Five years after the last full retail release, Harmonix has returned with Rock Band 4. Like your favorite band that's been out of the studio for too long, Harmonix's return is a welcome one. Who better than the masters of the genre to bring back one of the most storied franchises of the last decade for another run at greatness? With new platforms and audiences to reach, the time seemed right for Rock Band to once again make a claim to the throne of the ultimate music franchise. Much of what makes up Rock Band 4 will be immediately familiar to longtime players, but that's not a bad thing. Rock Band 4 brings back feelings you didn't even know you were missing, and improves upon the formula just enough to make everything feel fresh and new, while being as comfortable as a pair of worn-in leather pants.
The music, a generic, 2001-esque rock tune, cuts in and out on the loading screen, then restarts entirely when the level starts to load. Objects pop into view haphazardly, and most textures only start to think about showing up for work. Your character is last to appear, an undetailed blob that vaguely resembles Tony Hawk; you feel a vague unease to go along with his blurred features. The objective: using your skateboarding skills, knock 25 giant balls out of a pool. There are actually 26 balls, but whatever. You struggle with the controls, flailing and flopping on maneuvers you swore you landed, all while the timer counts down with a corporate logo hanging heavy above it. You've nearly gotten all of the balls out when you jump. Tony goes ragdoll for no reason and launches twenty feet into the air in grotesque slow-motion until he tumbles down, into the ground, and jams there like a twitchy tombstone. The textures of his clothes and face finally load; his face is an expressionless, joyless mass with eyes more dead than Gravelord Nito.
Since Activision got a lot of heat due to the last-gen versions of Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 not having a campaign mode, they went and released a story trailer.
Bethesda has released its fourth educational cartoon featuring Vault Boy, teaching you how important Charisma is out in the wasteland while playing Fallout 4.
Activision changed the look of Call of Duty's official Twitter to a faux news page and started reporting about fictional acts of terrorism going on in China. Unfortunately, China just happened to be hit by a series of letter bomb attacks right around the same time.
Mr. 900's return to console gaming isn't as smooth as we were hoping, given the glitches plaguing Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5's launch.
Xbox has announced yet another Xbox One bundle to help usher in holiday jumps to current-gen. This time, the COGs, Ori and Rare are joining the fight.
Microsoft Studios' free-to-play game creator and sandbox simulator, Project Spark, is getting rid of its microtransactions, making all of its premium content free.
Comcept was supposed to launch a demo of Mighty No. 9 this week as an apology for the game being delayed into 2016. Unfortunately, that is being delayed as well.
Xbox announced Lara Croft is getting her own Xbox One bundle for the holidays, and it will include Rise of the Tomb Raider and Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition.