The Beatles: Rock Band

It's been a long time since a game has brought about the amount of awe, admiration and borderline obsession that The Beatles: Rock Band has bestowed upon me

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MTV Games The Beatles: Rock Band
  • MTV Games The Beatles: Rock Band
  • MTV Games The Beatles: Rock Band
  • MTV Games The Beatles: Rock Band
  • Expert Rating

    4.50 / 5

Pros

  • Visually stunning, incredible playlist, feels the way a Beatles game should

Cons

  • Over too soon, no trademark Rock Band customisation, not much here for non-fans

Bottom Line

There's an incredible amount of fun that comes from filing the shoes of some of the most inspiring musicians ever to walk the earth, and Harmonix captures this experience with same sense of magic that the Beatles were known for.

Would you buy this?

It all comes down to this. For all of the defining moments in my life, few can measure up to the overwhelming sense of triumph and pride that washes over me as I grip my aged Hofner bass in hand and strum the opening notes to "Get Back" to the delight of the crowded London streets. Pedestrians smile from the pavement, drinking in the impromptu rooftop performance. A handful of confused Bobbies litter the sidewalk, observing in awe as they contemplate putting a stop to our public outburst, but they hold their ground, and for just a moment, as much as the world has changed, nothing seems more true or real than this moment. This is my rock and roll revolution, and nothing can stop it.

"I have work in the morning!" The voice of my disgruntled neighbor booms through the paper-thin walls, his fist fiercely beating against the chipped plaster. My fingers quickly finds the mute button as I shout a profuse apology, noticing in one shocking instance that it's already three AM, and my review is due in just a few short hours.

Well, almost nothing.

It's been a long time since a game has brought about the amount of awe, admiration and borderline obsession that The Beatles: Rock Band has bestowed upon me. An unprecedented adventure through the life and times of the Lads from Liverpool, Harmonix's latest expedition into the incredibly popular field of musical simulation and digital superstardom has proven itself one of the developer's most richly detailed and inspiring releases to date.

A Really Big Show

While Harmonix could have easily made a Rock Band game with a few Beatles songs in it, it's the exact opposite approach that makes TBRB such a success. It's expertly executed with enough charm and personality to truly stand alone on its own two feet. From the incredibly detailed historic venues such as The Cavern Club or Shea Stadium to the game's enchantingly surreal dreamscapes, there's no denying that The Beatles: Rock Band doesn't just look or sound like a Beatles game - it feels like one, embracing the magic and attitude that made four young men one of the pioneering voices in rock and roll.

From their break-out performance on the Ed Sullivan Show to their conclusive concert on the Apple Corps roof tops, The Beatles: Rock Band chronicles the Fab Four's universally renowned career with an incredible amount of authenticity. The game's expertly populated track list is an astounding achievement on Harmonix's part, ranging from undisputed hits such as "Revolution" and "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" to some lesser known jaunts like Ringo crooning to "Boys" during the band's underground days. The sheer amount of variety is sure to not only please long time fans but inspire newcomers as well.

"Ringo, have a banana!"

One of the downsides is that if you don't already like the Beatles, this game likely won't change your mind. Even with the game's inherent charm, people that never approved of Beatlemania likely won't be won over, no matter how much effort Harmonix has put in their translation. Long time virtual rock-stars may also be disappointed by the game's lack of customization as well. While it wouldn't make much sense to see a head-banging avatar screeching in between John and Paul, I can't help but think that selectable stages and Beatles-inspired character outfits would have only added to the over-arching experience that the developers had so richly invested in. The instruments are also a sticking point: they're beautifully designed but they're also incredibly expensive. Unless you're a diehard Beatles fan who wants the full experience, you can probably forgo the entire set.

But even those small complaints couldn't diminish my love for the The Beatles: Rock Band. There's an incredible amount of fun that comes from filing the shoes of some of the most inspiring musicians ever to walk the earth, and Harmonix captures this experience with same sense of magic that the Beatles were known for. It's well worth the price of admission, even if you forgo the replica instruments and stick to your stock Rock Band gear.

Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.

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