It seems like sometimes history repeats itself. Just when we thought that Rocksmith would be the final new hat in the ring, another company comes out of virtually nowhere with some huge names and lofty promises.
Think of BandFuse like the amalgamation of Guitar Hero, Rocksmith, and Guitar Pro. Why Guitar Hero? Because unlike Rocksmith, BandFuse, appears to have set difficulty levels. Whether the progression is easy, medium, hard, and expert remains to be seen but you won’t find any dynamic difficulty here.
One aspect of Rocksmith that BandFuse is clearly capitalizing on is the ability to use any electric guitar (and yes that does include bass) to play the game using a 1/4 inch instrument input adaptor. It would be nice if the RealTone Cable was compatible with BandFuse but we aren’t holding our breath on that one.
Which brings us to the final ingredient to BandFuse’s recipe which is it’s interface that borrows heavily from the tablature view of Guitar Pro.
The Setlist (So Far)
A music game seems to be only as good as the songs it picks so how does BandFuse’s initial selection stand up to the rest? Well it already has some metal tracks so that’s sure to pacify at least one demographic!
- “Alive” (Pearl Jam)
- “Godzilla” (Blue Oyster Cult)
- “Cult of Personality” (Living Colour)
- “No Rain” (Blind Melon)
- “Reptilia” (The Strokes)
- “Yellow” (Coldplay)
- “Sweet Home Alabama” (Lynyrd Skynyrd)
- “Back From Cali” (Slash)
- “Breaking the Law” (Judas Priest)
- “Harder to Breathe” (Maroon 5)
- “The Bleeding” (Five Finger Death Punch)
- “You Oughta Know” (Alanis Morissette)
- “Jessica” (The Allman Brothers Band)
- “Sugar, We’re Goin Down” (Fall Out Boy)
- “Hemorrhage” (Fuel)
- “Barracuda” (Heart)
- “Drive” (Incubus)
- “I’m Broken” (Pantera)
- “Jessie’s Girl” (Rick Springfield)
- “Limelight” (Rush)
- “Should I Stay or Should I Go” (The Clash)
- “Stellar Revival” (The Crazy Ones)
- “Roundabout” (Yes)
- “Carry On Wayward Son” (Kansas)
- “Rebel Yell” (Billy Idol)
- “What I Got” (Sublime)
- “Infected” (Bad Religion)
- “Rock This Town” (The Stray Cats)
- “All The Small Things” (blink-182)
- “Been Caught Stealing” (Jane’s Addiction)
- “Rock Bandit” (Bootsy Collins)
- TBA (Dream Theater)
- TBA (Modern English)
- TBA (Social Distortion)
- TBA (All-American Rejects)
- TBA (Tom Petty)
What does BandFuse offer that Rocksmith doesn’t? Well for one thing all those tracks above contain “separated audio stems” which means you won’t be “playing over” the original guitar track. You’re really going to hear every note you play on your axe.
- Multiplayer – Form bands and play along with your favorite songs, or create original music in real-time with up to 3 friends. Rock hard and own online Leaderboards and Challenges.
- Create Original Content– Go beyond the included set list of songs by creating your own original pieces.
- Free Jam – experienced guitarists can jam to their heart’s content, creating all-original songs by layering multiple audio tracks.
- Jam Along – intermediate players can choose from a selection of backing tracks, then lay down their own lead, rhythm and vocal tracks.
- Share Over Social Networks – Record and share your favorite tracks, collaborate on songs with friends and then share them with the world through the game and social networks.
Additionally the game features Slash himself as your guitar instructor along with others to be announced.
Slash, one of the most-iconic, Grammy®-winning rock guitarists and songwriters of all-time, will serve as BandFuse’s master guitar instructor; getting novices jamming in minutes and helping advanced players master their instrument. In addition, a number of the world’s most accomplished Rock Legends and new artists such as Five Finger Death Punch – the hard rock band with nine-straight top ten rock singles – will also be integrated into the game to mentor players, with numerous iconic rock idols still to be announced.
Previews recently have contested this game has “zero lag” in comparison to their competition, but we’ll take that with a grain of salt given the fact a majority of reviewers didn’t even set up Rocksmith properly last year.
- Total Song Control – Slow down songs to hear every nuance or loop your favorite segments as you jam along. BandFuse gives you total control of every song.
This one is a huge deal as Rocksmith doesn’t allow you to manually slow down a section outside of playing really badly in Accelerator. This is an often requested feature on Ubisoft’s forum and a constant platform for arguments on “how best to learn a song”.
- Deep Career Mode – Progress through the phases of a rock career starting from humble beginnings and work your way to become a Rock Legend.
That sounds familiar… Guess we’ll have to see how that works out. Do we really need a “story” in a guitar edutainment game?
So there you have it, BandFuse is a thing. Will it be a good thing? We’ll reserve judgment until we can play it for ourselves until then rest assured that there are some familiar faces behind the scenes on this project and you shouldn’t dismiss it as another PowerGig or Rock Revolution.
Platforms: Xbox 360 / Playstation 3
Available: Early Spring 2013
Developer: Realta Entertainment Group
Publisher: Mastiff Games
Is BandFuse the type of instructional guitar game you’ve been waiting for? Let us know!