Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 51 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 51
  2. Negative: 0 out of 51
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  1. Oct 5, 2015
    100
    With superb gameplay enhancements like freestyle soloing, and support not only for existing instruments but thousands of legacy DLC tracks, this is the new benchmark for rhythm action gaming.
  2. 98
    Most importantly, it plays well whether you’ve got a full group of four or going solo. The accommodations made to ensure the inputs are perfect for your setup, the ability to customize everything right down to the vocal parts, and crisp presentation make for a game that people will want to keep in their living rooms and enjoy for weeks, rather than play once then pop into storage.
  3. Games Master UK
    Nov 3, 2015
    91
    The definitive entry in a hall of fame series, raising the bar for rhythm action games to an all-time high. [Dec 2015, p.73]
  4. Oct 5, 2015
    90
    Rock Band keeps its formula unaltered, but all the new things it introduces make it even better. Rock Band 4 is the best game Harmonix has made so far, so it's time to get your band together and rock.
  5. Oct 5, 2015
    88
    Whether you’re importing a back catalog or not, the new title stands on its own with smart music selections, and skill-based gameplay refined over years of experimentation. After a few years away, I’d almost forgotten how fun the Rock Band experience can be.
  6. Oct 5, 2015
    88
    Rock Band 4 makes smart choices in bringing the series back, even if its setlist is somewhat disappointing.
  7. Oct 6, 2015
    86
    If you need to buy all of Rock Band 4 to get a band going, it’s a lot to pick up, but it’s a worthy investment if you’re in the market for a great party game. If you’re fortunate enough to already have compatible gear or pre-purchased music ready to download, there’s no reason not to rock again.
  8. Oct 6, 2015
    85
    At the end of the day Rock Band 4 feels more like an evolution than a drastic departure.
  9. Oct 7, 2015
    83
    The same experience we had with previous iterations of the franchise, spiced with some minor innovations. It's a great way to have easy-to-pick fun with friends, but don´t expect a revolution in the musical genre.
  10. Oct 7, 2015
    83
    Rock Band's comeback is a very solid musical videogame that rescues everything we liked in the past like the legendary multiplayer and adds satisfying new features like the solos and avatar customization.
  11. Oct 11, 2015
    81
    There's room for improvement. Annoying bugs and a lackluster song selections are sabotaging the great gameplay and clever innovations.
  12. Playstation Official Magazine Australia
    Dec 15, 2015
    80
    Go in expecting a “next-gen” evolution of Rock Band 3, and you'll wind up booing. Expect a slick, party-in-a-box, and you'll be wolf -whistling. [Christmas 2015, p65]
  13. Oct 27, 2015
    80
    Rock Band 4 is definitely a great game for all the rock stars out there. Bands who have been just itching to get back into the swing of the living room world tour will be happy to see that their medium has not changed all that much, but has added small things to reinvigorate the series.
  14. Oct 23, 2015
    80
    While the total package has been scaled back, Rock Band 4 still has what it takes to be the complete life of the party. There is simply no better game to be played with your friends.
  15. Oct 22, 2015
    80
    It remains a brilliant social game in the classic sense of the phrase.
  16. Playstation Official Magazine UK
    Oct 21, 2015
    80
    A steep investment for anyone not a veteran rocker returning with tracks, mates and instruments in tow - but the full band experience is the most fun PS4 offers. [Dec 2015, p.81]
  17. Edge Magazine
    Oct 21, 2015
    80
    It's infectious, and it is difficult to imagine that anyone with any affection for rock music could fail to appreciate it. [Dec 2015, p.116]
  18. Oct 20, 2015
    80
    Harmonix remains the master of mapping note charts to the music.
  19. Oct 20, 2015
    80
    Even if we lost online play, keyboards and pro mode, Rock Band 4 is still fun. The solos are wonderful the number of tracks you can buy is impressive but you can still see that the project have missed some funds during the developing process.
  20. Oct 19, 2015
    80
    Rock Band 4 is the same, old, highly enjoyable Rock Band you remember. The lack of online multiplayer is a bummer, but the new solo/freestyle mechanics are right on spot.
  21. Oct 15, 2015
    80
    As it stands, Rock Band 4 can only be judged based upon what is available today, and while the on the disk track list isn’t as impressive as that found on any of its predecessors, this is still a highly entertaining and finely crafted entry in the series.
  22. Oct 14, 2015
    80
    Rock Band 4 doesn't changing much compared to the previous episodes, it adds the freestyle feature, which is really nice, but it doesn't put a lot of new ideas in its old formula... Thus said, it's still a fantastic rhythm game to play, alone and of course with friends, to get the complete band. The gameplay is nearly perfect and, above all, the game is compatible with your old instruments and all 1700 past DLC songs.
  23. Oct 14, 2015
    80
    Rock Band 4’s biggest strengths are the new guitar solos, the possibility of importing tracks from earlier games and the compatibility with older instruments. Despite sore fingers after several hours of playing, Rock Band 4 is a wonderful experience, especially with friends.
  24. Oct 9, 2015
    80
    While it lacks some of the features of prior versions - most notably online mode - Rock Band 4 is a solid release that establishes the franchise as a platform that will be continually supported and updated in the future. It's a great model that brings the classic Rock Band gameplay to current-generation consoles, while being compatible with legacy instruments and songs.
  25. Oct 6, 2015
    80
    Combined with the lack of true innovation, it means that Rock Band 4 only ever achieves Wembley Arena-level greatness - rather than Wembley Stadium-filling excellence. But this is all about pure enjoyment, and after such a long absence and an over-complicated third release, it's a welcome return to form for one of the pioneers of the rhythm action genre.
  26. Oct 6, 2015
    80
    Truthfully, Rock Band 4’s biggest selling point is that it’s Rock Band on the new consoles with new instruments. And if that sounds appealing, then you’re bound to be very happy with Harmonix’s sequel.
  27. 80
    A welcome return for multiplayer music games, even if there’s relatively little new to add to the experience – and a few things that have been taken out.
  28. Oct 5, 2015
    80
