As part of Harmonix’s first major update for Rock Band 4, the studio will be adding the extremely challenging Brutal Mode difficulty setting to the game.
Harmonix wasn’t content with just their Rock Band 4 virtual reality announcement from yesterday’s Game Awards. Today the studio took to the comfort of their in-house livestream and announced Brutal Mode, the Rock Band 4 difficulty setting for when Expert just doesn’t make your fingers bleed like it used to. Brutal Mode will be included with Rock Band 4‘s first major update, launching on December 8.
What exactly will Brutal Mode deliver? Beyond an evolution of difficulty for those who have already dominated the note-filled tracks of Expert mode, that is? Don’t worry, Brutal Mode won’t just stuff even more notes in every song. Rather, Brutal Mode adds what Harmonix has coined as the “Brutal Bar,” a sliding line across the scrolling track that will turn all passing notes invisible. The player will have to rely on their song memorization and audio cues to continue playing the now invisible notes.
Should the player grow overwhelmed and begin missing notes, the Brutal Bar will slip lower and lower from its original position near the top of the song track. This will allow the player to see the notes for a longer time before they disappear, even going so far as to drop so low that it’s as if playing a standard Expert Mode track. As the player then finds their bearings, the bar will rise and the difficulty with spike once more. That’s when the plastic guitar starts to melt.
The December 8 update isn’t limited to just Brutal Mode, as excellent as an update as that alone may have been. There are plenty of other feature additions coming to Rock Band 4, as well as a number of stability improvements and bug fixes. Some of those features include:
- Score Challenge Features
- In-game Notifications
- Activity Feed
- Taunt System
- Improved Calibration
- Variable Breakneck Speed Up to 2.5x
- Full Combo Recognition & Indicator
- More Song Results Details
Harmonix also promises that they’re hard at work on additional features, improvements, and fixes for the extended future of Rock Band 4. Recall that this will be the sole Rock Band for this entire console generation, so Harmonix wants to make certain it’s worth investing in. The studio recommends that anyone with questions or feedback visit their official forums or message them on social media. They’re paying close attention.
Hopefully Brutal Mode will become a highlight for top-tier Rock Band 4 players when it becomes available on patch day, December 8. It’ll definitely be something to look for on Twitch or Youtube livestreams. One might say that it would be nice for Harmonix to add something for casual players in the update too, but to be fair Rock Band 4 is already filled to the brim with music to play for all levels of skill. It’s just the hardcore nuts likely looking for something more.
Brutal Mode sound a bit too Brutal? Happy with what Harmonix has put together for their first major update? What should come next for Rock Band 4?