC themselves don’t even make an appearance, in person or in digital form. Fan service? Hardly.
Adding insult to injury, AC/DC Live falls back on Rock Band’s mechanics instead of RB2’s. Career mode is segregated into solo and multi-play rather than the drop in/drop out progression tree which should now be the standard. The ability to import your existing band would have been welcome, but even that’s not an option here. Nor is choosing your character. Turn the game on and you’re thrown into a generic band of chumpheads. Which schmucks do you play as online, we hear you say? Well, astonishingly, there isn’t any online component. At all.
Rock Band connoisseurs will find the lack of features appalling, especially for a game marketed towards AC/DC fans. At least the music itself is a perfect fit for Rock Band’s template, and Harmonix’s superior note chart patterns continue to shine through. As a track pack, AC/DC Live is a great success.
The price tag, however, soon erases any smiles. Thirty bucks is a big price tag for 18 songs, and the ability to input them all into Rock Band 2 means the standalone game is redundant. This release marks a step back for Harmonix to the days before DLC became a viable content expansion option. We recommend the track list to any AC/DC freaks out there, but this type of retail release shouldn’t be encouraged. AC/DC we salute you. Harmonix: you should know better.
Jan 5, 2009