Rocksmith 2014 Preview
On the other end of the scale, new additions have been made to the Guitarcade set of mini-games. These teach basic techniques by turning your guitar into a game controller. One game has you practice slide techniques by controlling a ninja leaping from post to post while another has you shoot down enemies by playing chords. For more experienced players the novelty will probably wear off fairly quickly but as a break from more focussed practice it could be great for beginners.
The real core improvements in RockSmith 2014, though, are in the general ease of use of playing it and the fundamental ways it teaches you how to play through its technique and song lessons.
Regarding the former, the key change is an improved menu system. Where the previous game was plagued with long pauses and frustrating dead ends, now everything loads quickly and there's quick access to all the key functions of the game wherever you are.
As for the technique lessons section, while the original game already had easy to follow instructional videos that introduced each new technique, the new game has a much more interactive feel. Where before you’d try a technique and be greeted with a fairly basic success/fail response, here the game will tell you you’ve hit the wrong string/fret or bent the string too much, and then it will present a basic track demonstrating how the techniques can be used in a song.
As for learning whole songs, the player now has much more control over what difficulty setting to use, which part of the song to play, how quickly to play it and more. The result is that you can really focus in on precisely the bit you need to practice. And although not a new feature, the way the game motivates you to keep trying by keeping a log of how many bum notes you’ve made is a good reminder even for seasoned players of just what it takes to get better.
All told Rocksmith 2014 looks set to be a great way to either start learning guitar or for more experienced players to improve their playing by learning a few new songs and techniques. The game arrives on Steam, Playstation and Xbox 360 on 22 October.