    While the lack of online multiplayer and Practice Mode is disappointing given Rock Band 3's suite of features, reliving the experience of having friends playing alongside you (perhaps at a party you've arranged, ahem) in local co-operative play more than makes up for the difference. It may have five years since the last Rock Band, but the feeling is utterly nostalgic.
  29. Oct 16, 2015
    76
    It's a game dedicated to fans of old, and much less to newcomers. The included tracklist is weak, there's no online or practice mode, and the only (limited) innovation are solos. It's still good-old Rock Band, but not the evolution we hoped for.
  30. Oct 6, 2015
    76
    Harmonix recovers its main brand with classic standards and gameplay already well known. Rock Band 4 has deficiencies, things like no online multiplayer, very few game modes or poor customizers. If you play in a group, you will enjoy it very much, it's satisfying and there are a lot of songs.
  31. Oct 27, 2015
    75
    Not much of an evolution for the series, and some stuff was cut from the third chapter (especially the pro instruments), but it's hard not to have fun once your fingers start moving on the colored buttons of the plastic Mad Catz guitar. It's a good time for rhythm game lovers.
  32. Oct 8, 2015
    75
    Rock Band 4 gives us a nostalgic title and a lot of joy for those who love the franchise; unfortunately, the game is the same thing as past versions.
  33. Oct 6, 2015
    75
    The track list is lackluster and I could’ve gone for some more content in the box, but outside of these concerns, Rock Band 4 is a good return to the rhythmic music genre. I recommend it for anyone with an existing library of songs and people just looking to rock out.
  34. Oct 5, 2015
    75
    If you’ve never had a Rock Band game before, this is as good a time as any to jump in, but be aware that you’ll be wanting to peruse that huge store of downloadable content in order to get a setlist you’re happy with. Series veterans, however, will have no such trouble, and very little reason not to check this one out. It’s a good basis for something that has potential to get even better as the years go on.
  35. Oct 5, 2015
    72
    Rock Band 4 feels like both a necessity and an afterthought.
  36. Nov 30, 2015
    70
    Pros: the gameplay is still awesome and enables us to use old instruments is a cool move by the developer. Cons: calibrating is way more of a challenge than it should be, and the lack of Rock Band 3 songs and online multiplayer is a downer. In this case, however, the good outweighs the bad.
  37. Play UK
    Nov 15, 2015
    70
    Even with its lack of features, Rock Band 4 is still as fun as the series has ever been with friends. Expect the score to rise as Harmonix comes good with updates and new content. [Issue#263, p.64]
  38. Nov 5, 2015
    70
    Do you want to play in a band? Then Rock Band 4 is your best friend. It's only a shame that it's too expensive.
  39. Nov 4, 2015
    70
    Our gripes about the game’s seemingly random cuts aside, we can’t deny this is the best party game available on the new consoles.
  40. Oct 15, 2015
    70
    Rock Band 4 is fun like hell, but is less interesting and complete than the gorgeous previous chapter of this epic franchise.
  41. Oct 13, 2015
    70
    Rock Band 4 is bare bones sequel to a spectacular game and your mileage will depend on how desperate you are to play these games on the newer consoles.
  42. Oct 11, 2015
    70
    While its setlist does underwhelm in some areas, and the online multiplayer mode is not ready yet, Rock Band 4 still feels like the music platform that Harmonix set out to make.
  43. Oct 7, 2015
    70
    Rock Band 4 is not exactly Rock Band 2 for PS4 and Xbox One, but it's not that far off either. Harmonix sacrifices new ideas on the altar of compatibility; you can use former instruments, you can play all the tracks you already had, and all this is pretty good. But Rock Band 4 could have done with some graphics improvements and a few more new features.
  44. Oct 6, 2015
    70
    The most refined version of Rock Band yet available, but not as essential as it once was.
  45. 70
    Harmonix has brought the music genre back from the dead with a solid experience in Rock Band 4. All the fun you had with the series is back, with a few extra parts missing this time around. Nothing is particularly new here though, so if you haven't been yearning for the good old days, you might want to wait to see how this new platform develops.
  46. Oct 5, 2015
    70
    Rock Band 4 recaptures the unadulterated gratification that made the series such a hit half a decade ago, but mainly because it’s a relatively unchanged, repackaged Rock Band 2. A lack of content and general stagnation hold this particular iteration of Rock Band back, but new ideas like Freestyle Solos genuinely enhance the core experience, which remains a sincere and joyful celebration of music.
  47. Nov 30, 2015
    68
    The huge DLC library does not have a great setup and the compatibility list for controllers does not work perfectly either. It takes so long to get started, and even though playing is still a great experience, all the stuff around it is simply too distracting. Especially because the game does not have a strong online multiplayer or interesting visuals.
  48. CD-Action
    Dec 16, 2015
    65
    In comparison to Guitar Hero Live the new Rock Band game is way too conservative. There’s a certain tradition in the music business: when a performer grows a beer belly and can’t climb to the top of the charts anymore, you send him to tour Japan, so he can grab some more money from a bit more loyal local fans. After seeing Rock Band’s current shape all I can say to it is “sayonara”. [12/2015, p.63]
  49. Oct 7, 2015
    65
    Harmonix bills Rock Band 4 as a platform that will grow and improve with the future, but for now, the new game offers little reason to upgrade from Rock Band 3, with a weaker soundtrack, fewer modes, and more promises of exciting features than actual, demonstrable ones.
  50. Oct 19, 2015
    60
    Even for those players who successfully manage to import their robust libraries from previous generations, the Rock Band 4 experience is little more than an expensive new coat of paint.
  51. Oct 16, 2015
    60
    Rock Band 4 doesn't feel like a grand, triumphant return for rhythm games. It feels more like a minimum viable product than the fourth game in a long-running and popular game franchise.
This publication does not provide a score for their reviews.
This publication has not posted a final review score yet.
These unscored reviews do not factor into the Metascore calculation.
  1. Dec 8, 2015
    It’s no longer just about being a rock star but finding the rock star in you.
User Score
6.4

