NEWS - Wednesday, July 16, 2008

E3 2008: Rock Band 2’s Big Challenge

Breaking news: Rock Band 2 plays like Rock Band 1. Ah, but here is the difference; Rock Band 2 adds a new challenge mode to both competitive multiplayer and World Tour. When first described, the idea of adding some challenges doesn’t seem like such a big deal. But the new challenge additions should greatly improve Rock Band 2.

Solo mode has been absorbed into the re-vamped World Tour. No longer will you be playing through a linear track list only to find yourself stuck on a single song and never able to progress further. You can do the Tour solo or with a band. Either way you will travel from one venue to the next, as with RB1, working to unlock new goodies. But now instead of just playing some songs, you will engage in completing challenges.

The challenge list in World Tour is pretty robust. We saw options that included individual "warm-up" sets for each instrument as well as a warm-up for a band. But on top of this there was a Weezer DLC challenge (because Weezer’s Red Album was in our collection) and genre and decade challenges.

The challenges can be as simple as beating some songs or it can require you to average a certain number of stars or to beat the set list without using overdrive or anything else Harmonix can dream up. This is a great way to integrate DLC into World Tour and should make for a far more stimulating campaign to become rock legends.

Harmonix revealed one other significant change to World Tour. You can now hire up a staff (and have it matter). Your mom is a freebie and is your #1 fan. She doesn’t do much for you (other than ironing your underwear), but she’ll never turn her back on you either. Who you hire outside of your mother affects your influx of fans and/or money.

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