Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 27
  2. Negative: 1 out of 27
  1. Oct 24, 2011
    100
    Uncertain futures aside, Rocksmith is a breakthrough title not just for the music genre, but for gaming as a whole. It's the first time a developer has been able to deliver a game that makes learning fun and deliver something meaningful in the process.
  2. Oct 19, 2011
    98
    It's rare to find a game that encompasses a teaching tool as effective as Rocksmith, with virtually no negatives to observe, while still being enjoyable to play. Though for the first day or two you'll feel some pain in the tips of your fingers as your new guitarist callous' begin to form, it's a small trade for the skills, abilities, and pride you'll feel as you level-up as a genuine musician. Nothing beats learning useful and fun real-life skills, especially when it's with something as cool as an electric guitar.
  3. Nov 29, 2011
    94
    As a game in the traditional sense, Rocksmith is barely there; it's essentially a practice aid combined with a rudimentary teacher. However, it is one that works quite well and is fully capable of letting you learn at your own pace - right up to the point where you could easily plug your guitar into a conventional amp and play a song unassisted.
  4. Oct 17, 2012
    90
    What is truly intuitive about Rocksmith is the fact that it works, let alone the fact that it works so well. Once the guitar is plugged in the learning begins, and there is a lot on offer in Rocksmith. Being able to use your Playstation to teach yourself an actual skill is a rare thing, and Rocksmith should be praised for the great leap it has taken in rhythm gaming.
  5. Nov 7, 2011
    90
    It's as simple as this: if you want to have fun with friends in a rhythm game, buy Rock Band 3, but if you want to learn guitar, buy Rocksmith. It works, it's fun, and no strange man with a handlebar mustache will force you to play Soul Asylum here.
  6. Oct 19, 2011
    90
    Rocksmith feels like a present from the rock gods themselves. This little slice of the future is the perfect tool/game to teach all skill levels a thing or two about rocking out on the six-strings.
  7. Nov 3, 2011
    86
    I can't help but think if Rocksmith had come out years ago before any of the other music/rhythm games that use a virtual guitar it would probably be the premier guitar based video game. That being said, Rocksmith is quite a different game and can stand alone in its own genre, as there is nothing available on the market that competes with it. Ubisoft has hit the nail on the head with this innovative title.
  8. Oct 26, 2012
    85
    While Ubisoft may have fundamentally failed to grasp the commitment behind learning actual guitar, the product behind it is sound. It may be a steep initial outlay to play, but if you're serious about learning guitar, this one will put you on the right path, while entertaining you in the process.
  9. Oct 23, 2012
    85
    It may not provide a quick arcade fix, but as a full on guitar tutor this is one of the most enjoyable ways to learn how to play. [Dec 2012, p.99]
  10. Oct 17, 2012
    85
    For those serious about the guitar, it's an enjoyable game and a structured way to learn. [Dec 2012, p.78]
  11. Jan 31, 2012
    85
    RS is a great teaching tool, but your experience is going to depend on how committed you are to learning guitar. RS won't turn you into a shredding Jimmy Hendrix overnight, but if you commit to practicing each day you're going to see results. Even if you're an experienced guitar player, you're probably going to find something to like in RS.
  12. Nov 16, 2011
    85
    Will Rocksmith revive the dying music game market – probably not. But as an engaging and entertaining tool to help beginners learn to play guitar, it is fantastic. In fact, I would not be surprised if in five years from now we hear a famous rocker or two say "I first learned to play guitar using Rocksmith." It is that good.
  13. 85
    Musicians finally have a game to call their own. Rocksmith delivers the most realistic music experience with a great track list, tons of options to tweak your sound, and progressive difficulty to test all abilities.
  14. Oct 7, 2012
    83
    Rocksmith tries to walk that fine line between a game and an educational tool, and sadly it gets confused a lot of the time. It has evolved the music rhythm genre of gaming, which is brilliant, but it has forgotten how much fun rocking out with your six-string should be.
  15. Nov 4, 2011
    83
    Many people might be turned off to Rocksmith due to its lack of party game appeal, but that's not what it's about. It's about making a difficult instrument easy and fun to learn, and it accomplishes that.
