The Beatles: Rock Band focuses on the influential British band The Beatles, the primary stars in Harmonix’s highly-loved rhythm-game Rock Band. The game has a pretty self-explanatory title: influential British band The Beatles stars in Harmonix’s popular rhythm-game franchise Rock Band. Rock Band: The Beatles offers rare exclusives such as behind-the-scenes pictures, videos, and audio to give players a taste of The Beatles. More importantly, the game gives players a chance to play the music and experience what it felt like to be a popular band. Unfortunately, a limited setlist, narrow gameplay, and a short length makes The Beatles something just to be heard in the car.
Most people will find themselves picking this up for the title alone, and the name alone. The game starts each chapter of its Story Mode with exuding cinematics from the opening movie to the intro for the game’s final level; these very well created snippets are as rewarding as the unlockable pictures and bonus content themselves. The core reality of the gameplay is exactly as similar to Rock Band, which was probably the easiest aspect for Harmonix to pull off. When Story Mode is done and over there is realistically not much more to do other than try to attempt getting 5 stars on every level, passing through gigs and different background scenarios. Once done, exclusive bonus content is unlocked. The Venue Challenge mode sees itself as an extremely limited function, only allowing any song to be played on different stages, which does not present anything magical. When it comes to The Beatles: Rock Band, there is a great amount of songs to play, but there is a very limited replayability which causes a large problem.
The Beatles: Rock Band is undoubtedly focused on the casual market and Beatles fans. Unfortunately, Beatles fans who have not bought a full set of instruments from previous Rock Band titles face the reality of paying not only for the $60 software, but drums, two guitars, and three mics to get the full game experience. Even with the current bundles, the price is extremely exorbitant considering only a mediocre 45-track setlist. There is not just the problem of an overpriced kit, but also the issue that many songs are missing, especially iconic ones. “Help!”, “Let It Be”, and more that will serve to alienate even the casual forms of the market. Downloadable albums are proposed to fill in these major gaps, but with a price of $14 an album or $2 each song, that is a steep addition to an already expensive game. The Beatles: Rock Band further rubs in the salt on the wounds with the inability to exchange songs or DLC. The Beatles: Rock Band has severe problems in terms of pricing and musical setlist that really needs to be questioned when even thinking of picking this up at the store.
The Beatles: Rock Band does have some decent qualities about it: three-part singing with three players. The vocal note tracking lays out the words and notes for each part using easy to read colored lines. Unfortunately, even the nice aspects of The Beatles: Rock Band has issues. The game does not allow allow multiple people to play the same instrument Guitar Hero 5 understood this concept extremely well, but Harmonix flailed at this, especially when it is reasonable.
The Beatles: Rock Band is troubled with a lot of issues, not to mention an extremely limited offering. Despite all this, The Beatles: Rock Band still exhibits great traits of Harmonix’s other Rock Band titles: great note tracking, descriptive sound composition, and very life-like venues that add for a great experience. The Beatles: Rock Band still remains a great tribute to a band that deserves, if anything, to have their own game. But unfortunately the “Rock Band” leads to certain quality expectations attributable to Harmonix that sees a severe disappointment in terms of scale and playability. With a huge price tag for newcomers and only 45 songs, The Beatles: Rock Band sadly failed to provide what it set out for: creating an amazing game with The Beatles as the focus. Consumers might feel slightly cheated with only 45 songs, not to mention the experience as far too short. While The Beatles: Rock Band will eventually turn players away to other substantial offerings by either Harmonix or Neversoft, the excitement and thrill will still remain for anyone that wants to catch a glimpse of what the love of music was like for their favorite band: The Beatles.