Universal acclaim - based on 57 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 124 Ratings

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  • Summary: Rock Band returns with another iteration of the popular music game featuring new songs and instruments.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 57 out of 57
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 57
  3. Negative: 0 out of 57
  1. Oct 21, 2010
    Video games -- not just rhythm games, but all video games -- rarely show this much ambition. Even more rare are occasions where developers manage to fulfill the impossibly lofty goals they set before themselves. Rock Band 3 manages both with ease, backing up brilliant ideas with flawless execution.
  2. Oct 28, 2010
    Breathtaking in ambition and crafted with the skill of a studio that's been making music games for 15 years, Rock Band 3 is Harmonix's masterpiece – a towering achievement not just for the genre, but for the medium itself.
  3. Dec 21, 2010
    A superbly engineered game that is both the most ambitious and the best the genre has to offer.
  4. It may be far less glamorous than new setlists and instruments, but the revamped user interface that underlies the whole experience is the game's most unqualified success. Fixing nearly every problem from previous installments, and layering in a whole new career structure, the new format is brilliant.
  5. Dec 21, 2010
    The fact that Rock Band 3 is both easy to pick up and play while offering an intricate learning tool is a remarkable thing.
  6. Oct 28, 2010
    Rock Band 3 is the ultimate music experience. New instruments are solid, the keyboard is fun to play, and the tracklist is splendid and varied.
  7. Dec 14, 2010
    There's a lot to love about Rock Band 3 and there's been some awesome DLC already released…it's just that to get the full experience, you're going to need to drop some major dollars.

See all 57 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 23
  2. Negative: 2 out of 23
  1. Oct 26, 2010
    Everyone has talked about how the rhythm gaming genre has been in slow decline for years, but fortunately no on at Harmonix took these claims seriously. Rock Band 3 innovates that game in nearly every way possible and includes nearly all features that fans have requested for years.

    The biggest innovations are the addition of keys and Pro Mode. Keys(a 2.5 octave midi keyboard that can be played sitting or as a keytar) adds the last traditional rock instrument to the mix. With keys and harmony vocals(as first seen in The Beatles Rock Band) you can now have up to 7 players simultaneously rocking out. Pro Mode is Harmonix's response to the ever present question, "Why don't you just learn to play real instruments." Playing Pro Mode on Expert, that is exactly what you're doing. You're playing the actual guitar, bass, drum, and keyboard parts.

    While not as flashy, the new song management system is crucial for Rock Band players with hundreds of songs in their collection. Also handy is the ability to save custom playlists. The song selection is a great mix of classic hits, new stuff, and deep cuts. The only cons I can see:
    1. A few songs from RB1 and RB2 won't transfer into the RB3 library.
    2. Gone are crowd-singalongs for RB3 on-disc songs.
    3. To get the full Rock Band experience you need to spend a lot of money to get a pro guitar, keys, drum cymbals, and all the great DLC that is available. All in all this is a landmark game, and the pinnacle of the rhythm gaming genre.
  2. Nov 2, 2010
    This is the music game that the genre has been waiting for and the possible savior that it needs. Taking the only good part of Guitar Hero (the drop in/drop out) and improving it, then adding keyboards, harnony vocals from The Beatles Rock Band and getting rid of that repetitive World Tour Mode you have the apex of rhythm gaming. I'm not going to mention Pro-Guitar although it's a very interesting idea because I have not played it myself. But even without it this game is a must have if you have any interest in this genre. I will say that Pro Keyboards while supremely difficult are quite well done and fun. This will be a stand out instrument once more DLC featuring this instrument is made available (such as the upcoming Billy Joel stuff).

