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Rocksmith is a music video game produced by Ubisoft similar to Guitar Hero, Rock Band, Power Gig: Rise of the SixString and Offbeat Guitarist, and based on the technology in Guitar Rising. The game's main focus is the unique feature that allows players to plug in virtually any guitar and play. It will be released on three platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

Cover art
Developer(s) Ubisoft Montreal
Publisher(s) Ubisoft
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
PlayStation 3
Xbox 360
Release date(s) PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
  • NA 18 October 2011
  • EU 2012
Microsoft Windows
  • NA 13 December 2011
  • EU 2012
Genre(s) Music video game

Rocksmith's light campaign mode eases you into tunes by having you practice small groups of songs to get a feel for them before playing the more advanced versions back-to-back in concert at packed venues. It starts you off at the ground floor with simple licks, single notes, and slow pacing to get you accustomed to the basics of guitar playing and how to decipher the elaborate note runway. Each guitar string is associated with a different color, and the numbered fretboard onscreen indicates the corresponding location you're supposed to play on the guitar. The gameplay is reasonably lenient, since you can't "fail" mid-song for performing poorly. You may have to replay a tune if you don't reach a certain minimum point score by the end, but repetition is required for learning, and it's a common theme across much of Rocksmith. You're good to go as long as you hit the right notes or chords when prompted when they come down the runway. What's awesome is that you're not docked points for noodling. For folks who already have some level of guitar skill, this is one element that Rock Band and Guitar Hero sorely lacked. Even better: the game scales to your playing ability automatically. If you start nailing power chords instead of single notes, you'll level up the phrasing and soon start seeing chords coming down the screen at you. The reverse happens if you mess up too much, giving you a chance to recover if things get too busy for you. It's a very cool, dynamic system that's forgiving without gutting the challenge.

 Every note, chord, pick scrape, or sound you make is played through the game in real time, and it's amazing how Rocksmith essentially turns your TV or stereo into an amplifier. Thankfully, there's a built-in tuner you can access from the menu, and you're prompted to check your tuning between songs. Reverb and distortion are added to your guitar's sound on a song-by-song basis too, but you also unlock different amps, effects pedals, and guitars to fiddle around with in the game's absorbing sandbox-style amp mode. Here you can customize your guitar sound with tons of different layers of tones and effects. It's easy to spend hours testing all the sounds out and free-form jamming through the TV.

For everything Rocksmith does right in terms of delivering an authentic guitar-playing experience married with enjoyable gameplay, it's still lacking in some areas. Compared to other rhythm games, the presentation is far less flashy or interesting. While that makes sense, given the focus is on playing a real guitar instead of hitting just a few colored buttons, it could have used a more upbeat, engaging way to draw you into the experience. Venues are dark, drab spots populated small seas of realistic-looking fans who are equally lacking in personality. The campaign structure itself feels pretty weak too. There are a lot of tunes to rock through and some great content to unlock, yet there's precious little about the experience that makes you feel like you're rocking out onstage or making real progress through your virtual career.

There's definitely room for improvement down the road, but Rocksmith's debut has one thing going for it above all else: it's the real deal. This ambitious guitar game delivers on its promise of intense rhythm gaming action tied to the act of actual guitar playing. It has something to offer players of all skill levels, whether you're picking up and learning the guitar for the first time or have been playing for ages. After years of Guitar Hero, Rock Band, and a slew of imitators, it's refreshing to see someone finally make the big leap and succeed. 


As of the day of release, the full list of songs is available on Rocksmith's website
Radiohead's Bodysnatchers and Lynyrd Skynyrd's Free Bird are included with pre-orders of the game.
Song Artist(s)
"House of the Rising Sun" The Animals
"When I'm with You" Best Coast
"I Got Mine" The Black Keys
"Next Girl" The Black Keys
"Song 2" Blur
"Step Out of the Car" The Boxer Rebellion
"Sunshine of Your Love" Cream
"We Share the Same Skies" The Cribs
"Boys Don't Cry" The Cure
"Rebel Rebel" David Bowie
"I Want Some More" Dan Auerbach
"I Can't Hear You" The Dead Weather
"Run Back to Your Side" Eric Clapton
"Take Me Out" Franz Ferdinand
"Do You Remember" The Horrors
"I Miss You" Incubus
"Slow Hands"[7] Interpol
"Well OK Honey" Jenny O
"Use Somebody" Kings of Leon
"Are You Gonna Go My Way" Lenny Kravitz
"Surf Hell" Little Barrie
"Sweet Home Alabama" Lynyrd Skynyrd
"Unnatural Selection" Muse
"Plug In Baby" Muse
"In Bloom" Nirvana
"Breed" Nirvana
"Where is My Mind?" Pixies
"Go With the Flow" Queens of the Stone Age
"High and Dry" Radiohead
"California Brain" RapScallions
"Number Thirteen" Red Fang
"(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction"[8] The Rolling Stones
"The Spider and the Fly" The Rolling Stones
"Play with Fire" The Rolling Stones
"Gobbledigook" Sigur Rós
"Panic Switch" Silversun Pickups
"Outshined" Soundgarden
"Me and the Bean" Spoon
"Between the Lines" Stone Temple Pilots
"Vasoline" Stone Temple Pilots
"Under Cover of Darkness" The Strokes
"Mean Bitch" Taddy Porter
"A More Perfect Union" Titus Andronicus
"Good Enough" Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
"Slither" Velvet Revolver
"Burnished" White Denim
"Icky Thump" The White Stripes
"Chimney" The Yellow Moon Band

Watch Rocksmith Game Trailer for more details.


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