Rock Band VR announcement: Sounds cool but will it work?

Can a fast-moving game like Rock Band work on a VR platform? Looks like we'll still have to wait to find out.
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Rock Band VR was announced at this year’s Game Awards. The reveal video was witty and the concept of actually feeling like you’re up on stage sounds amazing, until you realize there’s essentially no gameplay footage in the entire announcement.

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Skip ahead two minutes into the announcement video and you’ll see the “gameplay” footage for the game. Similar to past Rock Band games, you’ve got your hardcore band up on stage, shredding it like cool guys. The audience, below, is going nuts over the performance. It all makes for a good backdrop, but what it’s missing one huge feature.

The guitar neck, the descending notes, the actual game. Where is it?

While Harmonix could have removed that part for trailer purposes, it’s a little disconcerting. They could have also removed it because it looks clunky and bad against the background. So, the question remains: Is this a game that will actually work on Oculus Rift? Nobody wants to play a game that makes your eyes blurry and your head hurt.

The answer is uncertain, but it may help to compare to similar games. Proton Pulse is a puzzle game with bright lights and flashing colors and they seem to have made it work. Racing games have had a hit-or-miss response with the DK2 (Developer Kit 2) prototype, but the final CV1 (Consumer Version 1) device may be able to handle a lot of movement without giving players too much of a migraine. You may want to refrain from headbanging while playing, though.

The announcement also only showed gameplay from the perspective of someone who is killing it. Personally, I would love to see audience reaction to bad performances, but we’ll have to see if that kind of interactivity will make it into the game.

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Clint Pereira
GS intern. Writer, blogger, aspiring millionaire. Parrot on shoulder at all times.