Harmonix, MTV Games, and Electronic Arts have announced a robust list of features for Rock Band 2
. The sequel will debut for Xbox 360 in September 2008 with an exclusive launch window in North America, with versions for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, and Wii later this year.
Rock Band 2
’s World Tour mode is now online, fusing the Solo tour and Band World Tour modes, adding new opportunity gigs, challenges, cities, venues and hirable staff. Tour Challenges now offer players a chance to play mini-campaigns focused on the best songs by instrument, decade, genre, artist, album, and more.
With the Battle of the Bands mode, players compete with other bands in constantly refreshed contests created by Harmonix and posted online. Rock Band 2
also includes a Quickplay option for quickly jumping into sets, customizable set lists for the Quickplay mode, and a character creator for customizing unique rock avatars with clothing, accessories, tattoos, hairstyles, and more.
This second entry to the series will have backwards compatibility with all Rock Band
downloadable music content released to date. Users can even export tracks from the original game and upgrade them into Rock Band 2
According to Harmonix, the game’s soundtrack will feature over 100 songs, with 80 included on the disc and 20 bonus tracks which will be made available to download for free this fall. Bands such as Pearl Jam, Metallica, Devo, and Modest Mouse will contribute tracks. The full track list
is now available on the official Rock Band
Rock Band 2
will also be the first video game to feature music from AC/DC, who chipped in “Let There Be Rock” among other tracks. Music icon Bob Dylan will also contribute his first track for a video game, Tangled Up In Blue. Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose plans to debut Shackler’s Revenge, a new track from upcoming album Chinese Democracy, in the game.
Harmonix plans to keep up its weekly downloadable content releases including individual tracks, track packs and full albums, eventually bringing the Rock Band
music library to 500+ songs by year’s end.
With the new game, Harmonix plans to release a new range of improved instrument options. The Fender Stratocaster Controller adds a reinforced strum bar, quieter buttons, wireless functionality, and a built-in calibration tool for your AV setup. The new drum set adds wireless support and features a quieter, velocity-sensitive drum pads and a metal-reinforced pedal.
Finally, Rock Band 2
will also be the first music game to officially support an open platform by licensing third-party instruments and accessories, such as ION’s high-end Ion Drum Rocker and Mad Catz’s Fender Telecaster Controller, Fender Bass Controller, Full-sized Squire Stratocaster Guitar Controller, and Cymbal Expansion Pack.