E3 2010: Power Gig: Rise of the SixString PreviewBy Sterling McGarvey - Posted Jun 22, 2010
Prior to Harmonix’s Fender bombshell at E3, Seven45 hooked everyone’s attention with its game that links real instruments with a story-based music game. I got my first glimpse during GDC, and found it rather impressive.
What We Saw At E3:
Since the unveiling of PowerGig, more recognized names in music gaming have eclipsed Seven45’s ambitions, and it’s perhaps a bit unfair. I got hands-on with the team’s guitar for a round of Eric Clapton’s “Layla,” and having only played fake plastic guitars with buttons, it was a bit of an adjustment. But at the end of my session, I’d still managed a respectable 80% of the notes hit on a real device. Real musicians might have more of an issue, as I learned when I talked to a colleague who actually plays guitar and complained about where the game demands you place your fingers for frets.
I also got my first hands-on with PowerGig’s drums, which seems built expressly with apartment-dwellers and traveling in mind. They’re around ¾ of the length of Rock Band’s drums, they’re set in a lower position, and they’re designed to be tossed in a backpack and taken around with you. The big bonus? They use light sensors to detect your hits, so you’ve got quiet drums that’ll keep your landlord from kicking you out. Well, at least in theory they work. I’ve been told that the drums are something you’ll need to adjust and play with a lot to find your sweet spot. As I played through Living Colour’s “Cult of Personality,” I had a little bit of a rough time finding it. As a proof-of-concept, they’re a great idea, but I think that I’ll need to use them more than once before I’d consider replacing my Rock Band 2 drums with them.
For now, Power Gig seems competent. Until the announcements preceding E3, it was the only game in town offering up real instruments that you could use, which was a good selling point. It’s unfortunate that the game is hitting at a time when other music brands are making their own renditions, but if the team’s hardware is up to snuff, they might still find a niche for this approach to the genre.