  16. Oct 24, 2011
    83
    Is Rocksmith always a thrill a minute? No. However, few recent games offer so novel an experience as playing a guitar part, and hearing the notes you play flow out of your TV as part of a great rock song. It's the added incentive a lot of potential musicians might need to put in the time it takes to excel.
  17. Nov 19, 2012
    80
    Rocksmith isn't really a game the same way Guitar Hero is. It's more of a complex educational software that uses the look of a video game for better motivation. You could easily use YouTube videos and Guitar Pro tabs instead - and thousands of self-taught guitarists do. Fortunately putting everything in one place and using nice game-like graphics create a product that motivates better than any "usual" software does.
  18. No matter how much physical pain we had to endure, we always had fun. To us, it was like rediscovering a lost love. It goes to show how useful a game (or better said: educational software) like Rocksmith can be. Almost anyone can enjoy it. Even an absolute beginner. [November 2012, p.82]
  19. Sep 27, 2012
    80
    If you're prepared to put in the hours and make those fingers bleed, Rocksmith is the perfect learning tool, hitting all of the right notes and striking a chord with rock fans.
  20. Oct 21, 2011
    80
    There's definitely room for improvement down the road, but Rocksmith's debut has one thing going for it above all else: it's the real deal. This ambitious guitar game delivers on its promise of intense rhythm gaming action tied to the act of actual guitar playing. It has something to offer players of all skill levels, whether you're picking up and learning the guitar for the first time or have been playing for ages.
  21. Oct 21, 2011
    80
    As a new IP and a ballsy take on the floundering music genre, Rocksmith is an awesome first step. The technology is fantastic, and while the gameplay could use some tweaks, the dynamic charting system is a great sign of things to come.
  22. Oct 2, 2012
    78
    Brings a fairly fresh approach to learning a real guitar. [Issue#223, p.72]
  23. Oct 25, 2012
    70
    Those of you who put in the time and effort needed will have a lot to gain from Rocksmith. Not just high scores, but the feeling of actually learning to play an instrument.
  24. Sep 28, 2012
    70
    Rock Band and Guitar Hero already have the party attitude, but Rocksmith needs to try harder to master this untapped school music teacher approach.
  25. Sep 27, 2012
    70
    Despite some really good ideas, Rock Smith still has this unpolished overall feel to it.
  26. The technology driving Rocksmith is awesome. Unfortunately, the software just doesn't compare. [Dec 2011, p.81]
  27. There are thousands of programs, YouTube tutorials and teachers that do a more effective job of teaching, and an army of clicky peripheral-based games that nail the fun element better.
User Score
8.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 50 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 28
  2. Negative: 1 out of 28
  1. Oct 19, 2011
    10
    I've spent roughly 10 of the last 30 hours playing Rocksmith , have over 10 songs with over 85% mastery, mostly songs I'd never heard before, and can now say that this game is the bee's knees for anyone that plays guitar for fun regularly. Don't listen to all the people that say this is more of a tutorial than a game... at higher levels of play it's really just like playing guitar hero with your actual guitar. Regarding the auto-difficulty: At first I didn't feel like the difficulty was amping up fast enough, but then I realized after listening to some replays that this was because of my sloppy technique. For me this usually comes from missed palm mutes, missed harmonics, half-pressed barre chords, and brain farts. Once I got dialed in and actually started playing with precision the game would ramp up the difficulty and mastery level pretty fast. To all the reviewers complaining about the difficulty not going up fast enough (*cough* joystiq *cough*) I'm pretty sure its because you're not as good of a guitar player as you think you are. Rocksmith only gives you what you've earned. You wouldn't expect a mario game to give you access to world 8 just because you can half-a$$ your way through world 4, why should Rocksmith be any different? The lag when the ps3 audio is hooked straight to your stereo is equal to a good latency midi setup, meaning you can sense it if you're really trying hard but it's not enough to effect your playing. The interface is nice and easy to read when not cluttered... when you get to the higher levels of mastery it's another story, but if you're capable of getting to the higher levels then you're no doubt relying on your ear and memory more than what's on the screen, so it doesn't really matter The one thing that sucks is the total lack of streamlining. For example, I prefer to have my songs sorted by artist, but every time you go to the song list it resets to being sorted by title. This wouldn't bug me if you could change the sorting with a button press, but it's not. Also, whenever a song finishes the game automatically loads up the replay, thereby unloading the song. This means if you want to play the song again you have to wait for the replay to load, and then pick "play again", and then wait for the song to load up again. In other words, you end up doing a lot of waiting. Also, the two rap-rock songs are really bad. Full Review »