    They have taken the challenges of Rock Band 2 and worked them into a very endearing set of challenges to make up a tour that should take you about a week. This mode is complete with videos that for the first time feel like they give your band members a personality. These are hysterical the first time you see them and you really start thinking of your characters as a real band. Not only that but everything you do even when you just mess around playing songs in the quickplay mode it counts towards your band progress and unlockable clothing. There were a lot of complaints about the setlist early on mostly because the bands for the 2000's were not really well known, but most of those songs grow on you if you give them a chance. That is the beauty of Harmonix games, they can turn you into fans of new bands and show you that there is more to music than your own jaded point of view. For example you do discover that Amy Winehouse despite her personal problems is talented at what she does or that Metric have a really great sound. I think that all the positive reviews from critics and players alike is proof that this is a great game. I know the genre has suffered from over exposure and the fact that in general a rhythm game is just trying to hit the right buttons to play the song the best you can. However, Harmonix have taken that as far as they could with this edition. There are a few things that could've been better, but they are minor and do not affect the fun such as when you have more than 5 or more players you still only see 4 on the screen or that in all instrument mode which is the mode that is required to have bass, guitar and keyboards on a song the vocals are not scored. But this game is about the fun and easy to use interface. If you have an open mind this game will make you happy.
  3. Oct 27, 2010
    To be brief, this game is a masterpiece among the video game industry as well as the music. There is so much to do here, from diddling a keyboard on pro mode, confusing your hands on pro drums or just simply singing back-up for one of your friends. If this is were they end the series then they will be ending on a high note. ( Unlike some companies) Expand
  4. May 25, 2011
    Harmonix has done a great job. The only thing that keeps it from being a 10 is the game does not remember your previous option settings. If you prefer full chord numbering or breakneck speed, you must reset those options every time you start the game. Pro guitar/bass is great. I am playing it with both the Mustang and the You Rock Guitar and am learning to play real songs! The training sessions are very well done and Harmonix continues to support the game with great weekly DLC. Expand
  5. Oct 31, 2010
    Great Game, but still hase it's bad moments. Music selection is awesome, and the keyboard great, but the presentation isn't as good as Rock Band 2. I also dislike the camera changes and how they don't go very well together. Singing is great. Exporting Rock Band 2 songs is available, but sucks because some songs aren't there. But it's just rock band, so I will have to give it a 9/10 Expand
  6. Dec 6, 2011
    Yet another great effort by the guys at Harmonix. While many would argue that the rhythm game market has slowly began to shrink, Harmonix are making a quiet riot (Spot the nod to a certain band?) and a lot of people are starting to take notice. I've been a big fan of Harmonix ever since Rock Band (the original) and an avid player. I personally feel that while Activision sold out with Guitar Hero, Harmonix kept it innovative and fresh. On with the review:

    Gameplay (7/10): Harmonix managed to make the singleplayer of Rock Band 3 better than that of Rock Band 2 and the original. They've trimmed the excess fat and made the game linear without cutting out any of the good parts. It plays well but once you've finished it, it struggles to keep you entertained.

    Graphics (8/10): The graphics for Rock Band games have always been cartoon-y, and in most games people would laugh it off, but the great part about Rock Band is that it doesn't take itself seriously, and for that reason the graphics are good enough to enjoy. They won't hurt your eyes while playing (Although some of the backgrounds have incredible levels of strobe lighting that can be very distracting), but all in all they are sufficient.

    Sound (10/10): This is the reason Rock Band excels in what it does: The quality of every instrument comes through in the tracks, and most of them have been recorded to such an efficient level that its like you're listening to an MP3 track rather than playing it through a game. There is no distortion or problem with any of the tracks, and they are crystal clear in their delivery. Simply amazing.

    Multiplayer (9/10): Increasingly, playing with other people has become the mainstay of Rock Band, and let's face it, why would you play on your own when you can jump online and complete any song you like, story-mode or quickplay, with up to three other players? It makes the whole experience feel more enjoyable and there's few things more gratifying than finishing a song and seeing your band manage 97%+ all on Expert. The Quickplay mode is surprisingly long-lasting and even now (Having the game for over a year) I still enjoy playing online with people across the globe.

    Lasting value (9/10): This game really does have so much to keep every type of player interested. Just want to sing I Wanna Be Sedated by The Ramones for a bit of nostalgia? Hit Easy mode with the No Fail Mode and wail to your heart's content. Feel like getting some practice in? There's plenty of tutorials for every single instrument to hone your skills and make you the player that you want to be. Just fancy making your character look like a proper rocker? Hundreds of clothing options are open to you to customise to your content. Or are you perhaps the kind of player who won't settle for second best, and wants to 100% every song on Expert? Hiscores for every instrument and every song with detailed tracking give you the choice.

    With constant unlocks to make the game fluently develop, a strong online fanbase and a constant flow of songs for the serious fan, Rock Band will drag you kicking and screaming back again and again. Any small flaws can be overlooked because - Take it from the guy who spent a long time getting to a proud 6th in the world on Stand For Something by Skindred once upon a time - this game is addictive with a capital A.
  7. Nov 6, 2010
    This game was a HUGE letdown, i love the second and i gave it a 10/10 for its amazing set list and how realistic the tabs were. The only thing that is good about the third one is for how realistic its tabs are, and how many song are available for download. I bought the pro drums for 130 bucks and they would randomly fall apart, and hit notes aromatically without me even playing them. I sold them to gamestop and i got a new one, and i got the same problem. Right now i am heading to gamestop to get as much money as i can to get for this worthless game. Expand

See all 23 User Reviews