That might make Blitz seem much "easier" to play than previous Rock Band games, but a heavy emphasis on multipliers and power-ups makes Blitz a more competitive affair than previous games. As you play, you're constantly being compared to other players in your friends list. As in Trials HD, an on-screen indicator quickly informs if you're beating or trailing your peers at any given time. To earn a high score, the game encourages you to switch between the instruments as often as possible, without missing a note. Each phrase you complete flawlessly increases that individual instrument's multiplier, and passing a checkpoint will increase your total potential multiplier--assuming every instrument has reached a certain threshold. With players having to switch between guitar, bass, drums, vocals, and keyboard, there's a lot of information to process. Matters are made even more complicated thanks to power-ups. Before each song, you can select a power-up that has certain effects. The most visually appealing one is the pinball power-up. When activated, this launches a ball that bounces around the play field. You'll want to switch between the tracks to make sure you can bounce it back. While each bounce will earn more bonus points, you also don't want to risk breaking your multiplier by wildly chasing it. Trying to keep track of everything and use the pinball power-up is not unlike patting your head while rubbing your stomach while reciting the numbers of pi. (It's quite difficult!) Rock Band Blitz is not only great for fans that have amassed a significant Rock Band library, it's a fun return to Harmonix's roots. Blitz is no less fun than the Rock Band games that inspired it--but it sure is a lot more accessible.
Rock Band Blitz's various control options
Watch the Shacknews E3 2012 page to follow all our coverage of this year's show. This preview is based on a hands-on demo shown at a pre-E3 event.