It'd be a lie to say what we played of The Beatles: Rock Band was much more than the game you already know (and maybe love): Rock Band 2. We should also note, for full disclosure and all that good stuff, that we love The Beatles with all our hearts. And so, rather than tell you about the little of the game we could play (10 songs from the game and no campaign mode whatsoever), we're going to talk about the game's instruments -- the one notable change from previous Rock Band titles.
We sat down with the game's rendition of Ringo Starr's Ludwig drums and, erm, stood up with Paul McCartney's Hoffner bass for three different songs ("Taxman," "Here Comes the Sun," and "I Am the Walrus"). Here's the news: the drums are nearly identical to the drums that shipped with Rock Band 2, aside from a nylon screen, faking the outside of a bass drum.
Gallery: The Beatles: Rock Band 'Abbey Road' Booth @ E3 | 21 Photos
Sure, they feel good and solid and look sort of like Starr's set, but looks is unfortunately where the similarities end. The situation is similar for the Hoffner bass, with the strum bar feeling just as spongey and imprecise as ever. The buttons on the fret bar felt kludgey, making distinguishing which one you're pushing all the more difficult.
All complaints with the hardware aside, The Beatles: Rock Band's gameplay remains just as engaging and addictive as ever. The fact that The Beatles' music is tied to the game certainly helps the game's case with us as well. With any luck, MTV Games will decide to give us a closer look into the campaign mode before the September 9 release date. Otherwise, we're feeling a bit ... skeptical.