Here at GDC, you kinda get thse sense that the rhythm game/band simulator genre’s headed for trouble. While last year’s Beatles Rock Band and DJ Hero were well-reviewed, they didn’t move the needle in terms of excitement or profit the way their predecessors did. These kinds of titles continue to be fun ways to play with a plethora of music content but the novelty might be wearing off.
And now, new development studio Seven45 Games wants to move gamers past novelty and into a place where actual music-making happens. The inaugural title, Power Gig: Rise of the Six String, sports an actual stringed guitar controller. It’s got a colored key on the side of the neck and is a hefty bugger compared to the plastic facsimiles that we’ve been messing with of late. The controllers come about as a result of the studio’s relationship with First Act. This corporate cousin of Seven45 makes affordable musical instruments for a mass audience and bring their manufacturing expertise to bear on Power Gig’s axes. Aside from being used to play the game, the guitars will work on standard amps for when you want to rock out.
The game demo walked me through parts of two modes, Gameplay and Chording. Gameplay Mode resembles the experience delivered Guitar Hero and Rock Band. The highway looks a bit different with streaks of colored energy connecting the notes. That energy’s called Mojo and once you collect enough of it, you can use it affect the world by making the audience dance or changing the environment around you. Chording Mode was what looks to separate Power Gig from other music games. Certain parts of the songs in this mode will break down to specific power chords and you’ve got to nail them in order to progress. Players will get basics on fingering and will hopefully learn a few fundamentals for playing guitar.
The game could be a cool rebuttal for those who have said that music games are a dead end as far as developing actual talent goes.
The Seven45 reps have promised more details about the song list, story mode and drum kit by the time E3 rolls around. Stay tuned for more on this upcoming title.