Rocksmith+, the new version of Ubisoft’s Rocksmith rhythm-action game and guitar teaching tool, has finally had its release date announced: 6 September 2022. This new version of the game will be launching on PC with a mobile release later in the year, and will be a subscription-based service, allowing users unlimited access to ‘more than 5000 songs’ at launch, according to a press release.
When Ubisoft first released Rocksmith during the tail end of the rhythm-action video game gold rush of the 2010s, it seemed like absolute magic. While Guitar Hero, Rock Band and several imitators relied on the use of bespoke plastic peripherals to mimic the performance of music, Rocksmith allowed you to plug in any real-life guitar or bass, and use these to play its version of the beat-matching music genre.
What’s more, Rocksmith served as a great real-life teaching tool. As the difficulty of the beat-matching game adapted to your increasing ability to hit the right notes, you would eventually be served the actual notes and chords used in the song – knowledge that you could put into practice away from the game.
Both Rocksmith and its sequel Rocksmith 2014 adopted a model of featuring a small, set number of songs with the base game, inviting players to purchase additional songs as downloadable content after the fact.
The switch to a subscription service might not please everyone – especially those who like to ‘own’ their digital music – but the benefit is that Rocksmith+ has a staggering library of music to learn and play along with at launch, which can be accessed on a whim.
The new game also allows players to use their smartphones to translate their real-life guitars notes into the game, as an alternative to the physical USB-to-1/4 inch jack cord that was required with the previous games.
I got the chance to play around with the closed beta version of Rocksmith+ in 2021, and as an amateur guitar and bass player who devotes far too much of their lives to rhythm games – including Rocksmith – the new version of the software was very impressive, especially the adaptive difficult and training tools.
The big complaint from the beta was the variety of songs available, something that’s clearly been addressed for the full version. According to Ubisoft, the 5000 songs available at launch will be supplemented with new tracks weekly, citing artists like ‘The Clash, Juan Gabriel, Alicia Keys, Santana, and more’ as well as genres spanning ‘Rock, Metal, Pop, Latin, Hip-Hop, and Indie from countries all around the world.’
Here are the costs for the Rocksmith+ service:
- 1-month subscription: AUD $19.95 / USD $14.99
- 3-month subscription: AUD $54.95 / USD $39.99
- 12-month subscription: AUD $139.95 / USD $99.99
Those who own Rocksmith 2014 or participated in the closed beta will receive extra months for free – one extra month for a three-month subscription, and three extra months for a 12-month subscription.