Just when you thought the fake-instrument video game genre was dead, Harmonix, the company that brought you the Rock Band games, has announced a “Rock Band Blitz”.
Matthew Nordhaus, a Project Director at Harmonix, revealed details about the game in an interview on G4 TV’s X-Play. In the interview Nordhaus stated the game would only be available on the Xbox Live Arcade and Playstation Network – it won’t be coming in a gigantic box. In fact, the game will not focus on memorizing patterns the way previous games have. Instead, it will have more of an arcade feel, and won’t even use plastic instruments. “Blitz” will be “primarily” a single-player game and will be available for download sometime this summer.
This new title will be compatible with all of the (more than 3,700) downloadable songs and song packs Harmonix has already released. In addition, the 25 tracks to be included with “Blitz” will also be compatible with Rock Band 3. Harmonix will continue to release downloadable content weekly, as they have been doing for the last 4 years. And they will market those DLC tracks in “Blitz” with the “recommendation system,” which will suggest tracks to buy based on players’ or their friends’ past purchase and play history.
The gameplay itself looks frantic, with the player switching constantly between instruments to “charge them up” while power-ups and multipliers fly across the screen. There is also a pinball being batted around and the path of the notes curves as if it’s a racetrack. You’ll have to see Nordhaus presenting it yourself, I simply can’t describe it any better other than to point out that it heavily resembles Audiosurf. This jumble of a game seems to be a clear admission by Harmonix that the Guitar Hero/Rock Band genre is dead. This is their attempt to prop up their downloadable-songs business model and perhaps extend it to those who don’t own fake-instrument peripherals.
And here is the announcement trailer so you can see (and hear) the game in action: