Parents' Guide to

Rock Band Rivals

By Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Expansion adds friendly competition, but limited gameplay.

Game PlayStation 4, Xbox One 2016
Rock Band Rivals Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

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This music game brings a number of additional play elements to wannabe rock stars, but most players will tire of this quickly. Rock Band 4 was designed as a platform where developer Harmonix could add modes and features over the course of several years. Several free updates were made available over the game's first year (including Brutal Mode, which turns notes invisible just before they need to be played), but Rock Band Rivals is the game's first paid expansion. It has many of the things you'd expect of an expansion, including a new campaign (with a surprisingly good sense of humor sure to elicit at least a few laughs), a new multiplayer mode (with an experience system that provides long-term objectives), and new clothing and gear with which to outfit your musicians. It doesn't seem like too bad of a proposition.

That said, you may not be getting as much as you anticipated. Unless you preordered the game (and it's too late to do that now), you won't be getting any new songs with it. And the new rockumentary mode can be finished in a single night, which means most players and bands are likely to quickly end up going back to playing Rock Band 4 in pretty much the same way they have over the last year -- creating one-off set lists and replaying the campaign. It's still a lot of fun to just play music -- particularly if you have a few friends or family with whom you can form a band -- but Rivals doesn't add any essential extras beyond the base game's core modes and mechanics. Serious players may warm quickly to the new competitive mode, but the rest of us might be better off simply spending the money we would have spent on Rivals on new songs for our libraries.

Game Details

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