Green Day: Rock Band Hands-On

We hit the stage with Billie Joe, Mike, and Tre in our hands-on look at the latest Rock Band game starring the seminal East Bay pop-punk band.

Bust out the low-slung bass and the thick black eyeliner, because Harmonix's next rhythm game--Green Day: Rock Band--is due for release in just a couple of months. The game, which follows the career of the seminal East Bay pop-punk band, is the latest band-centric release from Harmonix and the first disc-based release from the music game behemoth since 2009's The Beatles: Rock Band. Stepping into the shoes of Billie Joe, Mike, and Tre proved to be a fun experience, as we found out when Harmonix dropped by earlier today with a work-in-progress build of the game.

Though the game will feature 47 tracks from the band's entire career, the linchpins of the Green Day Rock Band game are three of its most famous albums: American Idiot (2004), 21st Century Breakdown (2009), and 1994's Dookie, which, according to project lead Chris Foster, was by far the most requested Green Day album to appear in the Rock Band series. Those three albums will appear in their entirety in the game, as well as a number of hits and deep cuts from the rest of Green Day's discography.

So far, six tracks from 21st Century Breakdown have already been released as DLC for Rock Band. The remaining 12 tracks will be on the Green Day: Rock Band disc, and if you've downloaded any of the six DLC tracks, they will be automatically imported into your game along with new venue visuals, full vocal harmonies, and mo-cap performances. Players will be able to export the tunes from Green Day: Rock Band for use in other Rock Band games but will need to pay a fee ($10) to do so.

American Idiot and 21st Century Breakdown loom particularly large in Green Day's history and in the game: both are concept albums of sorts, with a central narrative, and both are meant to be listened to from start to finish. Along with Dookie, Harmonix felt the two albums deserved their own showcases and, as a result, built the game's three separate venues around each album. Songs from American Idiot take place in Milton Keynes' National Bowl, the site of the band's concert film Bullet in a Bible. Songs from last year's 21st Century Breakdown (as well as the other songs in the game) will take place in Oakland's Fox Theatre. Finally, a more intimate fictional locale, known as The Warehouse, is used to showcase Dookie.

In addition to single- and multiplayer quick play, you'll be able to play in the game's career mode. The game's roster of songs is organized via set lists that feature a similar learning curve to what you've come to expect in games like this--some of the sets are even organized thematically. There will also be challenges to play through, similar to those found in The Beatles: Rock Band. Challenges include things like playing a certain number of songs and earning a cumulative star total at the end, or playing one of the complete albums from start to finish (along with a similar star total). Beating challenges will unlock new content, such as archived band photos, video interviews, and rare concert footage.

Not exactly punk, not exactly pop: Green Day is coming to Rock Band.

Harmonix producers told us that the difficulty of the challenges in Green Day: Rock Band have been toned down from those found in The Beatles: Rock Band, if only that the star totals you need to earn are slightly lessened. The game makes use of the two- and three-part harmonies that were first found in the Beatles game, including for Green Day DLC songs you import into the game. The band's chunky rhythms and poppy tunes make for a fun experience on any of the instruments and even singing--highlights from our time with the game included the mid-tempo melody of "When I Come Around" and the frenetic anthem "East Jesus Nowhere." That's just a sliver of Green Day's huge songbook too, which bodes well for Green Day fans looking to experience at least a tiny bit of what it's like to be one of the 21st century's biggest bands. Green Day: Rock Band is due for release on June 8.

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204 comments
chesucks
chesucks

RB: The Slits. Pay Day = corporate "punk"

Fayt1986
Fayt1986

just played the demo and its pretty solid. the songs are much harder then they were on beatles aswell so thats a big plus.

rlune52
rlune52

JOURNEY ROCK BAND!!!!!!!

ElektroniqueUK
ElektroniqueUK

If Tré has a specific button to swig rum and set things on fire then the came will be complete, if not it will lack a certain realism.

Gorgeous_eccent
Gorgeous_eccent

that s so fabulously coooooooool~~~~~oh gosh really like GD

Noahthereviewer
Noahthereviewer

Not exactly punk, not exactly pop. Exactly and Absolutely stupid. I wonder who said "Let's make a game about the lamest boy band on the planet, and try to make money!" I call 'em Gangrene Day.

jerry92602
jerry92602

i wanted them to make system of a down rock band i would buy that

NorseLax09
NorseLax09

I like how you can hear the clicks of someone messing up the notes in the video.

