Full disclosure: I have a huge boner for both the Beatles and Rock Band, so this game is like a perfect dream come true for me.
So, this article will probably be nonstop spooging on Harmonix’s wonderful face.
The Beatles: Rock Band is Harmonix’s love letter to the music of the Beatles, lovingly crafted with tender, Beatle-adoring hands. Everything is so smooth and wonderful, from the interface to the character models to the “dreamscapes” that replace the live venues during the studio era late in the band’s career. (These are basically trippy artistic interpretations of the song you are playing. For instance, “Back in the USSR” features communist Russian imagery, and “Here Comes the Sun” is a sunny, peaceful hill.)
Of course, the core gameplay is still Rock Band, with one addition: Harmonizing. The game supports up to three vocalists, and can display them all on one voice track, or split the harmonists off to a separate one that tells them exactly when they need to come in and shows exactly what they’re saying. (Woooooooo la la la)
The feeling of harmonizing with your bandmates is incredible and really takes the “full band experience” to the next level. I asked a Harmonix representative if that might make it back to the proper Rock Band lineage, and they said that it might happen in a future game, but it’s too big a feature to patch into Rock Band 2.
The Beatles: Rock Band was initially announced as simply a Beatles game from Harmonix, and that shows through in one way: DLC is not compatibile with other versions of Rock Band in any way. It is not part of the Rock Band platform. This is pretty much the only stain on a nearly perfect creation. I can’t wait to get my hands on the final game on Sept. 9.