The Beatles: Rock Band – hands-on

For better or worse, in what we’ve played, everything from John and Paul’s vocal harmonies to Ringo’s drum patterns has been faithfully translated into the Rock Band interface. On Expert mode, you’ll have to be on your toes to catch the little details in the master track performances. If, for instance, Ringo switches his drum pattern from a two-feel for a measure and a half just for fun, or misses a single cymbal tap, prepare to have to switch up your playing to match him. It’s nice that there’s variety in the parts (their early arrangements would get pretty repetitive otherwise), but those looking to string a 100 percent combo will likely get tripped up a couple times.

Above: Screens from the PS3/Xbox 360 version

It should also be noted that on drums, you won’t be able to do extended fills to activate your Overdrive. This is out of respect for the Beatles’ master recordings, which Apple (The Beatles’ record label) doesn’t like people to mess with. Likewise, all you irritating Rock Band guitarists who use the whammy bar like crazy will still get your points, but you won’t ruin the sound of the music for everyone else. Fine with us!

Drums and guitars are all well and good, but it’s looking more and more like the new vocal harmony features will end up being the most welcome addition to the Rock Band formula. When playing a song with a band, you’ll see up to three different bars for the harmony parts. The game doesn’t force you to stick to just one part – you can all sing the melody too, so long as all parts are ultimately covered. At the end of the song, you’ll see how well you did individually, with your combined score taking into account everyone’s performance. It’s a bit complicated on paper, but the end result is you’re free to jump off your part as much as you like and not be penalized for it. Drunken warblers, rejoice!

Last but not least, we’d love to tell you all about the story mode and all the classic Beatles homages found within some of the later songs, but we’re not allowed - yet. Luckily for us - and you - we don’t have to! Check it out:

Above: Trust us, this is just the tip of the iceberg

We’ve seen great things from The Beatles: Rock Band so far, and we’ve got to admit, it’s getting better all the time. We’ll be sure to keep you posted as more is revealed!

Jul 27, 2009


  • MechGyver - July 29, 2009 8:06 p.m.

    I love Thin Lizzy.
  • bhgesc - July 28, 2009 11:15 p.m.

    Free Games. Check out what I have been building lately!
  • JohnLemon - July 28, 2009 2:48 p.m.

    This is looking very good now, probably a fisrt day purchase. :)
  • Gavo - July 28, 2009 2:46 a.m.

    Need...Helter Skelter, and All My Loving. Looks good.
  • skyguy343 - July 31, 2009 8:29 p.m.

    thats my job, to protect fellow members of RadarNation... just kidding, i couldnt give a shit about anyone on this site who's name isn't Lizzie Cuevas... just kidding again, you're all awesome, we need to spread the love... not gay
  • Mittenz - July 29, 2009 2:27 a.m.

    Thats an...Intresting observation skyguy, good to know your here to prtect our peers. reCAPTCHA:comedic pretranssexuals Will they combust later?
  • skyguy343 - July 28, 2009 3:28 a.m.

    joey joey joey, what kind of a world would it be if our symbals, instead of making a tish sound, made a psh sound? Hitler would probably have joined forces with Skeletor, exterminating all who stood before him and humiliating all that was left. the worlds orbit would most likely shift causing Earth's climate to go out of control sending Brazil into an ice age and me and my Canadian peers and neighbours would no doubt be launched into a never-ending drought. ironically, the rest of the world would be flooded by the ever-rising oceans, drowning the polar bears and forcing them to evolve into polar bear-shark hybrids that would instantly take out anyone who dared venture towards the water. aliens would disentegrate Saudi Arabia while H1 N1 Influenza A (swine flu) decimated America. prostitutes all over the globe would simultaneously and spontaneously combust, causing the world to implode and contract on itself until it shrank to such a small mass that it started to infintely expand, taking out anything and everything in its path. and that's what would happen if you used psh for a symbal sound instead of tish. dont let it happen again, you have been warned.
  • IAmTheWii - July 28, 2009 2:02 a.m.

    Did I just catch a possible track song in the closing paragraph? Maybe not, but good anyway. Hope to hear more from you on the story.

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