Mixed or average reviews- based on 107 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 55 out of 107
  2. Negative: 28 out of 107
  1. Oct 7, 2015
    5
    Why is this game being rated so highly? It takes so many steps backwards it's not even funny.

    Pros: + Typical, refined, Rock Band gameplay
    Why is this game being rated so highly? It takes so many steps backwards it's not even funny.

    Pros:
    + Typical, refined, Rock Band gameplay that made the franchise fun to play.
    + Better solo system.

    Cons:
    - Scaled back character creation.
    - Scaled back production (text only loading screens, for example).
    - NO ONLINE COOP OR COMPETITION (something this franchise pioneered back in RB2!)
    - Lackluster on disk set list.
    - No Midi (pro) drum support.
    - No old keyboard/keytar support.
    - Increased cost per track of all old DLC.
    - Problems importing old RB1 and 2 DLC and tracks.
    - The instruments use the same original design and still feel flimsy.

    I get that nostalgia is a powerful thing but looking objectively, this game isn't even on par with what Rock Band 2 brought to the genre back in 2008! The lack of online coop and online competitions basically turns this back into the PS2 era all over again... newsflash, not all of us can get together and have epic band play in the same room all the time. That's what made the online coop and the battle of the bands functions so meaningful when they released them. Yet those got stripped out...

    This feels like a cash in, a cheap indie title designed to upsell you on endless DLC tracks - and if you switched platforms or didn't use your old import license, they'll be happy to sell you all the tracks you've already bought again for a higher price.

    I sincerely hope no part of the Amplitude reboot was delayed due to this and I regret letting nostalgia drive my purchase decision.
    Full Review »
  2. Oct 8, 2015
    4
    Sp1ffy84
    Oct 8, 2015
    4 I don't know why this is rated so high? I love ROCKBAND, and have purchased one, two, three and Beatles. This is by
    Sp1ffy84
    Oct 8, 2015
    4
    I don't know why this is rated so high? I love ROCKBAND, and have purchased one, two, three and Beatles. This is by far the worst I've ever played. The mic and instruments have delay issues. We tend to turn the vocal track all the way down and sing like karaoke, but it's impossible when there is a delay in when you sing vocals and when you hear them. The kick pedal on the drums is not suited for rapid taps like in metal songs.(it just won't register) The DLC is Broken. There are songs even newly available for purchase that won't download when you buy them. I bought a few songs just last night that I was able to pay for without a problem, but wont download. The character creator leaves alot to be desired. I guess Harmonix is missing that MTV money, because they did not give us what they promised and if this is the best they have to offer than Rockband is on it's last legs. I will not buy another product, song or piece of software from them until they get this game in a working condition. So just to let you know if you loved the old Rockband and don't mind: not playing story, not buying new tracks, not re-downloading old tracks, not playing songs from previous games (have yet to release them and won't say when they will be able to), not playing drums, not hearing your voice when you sing, not playing online and being pissed off that a great game and franchise is now a nostalgia cash cow. Have I got just the game for you. To quote the late and great Freddie Mercury, "Another one bites the dust."
    Full Review »
  3. Oct 21, 2015
    6
    I am a pretty serious Rock Band veteran. My main instrument is drums and I've been playing at expert level since 2008. Rock Band 4 hadI am a pretty serious Rock Band veteran. My main instrument is drums and I've been playing at expert level since 2008. Rock Band 4 had consistently existed on my "dream sequels" list for the past several years and so I was thrilled when it was finally announced. That's what makes it a special shame that this game, in its current state, is pretty disappointing.

    I'll start off with what I think is good; The "shows" feature in which setlists are voted on from a random pick of songs is a pretty good inclusion. I didn't think I would care for it at first, but it's refreshing and fun to not know what song is coming next and to be able to make your selection from what is presented to you. As a drummer, I also like the new dynamic fill feature, for the most part. Like setlist voting, the unpredictability of it is what makes it fun and unique. It was a pretty good decision on Harmonix's part to dump the "create your own" fill section from previous titles, as it quickly got boring. The new fills can sometimes be annoying however as it may present you with a totally off the wall fill which doesn't fit in well with the current section you're playing and cause you to get off track, but for the most part I enjoy having a new fill to play every time. I have played with the new freestyle guitar solos a bit, and I think it's interesting although personally I'd probably prefer just to play the charted solos.

    There's a few reasons why I think the game deserves a low score, and it's all to do with its relativity to the other games. The core experience of the game is still well-established in RB4. There's hardly much different about it at all, really, and it's still as fun as it was previous games. This means that the main improvements to the game should have been in other areas in order to enhance the overall experience, and in most cases this didn't happen. Probably the two biggest surprises I had upon playing the game were that there was no practice mode and no ability to create and play your own setlists. These are pretty dumbfounding features to cut from the game, and so it leads me to believe that the game was likely rushed. Online multiplayer is also notably absent, and Harmonix has gone on the record several times to say that it is planned for a future update. I expect that both of those other features will be implemented in a future update as well, but it's still wildly bizarre that they were missing from launch. The career/tour mode, by far one of the most important parts of the series for me, is a bit better than RB3's, but still a let down. Some of the game's marketing before launch portrayed the career mode as "practically a full-on RPG", which is absolutely untrue. It's so frustrating how Harmonix has had 4 iterations to work on this mode and it's still nowhere near achieving its potential. At least you can choose your own cities again. But this leads me to another point: There are 3 venues in the entire game. A lot of people aren't going to care about that, but to me I found the venues thematically important and it's really disappointing that such a huge step backward was taken here, and it contributes to the feeling that the game was rushed. Something that especially hits hard, given that this is the first Rock Band game on next-gen is that the animations in this game are absolutely dreadful. The guitarist/bassists arms are so stiff that they look like robots and half the time the on-screen musicians don't seem to be playing the actual parts. This is especially disappointing as I loved how in Rock Band the avatars would accurately play the songs, and you could see it. Not so here, and it's extremely puzzling given that they have all the more power to work with. The game's UI and menus also feel really lackluster and it's apparent that they were having budget trouble as a new independent studio.

    The hardware itself is ok, but I've been having consistent issues with drums. From 16th notes and on, I have trouble hitting the notes even if I play them the exact same way I did in previous games and got credit for them. I don't know if that's a calibration issue or what, but it's pretty annoying.

    The core experience of Rock Band is still totally in tact here, and it's still fun. But the lack of improvements made, and the flat-out steps backwards that were taken are disappointing and upsetting.
    Full Review »