Since its announcement in October last year, The Beatles: Rock Band has become one of the most anticipated games of 2009.
At Microsoft's E3 press conference on Monday, Harmonix chief executive Alex Rigopulos and the president of MTV Networks, Van Toffler, revealed the opening cinematic sequence for The Beatles: Rock Band, as well as ten tracks from the game. The footage didn't stray too far from what we've come to expect from the Rock Band games, but there were some new additions, such as multiple vocals in song tracks and extremely accurate motion capture depicting the band's on-stage mannerisms.
The trailer began with the CG versions of The Beatles playing in a basement (The Cavern, Liverpool, 1963) and quickly moved to a shot of them fleeing from screaming fans as A Hard Day's Night played in the background. The on-screen Beatles looked very similar to their real-life counterparts, and were rendered in the same artistic style as previous Rock Band characters. Background visuals appeared highly stylised.
The trailer moved on to the era in which The Beatles gave up live performances with Here Comes the Sun and I Am the Walrus, accompanied by psychedelic on-screen visuals, a giant elephant, an army of drums marching on legs, and a shot of the band dressed up in giant rabbit costumes.
Some gameplay footage was also shown, revealing three vocalists singing simultaneously on the same track. This feature has presumably been added to accommodate The Beatles' harmonies. Behind the track highway, there was also footage of The Beatles playing on stage, in various locations, such as the rooftop of Abbey Road, under the sea for Octopus's Garden, and in a recording studio. The band members' mannerisms were also very realistic. For example, Paul McCartney and John Lennon often sang together on the same mic.
The artwork on the individual and band performance indicators also changed. For example, there were floral patterns for The Beatles' psychedelic era. The CG Beatles also aged extremely accurately -- one shot revealed Lennon with his signature round glasses and shaggy hair, while the other Beatles sported scruffy beards.
The Beatles: Rock Band will include 45 songs, including the ten tracks (I Feel Fine, I Want to Hold Your Hand, Day Tripper, Taxman, I Am The Walrus, Back in the USSR, Octopus's Garden, Here Comes the Sun, Get Back, and I Saw Her Standing There) announced during the press conference. The game also features replicas of the band's real instruments, including Lennon's Rickenbacker 325 guitar, McCartney's Hofner bass, George Harrison's Gretsch Duo Jet guitar, and Ringo Starr's drums with a classic black oyster pearl finish, as well as a Ludwig-branded Beatles kick drum head.
The game is due to be released on 9 September this year.