Though it may have taken its sweet time to make it across to European shores the original Rocksmith proved to be a noteworthy success. Critics commended Ubisoft’s decision to make Guitar Hero actually mean something and consumers proved that they are ready to adopt edutainment software as if it were just like any other videogame. Following this overwhelming acceptance a sequel was assured, but simply offering fans the same experience with a new selection of tracks would never be enough: Rocksmith 2014 Edition is turning this one up to 11.
During Electronic Theatre’s preview of Rocksmith 2014 Edition Ubisoft did their best to emphasise the removal of the latency issues that were criticised from the original videogame. The difference between string being plucked and sound coming from the television may only have been a split-second, but it was occasionally enough to throw the player off; not the positive reinforcement you’d want from a virtual guitar tutor. With Rocksmith 2014 Edition however, this issue has been almost entirely eradicated. Players using an optical connection to an amp will not be able to notice the delay at any point, and those with a high quality television will likely be in the same boat. Rocksmith 2014 Edition is now limited by the latency of your external hardware, not the design of the software.
Elsewhere Rocksmith 2014 Edition expands on the gameplay modes offered, and the level of detail within them. Approximately three times the total content is included in this sequel, with more than eighty five lessons included from absolute beginner to qualified expert. Don’t know how to play? Learn a chord and feel good about yourself. Been playing for years? Over fifty songs are included on-disc, and there’s more than likely to be a couple of dozen not yet cast into memory. There’s an astonishing level of detail in the lessons, informing the player what they’re doing right and wrong and allowing the to select specific parts of a song or adjust the tempo, and allowing them to engage in automatically increasing/decreasing difficulty mid-song depending on your ability.
More than any of this however, the most impressive aspect of Rocksmith 2014 Edition is undeniably its Session Mode. A simulation of a love jam session, the player can compliment their own creations with backing guitar or drum machine, both of which will play according to their lead. These two instruments can even fill solos when the player provides the opportunity, and in fact can be accompanied by a range of seventy six different instruments. Even in the small sample of Rocksmith 2014 Edition shown to Electronic Theatre, it’s clear that this is a videogame not just aimed at newcomers to guitar, but also for lovers of the music creation process.