Preview: Rock Band 2 is coming!

Can Rock Band 2 match up to the new Guitar Hero?

Everyone wants to be a rock star. And so our dreams came true last year when EA delivered Rock Band, a game that turned those with minimal music talent into living-room rockers. No longer were virtual musicians confined to the sole axe of Guitar Hero.

199469-1-1

"Rock Band 1"

But since, Guitar Hero fired back, revealing Guitar Hero World Tour, the newest Guitar Hero game that adds drums, bass and vocals to the tasty guitar riffs. So, EA is countering with Rock Band 2, what's looking like a solid upgrade from the original. Here's what we know so far...

The best news for gamers is that Rock Band 2 is fully compatible (including downloadable songs) with the first Rock Band, and that means you can use all the original hardware and only buy the Rock Band 2 game. But, you might want to at least take a peek at the revised hardware, because this time, the gear is much, much better. For starters, the guitar is still of a Fender Strat design, but it sports a solid strum bar and a much-needed wireless connection (thank you!). The drums are also wireless, and are now velocity sensitive. That means the game will recognize how hard you hit each pad.

199469-2-1

"Rock Band 1"

Perhaps the best new hardware-focused feature, though, is the new auto-calibration system. And if it works as well as EA describes, it'll be a godsend for HDTV owners. I never seemed to get the lag issue fixed on my TV, so I assume there are tons of others out there that've also been itching for a feature like that cleans up the annoying delay.

So far, only 10 songs have been officially revealed, but there is said to be more than 80 when the game ships. And that doesn't count the numerous downloadable songs. Here's what's been confirmed, along with a few rumored tracks:

  • "Ace of Spades" by Mot?rhead

  • "Almost Easy" by Avenged Sevenfold

  • "Any Way You Want It" by Journey

  • "Bad Reputation" by Joan Jett

  • "Chop Suey!" by System of a Down

  • "Everlong" by Foo Fighters

  • "Give It Away" by Red Hot Chili Peppers

  • "Hello There" by Cheap Trick

  • "I Was Wrong" by Social Distortion

  • "Kids in America" by The Muffs

  • "Livin' on a Prayer" by Bon Jovi

  • "Panic Attack" by Dream Theater

  • "Pinball Wizard" by The Who

  • "Pump It Up" by Elvis Costello

  • "Rock n' Me" by Steve Miller Band

  • "Testify" by Rage Against the Machine

  • "White Wedding Pt. 1" by Billy Idol

Another new feature is the option to create custom setlists in the game's Quickplay mode, a nice addition to keep this mode fresh. But the biggest change in the actual game comes with the all new World Tour mode.First comes the new Tour Challenge mode that features band challenges, offering a less linear approach to the tour. It can be played in solo or multiplayer mode, up to a four-person band.

199469-3-1

"Rock Band 1"

We're hoping to get lots of time playing around with Rock Band 2 at E3 next week, so stay tuned for the rock. We'll also be doing a head-to-head feature with Rock Band and Guitar Hero World Tour, and that's something you won't want to miss!

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Chris Morell

GamePro (online)
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?