Rock Band 4
Top Critic Average
Rock Band 4 makes smart choices in bringing the series back, even if its setlist is somewhat disappointing.
Building on its impressive back catalogue, Rock Band 4 is a rock-solid return for the stalwart music game.
A welcome return for multiplayer music games, even if there's relatively little new to add to the experience – and a few things that have been taken out.
With superb gameplay enhancements like freestyle soloing, and support not only for existing instruments but thousands of legacy DLC tracks, this is the new benchmark for rhythm action gaming.
A slick and engaging way to enjoy interactive music, albeit with fewer bells and whistles than Rock Band 3
Rock Band 4 is stripped down to the essentials, but despite its leanness, it's pulled off something encouraging: It's made me want to play Rock Band again, even after the dozens of hours and countless parties I've spent with the series. It isn't Harmonix's boldest or biggest game. But Rock Band 4 lays a foundation for Harmonix to move forward.
Rock Band 4 recaptures the unadulterated gratification that made the series such a hit half a decade ago, but mainly because it's a relatively unchanged, repackaged Rock Band 2. A lack of content and general stagnation hold this particular iteration of Rock Band back, but new ideas like Freestyle Solos genuinely enhance the core experience, which remains a sincere and joyful celebration of music.
It's Rock Band for a new generation (of consoles). Same great taste as the previous games. Tour mode is the best single player experience in the series. Relatively bare bones compared to previous release. Initial song list too small to support tour mode.
Rock Band 4 feels more like a maintenance release than a proper relaunch of this once-popular franchise.
While it lacks some of the features of prior versions - most notably online mode - Rock Band 4 is a solid release that establishes the franchise as a platform that will be continually supported and updated in the future. It's a great model that brings the classic Rock Band gameplay to current-generation consoles, while being compatible with legacy instruments and songs.