BigV25
BigV25

KISS Rock Band!!!

BigV25
BigV25

If they can find a way to extend the multiple singers to the main games, then i will start giving them money again.

Spanishflea12
Spanishflea12

When RockBand comes out with RB: Red Hot Chili Peppers then maybe i'll pay attention.

StSk8ter29
StSk8ter29

I would have rather had a game called Rock Band: Punk with bands like Bad Religion, Green Day, Pennywise and The Offspring. Having an entire game with Green Day is a little much for me.

Ne_rome
Ne_rome

I like what RB is doing. Coming out with RB: Green Day and Beetles Rock Band is better than all this Guitar hero 5 and 6 etc. RB always had the better songs, while Guitar Hero had better instrument ideas. But i honestly like RB better.

MaskedLink
MaskedLink

Honestly... why Greenday? There are so, so, so many better options.... well, now their popularity will skyrocket in the 12-14 year old age group. Also, @007hawk25, Led Zeppelin turned down having their songs featured in Guitar Hero, so I seriously doubt they'd accept one in Rock Band.

007hawk25
007hawk25

Of all bands to be given there own Rock Band game, they chose Green Day? Don't get me wrong, they're ok, but this isn't going to be as good as Beatles Rock Band was. What about Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd?

fon1988
fon1988

GreenDay is one of the greatest bands ever, glad to see something fun to play instead of that crummy Beatles game they did.

ReyGame
ReyGame

@livevil999 soul doubt by nofx in guitar hero world tour is really fun to play, and it's punk rock.. and about this game.. it's just another way to get more fans into the rock band series, as if it needed more.

Rovelius
Rovelius

This band sucks. BRING ON PROG ROCK ALREADY.

muzza93
muzza93

@cptpeg damn.. i was hoping for christie road, & the judges daughter for the killer guitar solo in it, or Poprocks & Coke would be cool or Platypus (I hate you) or lol Dominated Love Slave

cptpeg
cptpeg

I can't see why everyone is comparing Green Day to The Beatles, don't get me wrong I love Green Day but The Beatles are Legends. Their music helped the music scene evolve into what it is today, they are in a completely different league to bands like Green Day. I thought The Beatles Rock Band was awesome, I'm just hoping Green Day Rock Band will be half as good!

cptpeg
cptpeg

@ih8soup there's Lady Gaga DLC for Rock Band :D

cptpeg
cptpeg

@muzza93 Yeah I know I was shocked when I heard about it but this is the statement Project lead Chris Foster gave at the beginning of this week: "This is actually different. In this game we're taking a different approach to performances: We're building these crafted, linear sequences. One of the reasons we could do open-ended DLC for The Beatles is that it's all tiny clips, and we could just reconfigure them for different songs as needed -- and dreamscape backgrounds similarly had that. With this, we're really creating sculpted experiences for every single song; there's an animation that plays all the way through, pretty much. That's something that's not really practical to do open-ended. So we decided we were going to make DLC just about finishing 21st Century Breakdown, using the DLC that was already out. That created a great three-album game, and also let us give each of those [six DLC tracks] unique assets, more than we could easily pack into a DLC pack. Those songs have their own video-wall assets, their own [motion capture]." Sucks doesn't it, I was hoping for Walking Contradiction :(

ih8soup
ih8soup

they come out with a new guitar hero or rock band every freaken month, i wouldnt be suprised if theres one for lady gaga in the near future

eldin4444
eldin4444

aaah come on people stop complaining about the game, when we all know that u'll buy this one, cuz u all like green day.

Mysterywriter
Mysterywriter

Looking forward to this....This looks MUCH better than The Beatles one, I was disappointed with that one. As for songs...Hello ADD-ONS!!! I mean c'mon...they have to leave something for US to buy!!

p-at-rick
p-at-rick

alright, another rock band game.... still gonna get this ;D

Dynamo11
Dynamo11

Cool, appeals to me more than The Beatles did

Shuda7
Shuda7

I will totally buy this game! This will be AWESOME

livevil999
livevil999

From the perspective of a musician Green Day is not an interesting band. For people who are saying they revived punk rock, they didn't revive anything: they turned punk into something sparkly, poppy, and tame by comparison to other punk bands. They aren't one of the best bands ever, you can like them if you want but when you say they are one of the best bands ever all I can do is sigh and pat you on the head. Also, doing any all "Punk" Rock Band game seems strange due to the extreme monotony of the riffs and drum beats; punk may be fun for you kids to listen to, but it isn't that fun to play. Do you remember any punk songs in music games that were actually really fun to play?!

