Rocksmith is a play-along musical instrument sim that works with a real guitar. Using the included USB-to-1/4 inch jack, players can plug in and jam out with dozens of original rock recordings, from the Rolling Stones’ “Satisfaction” and David Bowie’s “Rebel Rebel” to the Cure’s “Boys Don’t Cry” and “Icky Thump” by the White Stripes. As in the genre’s leading series, Guitar Hero and Rock Band, players can follow sequences of color-coded graphic indicators, which scroll along with the song and represent the notes to be played.
In Rocksmith, however, these indicators represent actual musical notes, and a successful performance involves pressing the correct strings on a real fret board. Players perform single-note accompaniments, which become more complex, as they learn the finger positions of additional notes and attempt to master new songs. An automatic difficulty-scaling feature queues up more or fewer notes, according to the player’s success throughout a performance. Various mini-games are designed to help players hone different skills. The software also features a tuner and several built-in pedal effects. Rocksmith can be played with any guitar that has a pick-up.