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
    Rock Band 4 feels like both a necessity and an afterthought.
  2. Nov 30, 2015
    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.
  3. Play UK
    Nov 15, 2015
    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]
  4. Nov 5, 2015
    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.
  5. Nov 4, 2015
    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.
  6. Oct 15, 2015
    Rock Band 4 is fun like hell, but is less interesting and complete than the gorgeous previous chapter of this epic franchise.
  7. Oct 13, 2015
    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.
  8. Oct 11, 2015
    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.
  9. Oct 7, 2015
    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.
  10. Oct 6, 2015
    The most refined version of Rock Band yet available, but not as essential as it once was.
  11. 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.
  12. Oct 5, 2015
    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.
  13. Nov 30, 2015
    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.
  14. CD-Action
    Dec 16, 2015
    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]
  15. Oct 7, 2015
    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.
  16. Oct 19, 2015
    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.
  17. Oct 16, 2015
    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.
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  1. Dec 8, 2015
    It’s no longer just about being a rock star but finding the rock star in you.
User Score

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
    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.

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

    - 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
    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
    Oct 8, 2015
    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
    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 »