E3 has descended on Los Angeles and, after two days of press conference after press conference, the show floor has opened up and the private appointments have begun. My first private appointment was to get my hands dirty with Power Gig: Rise of the Sixstring. For those who have never heard of the game before, let me get you up to speed. Developed by Seven45 Studios, Power Gig is a music game with a bit of a twist. The main draw to the title is that your guitar controller is an actual six string guitar. In fact, while you are not jamming out on the game, you can easy plug the guitar into any amp and enjoy a fully functional guitar.
In addition to the guitar, Power Gig includes drum tracks and singing tracks. I have to admit the drums are definitely not as interesting as the guitar. The guitar is very close to the real thing and the drums are nowhere near. You cannot actually hit the drums with the drumstick. You need to act like you are hitting imaginary drums over top of the drum kit and the game will sense what keys you are hitting. We were not able to try out the singing, but I can’t imagine it would be any different than singing in Singstar, Guitar Hero, Rock Band, etc.
If you are familiar with existing music games, you will pick up on the game quite quickly. In fact, the peripherals for Power Gig will also work with Rock Band and Guitar Hero and vice versa. As a reward for hitting notes correctly, your Mojo Flask will start to fill with an ominous purple liquid. Once the flask is full and glowing, you can give the analog stick on the guitar a flick to activate a timed score multiplier.
The gameplay is slightly different to the other music games on the market, however. Instead of having individual notes scrolling by on the screen, you have a continuous string that moves from color to color signifying which note you should hit. In Standard mode, you do not need to focus on holding down any particular string. You just need be on the correct fret. Once you become more advanced, there is a Power Cord mode which will require you to hold down a specific string on a specific fret. The idea is that eventually you will almost be playing the song in the game as you would on the guitar. Lastly, one of my most appreciated aspects of the game is the ability to drop in and out during a song. Additionally, you can change the difficulty or switch from Standard to Power Cord mode on the fly as well.
Seven45 Studios has also been hard at work locking down some familiar names to appear in the game. You will be able to play songs by Kid Rock, Dave Matthews Band, Eric Clapton and more. The game will ship with over 70 songs with more coming as DLC in the future.
The game will be in stores this October and the final version of the game will be shown at PAX in September.