Rock Band 3 Update - Character Creator

We make a trip to Harmonix to see what's going on with the new character creator.

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It doesn't matter what kind of Rock Band player you are. Whether you play just to be around friends or you play for the music, part of the appeal is that the game makes you feel like a rock star. Up until now, your alter ego onscreen was a randomly generated rocker, with crazy hair and outfits that most likely don't exist in your closet. In Rock Band 3, you'll find all the familiar faces from previous games, but Harmonix decided to give you more options to customize your onscreen avatar, which now gives you the opportunity to create an idealized version of yourself. In a recent trip to Harmonix's studio in Cambridge, Massachusetts, we sat down with the lead artist, Pete MacDonald, to go over the new character creator.

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For those who still have sentimental ties to their previous Rock Band personas, all the faces that you've come to recognize are still available to choose from. What has been added is that you can now customize different portions of your face, so you can try to make a stylized version of yourself or make the ugliest character possible. MacDonald told us that they weren't aiming to make an editor that would allow you to make an exact replica of yourself but that it would be something in between the character creator for Mass Effect and your Mii.

When customizing your new head, you can rotate the camera to get a good look at your side profile. You can edit details like your eye color and move your eyes around (which quickly goes from normal to slightly creepy). Other parts, such as your eyebrows, cheekbones, nose, mouth, chin, and jawline, can be tweaked within reason. Your height, weight, and muscle tone are adjusted with sliders, giving you more options than before. Certain skin tones look much better now with the new lighting and skin shaders. Plenty of glasses are available to choose from, and more "normal" hairstyles are included so that you don't have to go with the wacky hairdos. If you're a redhead or have a receding hairline, just know that Harmonix has thought of you as well. Another change is the interface for applying tattoos. You're not limited to applying a tattoo in one spot anymore; you can move tattoos around your body to cover a wider range if you like.

More outfits and accessories have been added, as well as new boutiques to help categorize the clothing, making shopping a bit easier. The interface has been changed so that you can easily swap boutiques with the push of the X button and then go through the assortment of tight pants and cool tops. Depending on your style, you could spend a reasonable amount of time in Ms. Kitty's Stage Wear, going through the vast array of clothing selections that feature spandex. Whether you're wearing some Eternal Glamnation pants, or a tape deck strapped to your chest with speakers on your back, there's a little something for everyone. Most items are not available from the beginning, but accessories are constantly unlocking as you make your way through the game.

You too could be sporting a thingama bob.
You too could be sporting a thingama bob.

Rock Band 3 looks to be packed with tons of new features and content for everyone, musically inclined or not. For details on the Pro modes, read our preview here. The game is set to be released on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, and Nintendo DS on October 26.

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