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Video GameRock Band 4 (Series) Review
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Posted: 10 months ago, last updated 4 months ago.

Author: Andrea Walney, @GeekDadGamer and Jo Robertson.


Rock Band 4 is a music rhythm game. Play along with licensed music using specially made plastic controllers acting as guitars, drum kits and microphones. The game comes with 65 songs spanning the 1960's to 2010's. The music appears as coloured blocks racing towards you indicating what buttons to press in time with the music. You can also sing-along with the microphones. No musical instrument knowledge is required to play and you can play on your own or with friends. So if you ever fancied being a rock star this is the game to try.

Rock Band 4 challenges you to play individual songs or a set list of your choice. There's a career mode where you play as a touring band. Originally you could also download songs from an extensive online store, but this has been discontinued.

All Rock Band titles require specialist equipment. You cannot play Rock Band using the standard controllers. The guitars, drum kits and microphones can be purchased from mostly second-hand sources (often as refurbished items) and with an adaptor you can also use guitars from the predecessor game Guitar Hero.

To play guitar you hold down the coloured buttons on the neck to match the same coloured blocks seen on the screen and also strum with a strum button. Although it gives you the feeling of playing a guitar it does not aid learning this instrument in real life. The drum kit on the other hand is more similar to the real thing, with multiple pads and a foot pedal. The game is quite physically demanding, especially the drum set, and prolonged sessions may cause muscle pain, so be careful not to play for too long.

The series contains the following:
  • Rock Band (2007) Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 4, PSP, Wii, Nintendo DS, iOS
  • Rock Band 2 (2008) Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, Wii
  • Rock Band 3 (2010) Nintendo DS, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii
  • Rock Band 4 (2015) PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Plus some specialist versions which include
  • The Beatles
  • Lego Rock Band
  • Green Day
  • Rock Band Unplugged

This game is best experienced with a group of people with the full set of instruments (lead and bass guitars, drum kit and microphone) and is ideal in a party setting. For lovers of rock music both popular and obscure.

DetailsGame Details

Release Date: 06/10/2015, updated in 2017

Platforms: PS4 and Xbox One

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Players: 1-4 (4 online)

Genres: Physically Active, Rhythm and Simulation

Developer: Harmonix (@Harmonix)




Play Time: This game will take between 12 hours and 15 hours to complete. This time refers to the career mode, and will depend highly on the skill of the players.

Play StylePlay Style

You can play with 1 to 4 players in the same room or as a 4-player online game. Rock Band 4 does not come with online play unless you purchase the Rivals version.

You can play this game in the following styles:

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Content Rating

Rated PEGI 12 for Infrequent Sexual Innuendo and Mild Swearing. ‘Little Miss Can't Be Wrong’ by Spin Doctors features use of the word ‘*!@?*’. There is some sexual innuendo in ‘I Miss the Misery’ by Halestorm, with the line ‘I miss the rough sex’. There are also drug references in some songs, such as ‘I’m getting high all the time, I hope you all are too’ in ‘Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo’ by Rick Derringer and ‘There’s too much coke and too much smoke’ in ‘That Smell’ by Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Users Interact: The game enables players to interact and communicate with each other, so may expose players to language usually associated with older rated games.

Rated for younger players in Australia. Rated Parental Guidance (PG) for Mild Themes, Drug and Sexual References, Coarse Language.

Skill Rating

8+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. Still, it's important for parents and guardians to consider the maturity required to process the game content. The skills required to play the game would be suitable for this age (the full size guitar may be a bit too unwieldy for smaller children).

Account Rating

You need be 18-years-old to to subscribe to Xbox Live Gold for online play, but can then configure family accounts for younger players to play online with Xbox One.
You need be 18-years-old to subscribe to PlayStation Plus for online play, but can create sub-accounts for younger players of 7-years or older to play online with PlayStation 4.


Rock Band 4 usually costs £49.99. 

Rock Band 4 Rivals Bundle

PlayStation Store PS4 £49.99
Additional in-game purchases are offered for items that enhance the experience.  

You need to purchase a PlayStation Plus subscription to play online with PlayStation 4.
You need to purchase a Xbox Live Gold subscription to play online with Xbox One.
In-game purchases of additional song downloads are now discontinued. 
The following in-game purchases are available:

Rock Band 3 Export Pack

XBox Store Xbox One £11.99

Rock Band Hits Pack 01

XBox Store Xbox One £33.59
PlayStation Store PS4 £32.99

Rock Band Hits Pack 02

XBox Store Xbox One £34.99
PlayStation Store PS4 £36.99

Rock Band Hits Pack 03

XBox Store Xbox One £34.99
PlayStation Store PS4 £36.99

Rock Band Rivals Expansion

XBox Store Xbox One £23.99

Rock Band Rivals Expansion Pack

PlayStation Store PS4 £24.99

Rock Band Rivals Launch Pack

XBox Store Xbox One £12.79
PlayStation Store PS4 £12.99

Rock Band Sampler Pack

XBox Store Xbox One £11.99
PlayStation Store PS4 £11.99


Game requires specialist controllers - guitar, bass, drums and microphone (not a headset).
Guitars require use of both hands, drums require use of both hands and a foot pedal.

The game involves fast moving colourful shapes, and has flashing lights and moving backgrounds at all times.

Colour is an important part of the game, however the position of the blocks is also an indication of the note to play, so it is possible to play if you have difficulty in seeing colour.

Despite being a music game, it is possible to play with no sound as the position of the blocks indicate when to press the relevant buttons.

Diversity and InclusionDiversity and Inclusion

We haven't documented diversity and inclusion information for this game yet.

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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