With Harmonix's Rock Band
having barely emerged alive from the Plastic Instrument Wars of 2008,
the former's no longer bound by its feud with the Rock Band
franchise, which threw its final horns last year (Activision ends the Guitar Hero franchise). Now there's no competitor at its heels –
and a diminished audience asking, “what next?” – the
developer's free to take its signature series wherever it pleases.
Enter this summer's PSN/XBLA revival, Rock Band Blitz.
Eschewing the big clicky
plastic instruments which defined the series' initial iteration,
Blitz “is an arcade game, so it's quick and fun," explains
project director Mathew Nord, who also calls the game “fast, silly,
loud, and over the top.” Nord says whereas previous Rock Bands
strove for “music authenticity and performance simulation,” this
title uses the humble Xbox or PS3 controller to mix rhythm-action
with arcade-style power-ups and score-play. Which the old games had
plenty of too, but the game's emphasis on this area looks to provide
twitch-play thrills to make up for the lack of a big plastic Strat
about your neck.
Launching Summer, Rock Band
Blitz will boast full compatibility with all existing Rock Band
tracks, and ship with 25 new backwards-compatible tracks. The
company's also supporting its new title with the same constant
updates enjoyed by Rock Band 3.