Green Day: Rock Band Review for Xbox 360

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Green Day: Rock Band screenshot
Green Day: Rock Band screenshot

On one of the hottest days of the year in the summer of 2005, I travelled for four hours in a cramped mini-bus to see my favourite band of all time perform live at the Milton Keynes Bowl. That band wasn’t Green Day, but Jimmy Eat World, who were supporting alongside Hard-Fi and Funeral For A Friend. Even so, I’ll happily admit that Jimmy were outclassed by Green Day in all respects, and to this day remain one of the best bands I’ve ever seen live. The atmosphere in the bowl that evening was unlike anything I’d ever experienced at a gig before, or since. The power that Billie Joe Armstrong commanded over his audience was truly something to behold. Few bands are as captivating on stage as the trio that rejuvenated punk rock.

With Green Day: Rock Band, Harmonix has captured that same energy and emotion the band brings to their live performances. The very same gig I visited in 2005 is one of three shows the game has recreated, and they all look and feel incredibly reminiscent of the real thing. After Beatles: Rock Band last year, Green Day might seem like a strange follow-up act. While The Beatles transcend generations of music lovers, Green Day are very much a band for younger rockers, and certainly don’t have the same reputation as John, Paul, George and Ringo. That said, they suit Rock Band perfectly, and each and every one of their songs feels like it was written with the rhythm action genre in mind.

Unlike Beatles: Rock Band’s linear, story driven career, Green Day allows players to choose from The Warehouse (1999), Milton Keynes (2005) and the Fox Theatre Oakland (2009), with various set lists on offer at each. Any of these venues can be chosen at any time, creating a more free form band experience. Although the player now has more choice over their career, the sense of progression previous games achieved so well is lost. It no longer feels like you’re working towards an end goal; especially since you can play huge, sell-out gigs from the word go.

I’m sure you don’t need me to explain the mechanics of the rhythm action genre (if you do, Google is your friend), but it’s worth noting what new features Green Day brings to the series. The track list is obviously the most important change to the game, which spans Green Day’s 23 year career. Unfortunately, there are very few tracks from Insomniac or Nimrod, with a much greater emphasis placed on the more recent albums. While I have no gripes with the decent selection of American Idiot songs, there’s far too much from the recent 21st Century Breakdown album, which was – to many fans' ears – a big letdown.

New character models and venues are vital in giving the game its identity too, and it carries the same flair and visual charm as its predecessors. Billie Joe Armstrong, Tré Cool and Mike Dirnt all look fantastic, and although they might not be as iconic as the Fab Four, Harmonix has done a great job in bringing them to life. The way Tré Cool gives a cheeky look to the camera, or Billie Joe urges his audience to clap along, is hugely entertaining. Depending on the venue, the characters wear different costumes and sport different hair styles, reflecting the band's image at that point in their career.

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Clockpunk's Avatar

Clockpunk

Yeah, having now played the game, I must say it is a disappointing letdown on so many levels. The song choices, the awkward censoring (well pointed out, Jamin), the structure of the game is horrendous, lack of variety in venues/character models and artificially inflated difficulties that do not properly match the actual composition; all in all it is fa too labour-intensive, and not a fun game - as I predicted. GH: Metallica is the benchmark for band-games, in my opinion. Green Day: Rock Band, if I had to rate it, would be a 6...
Posted 18:08 on 13 June 2010
Woffls's Avatar

Woffls

Heh, nice tagline bro :D

Sort of expected this. It is hugely subjective and almost entirely dependant on two factors, both of which are in the name of the game. Unfortunately the 'punk' experience is stunted with the lack of swearing, which makes it somewhat more evident that this is a mainstream product because pretty much everyone likes Green Day.

It's on my rental list, but only for achievements.
Posted 18:59 on 08 June 2010
shawson's Avatar

shawson

That was an awesome gig!! Saw them at reading the year before and they were a different class at the bowl!
Posted 13:45 on 08 June 2010
scaz2244's Avatar

scaz2244

as much as i love orck band i hate green day with a passion but great review jamin
Posted 12:17 on 08 June 2010
Neon-Soldier32's Avatar

Neon-Soldier32

Best tagline ever! But, aren't band orientated GH / RB games all the same, with the exception of Beatles RB?
Posted 12:03 on 08 June 2010
draytone's Avatar

draytone

I'm waiting for Jazz Hero. You get a little plastic Saxophone with the buttons down the side and you have to blow in to it.

Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Chet Baker and John Coltrane all feature!
Posted 09:51 on 08 June 2010
Clockpunk's Avatar

Clockpunk

... I just don't know about this one. Some of the older GD songs have the nostalgia-feeling which make me really want the game - but my dislike of the RB series is really growing (especially with this whole keyboard/keytar nonsense - and the morons who think that one silly addition will be saving grace of the genre and set them ahead of the competition). So maybe a bargain bin purchase - while I preorder GH: Warriors of Rock. ;)
Posted 09:19 on 08 June 2010
Roland_D11's Avatar

Roland_D11

Sounds interesting. Are the songs from this importable to RB2? I have read both 'Yes, it's possible' and 'No way' before.
Posted 09:10 on 08 June 2010
Karlius's Avatar

Karlius

I like Green Day I like Rock Band. I'll wait for it to go cheap.
Posted 09:01 on 08 June 2010
SexyJams's Avatar

SexyJams

Might pick it up actually.
I like a few of their songs.
Nah, actually, I'll wait until Rock Band 3
Posted 09:00 on 08 June 2010

Game Stats

Technical Specs
Green Day: Rock Band
8
Out of 10
Green Day: Rock Band
  • The best Green Day songs are all there
  • Great energy to the performances
  • Career mode missing a sense of progression
  • Swearing removed
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 11/06/2010
Platforms: Xbox 360 , PS3 , Wii
Developer: Harmonix
Publisher: MTV Games
Genre: Music
No. Players: 1-4
Rating: PEGI 12+
Site Rank: 11,884 7085
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