When Oculus first teased Rockband for virtual reality, it sounded like kind of a stupid idea. A guitar game? In 2016? In virtual reality? How passe. It was hard to imagine how the series’ iconic stream of colored notes would translate to VR, and I immediately dismissed the idea. It turns out I was right — Rockband’s classic game mode didn’t make a smooth transition to VR, so the team at Harmonix had to come up with something completely different — and it’s so much better than awkward rhythm game I was expecting.

Rockband VR still uses the game’s goofy plastic guitar peripherals — it just uses it a bit differently than previous games. Traditionally, Rockband tasks players with matching button presses to a series of “notes” that fly towards the camera — the more accurately you replicate the pattern, the higher your score. Rockband VR, on the other hand, is more about playing chords. Icons embedded on your virtual guitar’s neck indicate what button combinations you need to press to play a specific power chord — which can then be slid up and down the guitar’s neck to change the tone of the song. Rather than doling out points for playing the right “notes,” the game awards points for knowing when to change to a different chord. You can never play the “wrong” chord, either.Read More...