master_of_nfs
master_of_nfs

I find it funny how people are saying they hate Green Day but knowing it, they'll buy it (This reminds me of what happened with The Beatles Rock Band lol). Green Day is a great band and a very wise choice by Harmonix, especially since you're able to have two vocalists going at it in this game, which is a good thing. As a Rock Band fan, I'll be buying this game once it releases in the UK and play the night away with it. Before people say Green Day was the worst choice, think about it, you'll change your mind eventually.

muzza93
muzza93

WHAT!??? no DLC?? @cptpeg are you sure??? i hope ur wrong, i want Kerplunk! and 39/smooth 4 DLC are u absolutely sure there wont be DLC???

galerian86
galerian86

@BrianEk It's Milton Keynes, not Keyne's. Not a big fan of Green Day. Their songs are fine and all, I am just not interested in the game.

brodo64
brodo64

and U2 thought they deserved a rock band game the only other bands i can think that deserve a rock band game besides the beatles and greenday would be the rolling stones sex pistols pink floyd red hot chili peppers rage against the machines nirvana guns and roses the eagles acdc the police maybe the temptations cream the doors johnny cash the who the ramones the beach boys bob dylan hell even the white stripes deserve a rock band game but U2 definetley dont

cptpeg
cptpeg

I Love Green Day and have done ever since I got Kerplunk on compact cassette (it was that long ago) :D I was really looking forward to this game, and still am to a certain extent, but I have to say I'm extremely disappointed with the setlist on the game. No Pre-Dookie material, and a small amount of tracks from Insomniac, Nimrod and Warning. I was even expecting a couple of tracks from Shenanigans, and then to find out that there is going to be no DLC!!!!! (excluding the 6 tracks already available) This is a band with 8 studio albums that have been around for just over 20 years, so to only focus on 3 albums, 2 of which are from the last 5 years is crazy!!! After the great job they did with The Beatles Rock Band I had high hopes for this game but now I feel seriously let down by Harmonix. If you're going to make the game do it properly and give the band an awesome game like they deserve!

schlitze_is_god
schlitze_is_god

No Kerplunk! (their best, and only listenable album), no reason to play the game.

SlothThePunk
SlothThePunk

I've never been this excited about a Rock Band game! Green Day changed my life back in the mid-90's when I was a teenager! sad there'll be no pre-Dookie songs (or so I've heard). And I suppose it'd be too much to ask for Billie Joe's baby blue Fender as a peripheral? LOL

Ragnarock5
Ragnarock5

haha stop whining. i love green day its pretty much my favourite band and they are gettin a rock band which im happy about and looking forward to it :) so keep cryin about how just cause u don't like them no one else does. the fact is green day is getting a rock band right now and led zeppelin, guns and roses or what ever other "classic rock" bands u want arent. so keep crying because no one is listenin :D

muzza93
muzza93

Why are some idiots saying green day are a new band??? their first album was released in 1990.. they revived punk rock, they deserve a rock band, plus they r the best band ever :)

Kashmiro
Kashmiro

I love older Green Day songs and American Idiot was a pretty good album, I gotta say I'm looking forward to this game a lot more than any of the other band specific rhythm games so far. Though I do have to credit Guitar Hero and Rock Band for teaching me to like The Beatles and Metallica

christianXallen
christianXallen

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

PlzDuntBanMe
PlzDuntBanMe

@lbptoady Oh and BTW, its also funny to see how a 14 year old rages out because of someone elses opinion. Its MY opinion, what do you think the whole comment section is for?

PlzDuntBanMe
PlzDuntBanMe

@lbptoady Phail. Green Day is one of the first bands I have known. That's why I have respect for them. And no, I don't listen to them anymore, nor do I listen to any mainstream bands or songs. But I will still get this game. I lol'd when you said "real" music. The Beatles and The Who are all mainstream. You do not know s**t about underground bands. But its funny to see how a 14 year old attempts to troll me. Hahaha, I bet you think you're cool because you stay away from all the new music. No child, you are not.

danisthatyou
danisthatyou

Damn who ever was playing drums in the back round was blowing it