Rocksmith +, what happened to Ubisoft's music game?

Rocksmith +, what happened to Ubisoft's music game?

Rocksmith +

After being presented during the summer of 2021, what should represent the future of "technical" rhythm games has somewhat disappeared from the radar, at least until this last period: what happened to Rocksmith +, then?

In the absence of precise communications from Ubisoft, we can still draw some considerations based on the financial documents and the medium and short-term plans of the French company, recently put under the magnifying glass also for a series of rather in bucking the trend compared to the past, in the express need to contain expenses and focus on the essential.

Despite everything, it seems that Rocksmith + is finally really coming: among the documents published at the recent financial meeting of Ubisoft, the "game" appears in fact in the quarter between July and September 2022, so we should really be very close to its release, unless it is a mistake or u an oversight in the plans released by the company.

On the other hand, it did not have to be a titanic effort from the development point of view: the basis is basically the one that has been well established from 2011 onwards, with the substantial evolution applied by the 2014 Rocksmith edition which should serve as the basis for this new iteration. What changes is above all the general organization of the contents, the monetization plan and obviously the amount of options and additional possibilities for users, which should really lead to a new generation for this kind of titles.

Really playing

Rocksmith +, an image from the catalog The "gameplay" of Rocksmith + promises to be a direct continuation of the one seen in the previous chapters, with some enrichments able to further improve the 'experience. The basic concept of this series starts from what is probably a desire that emerged in many players, after the many hours spent on the plastic instruments of Guitar Hero and Rock Band: what would come out if you could associate a rhtyhm game of this type with the use of real tools? The solution proposed by Ubisoft is brilliant, placing itself at the meeting between an educational software to learn the use of an instrument and a real game, with the direct connection of a guitar or a bass to a PC or console through a simple jack cable / USB. Rocksmith + proposes the same type of interaction, but enriches it with new methods and an extremely wide catalog, thanks to the use of subscription to the service.

Also in the new chapter we are faced with a stratified software, capable of to address both the novice and the expert musician, also adapting automatically to the user's ability thanks to an even more advanced algorithm for "reading" the skills. In this way Rocksmith + goes beyond the context of simple video games, placing itself in an intermediate area between the game and the training course, with an approach that remains highly practical and centered on the use of the instrument. Considering that the functioning of the software is basically the same as in the previous chapters, we can imagine that the work carried out by Ubisoft has concentrated above all on a refinement of the algorithms and on an exponential enrichment of the contents, which makes a not far release credible even to in the midst of the large amount of postponements that have recently emerged, which have already involved the title in question with a first postponement from last September to 2022.

The news from the first beta

Rocksmith +, a example of the new interface We had the opportunity to test the innovations proposed by Rocksmith + with a first closed beta beta made available in July 2021, which actually proved to be still quite immature, which could have actually caused the first postponement to a date yet to be allocated. In any case, the potential was already evident, with several good ideas added to the already compelling foundation of Rocksmith 2014, although the entire subscription-based live service solution is still hotly debated by the community. In any case, the new interface is clearer and more modern and the new algorithm that calibrates the difficulty works very well, while the whole area relating to tutorials and teaching the use of the tool is much more in-depth and extended. very important of the whole package.

The introduction of Rocksmith + Connect, the system that should allow you to use acoustic guitars, without electrical components, in connection with the software is still a bit uncertain. This uses a specific app to be installed on the smartphone to steal the sound through the microphone and transfer it to the main application. The system is a bit cumbersome and, considering that input lag was one of the main problems of previous versions of the software, a solution like this suggests a further worsening of the situation in this sense, but we are waiting to be able to evaluate the improvements. applied with respect to the uncertain version present in the beta.

The subscription, between potential and doubts

Rocksmith +, the graphics during a Rocksmith session immediately represented the gateway to what then became the real paradise for videogame electric guitarists: the ability to play any song on a dynamic and well-built base. The Ubisoft "game" in itself represents only a part of this experience, further perfected with Rocksmith 2014: as those who have followed the evolutions of the community linked to the software in question know well, subsequent processing has led to fully exploit the potential of this idea going beyond the basic offer, through a series of mods and alternative software to be applied to the title, obviously on PC. The issue involves a gray area of ​​applications and not entirely regular uses of the software, not to mention a huge catalog of songs and backing tracks that are not really legal, but through these systems it has been possible to expand the possibilities offered by Rocksmith 2014.

All this will probably be prevented by the adoption of the Rocksmith + subscription model: the heavy use of DRM connected to a constantly evolving catalog of which one does not have total ownership will make the use of software complicated alternatives for song expansion. This is already an element that is making the community noise, in addition to the idea of ​​a live service base that often meets with an unenthusiastic reception, coming from a more traditional structure.

The arrangement according to Chord Chart present in Rocksmith + In any case, the solution chosen by Ubisoft is the most logical and functional one for a software of this type, allowing a breadth otherwise difficult to obtain through the traditional system of preset catalog. The actual extension, variety and quality of the catalog will still be seen, given that managing such a service is probably not easy for a videogame publisher and perhaps this aspect is what Ubisoft had to work intensely on, even during the extra period after the postponement.

Beyond the legal management of the catalog, a considerable technical effort has been made to make it effectively "playable", that is playable on guitar and bass: as reported by the developers, Rocksmith + uses a new technology based on a system called ARCHI, which extrapolates from the songs the data to be reprocessed in the form of harmonic lines for the instruments in question, and on the composition of the Chords Charts, which are defined as a dynamic and layered system of rearrangement of the songs for guitar and bass, set to different skill levels.

A powerful tool for learning to play

Rock smith +, an example of a user's Skill Profile What emerges quite clearly also from the updates published by the developers on the official website, is that Rocksmith + is a powerful tool for learning to play guitar and bass, or for perfecting one's knowledge. With the technical basis of the software practically consolidated, Ubisoft has focused on refining the user experience and content, as well as improving the interface and accessories such as customization and representation of tools. The interactive learning component, however, has received particular attention in the new chapter, perhaps starting from the awareness that this aspect represents one of the elements of particular appeal to the public. The "Lessons" of Rocksmith + have been built with the advice of various music teachers, who also appear in the introductory videos to these: they are divided into basic, intermediate and advanced lessons and range from teaching the rudiments of music and instrument to the most particular and complex.

Everything starts from the new algorithm that allows you to trace a player's "Skill Profile" based on the skills demonstrated, and builds on this a progressive learning path. The software carries out an assessment of the user's ability and knowledge on different sectors of musical technique, thus also suggesting how to set up the "Rocksmith + Curriculum" to increase one's skills on the instrument. The whole system is dynamic and scalable, starting from the composition of songs specifically designed to learn the techniques and arriving at real rearrangements of songs in order to take full advantage of them. Based on what has emerged so far, the new chapter in the Ubisoft series could be worthwhile even as software for learning to play the instrument.

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