After a huge showing at E3, “The Beatles: Rock Band” came to MTV’s headquarters in Times Square, letting employees check out the hotly anticipated rhythm game first-hand. John Drake, a spokesman for Harmonix (the developer behind “Rock Band”) was on-hand to share the goods on the game.
” ‘The Beatles: Rock Band’ has 45 songs from the Beatles catalog and lets you enjoy all the great ‘Rock Band’ gameplay you’ve come to love from ‘Rock Band’ and ‘Rock Band 2,’ with the great songs of the Beatles,” Drake said. “We’ve also added three-part vocal harmony and some really, really amazing visuals.”
After a quick demonstration, employees were invited up onstage to try out the game, as well as the exclusive instruments that will be available upon the title’s release. Renditions of Paul McCartney’s Höfner bass, John Lennon’s Rickenbacker 325 guitar, George Harrison’s Gretsch Duo Jet guitar and Ringo Starr’s Ludwig drum set were all on hand for folks to channel their inner Fab Four.
We were all too eager to hop onstage for a go. After an intense battle for who got to be John, we settled on “I Am the Walrus,” which features an existential (read: nightmare-inducing) music video where the in-game Beatles are dressed as creepy walrus men. Thankfully, the abject terror didn’t take too much away from the performance. Three-part harmony was especially interesting. The game has three different vocal parts that it’s tracking at once, meaning everyone really needs to be on point. It’s a great addition, since it allows more non-gamers into the action. It’s still pretty tough on the tone-deaf, though.
The rest of the gameplay follows the “Rock Band” mechanics closely, with guitars, drums and bass having to hit certain beats to progress through the song. By the end of “I Am the Walrus,” we were rocking on all cylinders (flair-kicks and all), but new players needn’t be too intimidated. There’s still a no-fail mode (now accessible right from the pause screen), so there’s no longer that moment of shame.
Currently, 10 songs have been revealed from the game:
» “When I Saw Her Standing There”
» “I Want to Hold Your Hand”
» “I Feel Fine”
» “I Am the Walrus”
» “Back in the U.S.S.R.”
» “Octopus’s Garden”
» “Here Comes the Sun”
» “Get Back”
After the game’s release, the entire Abbey Road album will be available for download, and Xbox 360 users will get exclusive access to “All You Need Is Love,” with proceeds going to Doctors Without Borders. The game arrives September 9.
For more on “The Beatles: Rock Band,” check out Multiplayer.MTV.com.