  2. Oct 18, 2011
    10
    After just a few minutes of playing Rocksmith, you'll find that you don't even want to describe it as a game. Rocksmith is an amazing piece of guitar teaching software. It will literally hold your hand, and walk you through step by step how to perform the basics, enhance your techniques, and ultimately play every song in it's library with style and precision. The career mode isn't the most flashy that we've seen in a guitar game, but all the elements that make it enjoyable are there, and doing well is extremely gratifying. Messing up is a unique learning experience, as you see the upcoming notes simplify before your eyes when the game's dynamic difficulty adjusts to your apparant skill, and something inside you musters even more determination to succeed next time. Aside from the career mode, you can browse almost the entire song library from the start, accessing different play options for each, such as the option to practice specific parts of a song that might be giving you trouble in performance. There are also challenges to complete relating to a vast array of guitar playing techniques, which you can also find in the individual song options, showing you what you need to be proficient in to perform it with mastery. Then there is the Guitarcade, a section of mini games that further test both your basic and advanced technique with puzzles, skill games and other creative and entertaining activities, all using the guitar as your controller. In amp editing mode, you can customize a rack of guitar pedals based on what you've unlocked in career mode, save multiple presets, and assign them to the face buttons of your Dualshock for quick effects changes during your rehearsal or performance. The only imperfection about Rocksmith is the minuscule latency in the sound of your guitar through the speakers, but even with more complex arrangements of notes at faster speeds we experienced no problem enjoying the game, feeling like things were in sync, or missing notes due to the barely noticeable lag. It's hardly worth mentioning at all, considering what amazing benefits this software offers to anyone who owns it. Rocksmith is a masterwork of educational software like nothing the world has ever seen. It is the Rosetta stone of guitar lessons. For $79 (plus your guitar), this is the best thing money can buy for an aspiring guitarist, or an experienced player looking to perfect their technique. If you spend time with Rocksmith, you WILL learn to play the guitar well, period. Full Review »
  3. Oct 19, 2011
    10
    This game does everything that it advertised to do and more! We will start by saying I am a decent guitarist. I was in a band as a teenager, but I laid down my guitar for more than fourteen years, just recently picking it up when I heard this game was about to be released. Though I used to know a lot, not playing for fourteen years took a toll on my ability and I was struggling to remember some of the more advanced chord placements, etc.

    This game eases you into the guitar environment. I found that some of my memory started coming back to me after I played through the first four or five songs. I got to a song that I didn't exactly dog, so I went to the song list in the options manager and started hammering away at some Free Bird by Lynard Skynard. I was quickly able to hit 100% speed and notes by going through the "leveler" options for the different parts of the song. This takes the chorus, bridge, intro, solo, etc and breaks it down into a manageable chunk that you can play progressively harder until you get the whole thing. I spent hours going through this and didn't find myself getting bored. I think within a week or two, I could nail Free Bird with 100% since the software does such an excellent job at teaching you songs.

    I haven't had a chance to play any of the guitarcade games because I only have one unlocked. I think this weekend, I will play all the way through career mode (easy) and see if it unlocks all those games, so I can play some of them.

    The interface is easy to understand. There is no noticeable lag when hooked up through an external source and not through the TV.

    My only small gripe with the game is that when you are doing a guitar riff and trying to hone that particular riff, you will have to go back to that section, retune your guitar, and load that section. Loading takes a long time with this game (20 seconds or so, at a guess.) I wish if you were in a riff repeater exercise, you did not have to reload that section in order to try it again. Even with this, I am giving this a 10. This game is what I think more games should aspire to. I had guitar hero. I felt like I was wasting so much time playing it. It left me with no skill. And this is completely different from the pro mode on GH3. I would like to see somebody that can do this game at 100% and somebody that can do GH3 at 100% compete in a guitar playoff. The GH3 guy will quickly see that his game did not really teach him how to play the guitar.
    Full Review »