Let me begin by saying that I am an experienced guitarist, playing for 34 years, and therefore I am unable to provide a beginner's view of this software. If you are a beginner reading this review, please understand that I can't fully appreciate the suitability of this software to your personal needs as a new player. I hope that you will still find my review useful.
RS2014 is an interactive songbook which features fully notated guitar and bass arrangements for a great many popular songs, mainly from the past few decades. The base content is diverse, and the DLC includes a wide variety of genres and styles with the abilty to download band or theme packs or individual songs. Many songs have two guitar parts, plus bass. Not all songs have two guitar parts, but you'll find plenty to keep you busy.
The way the notation is presented may be difficult to get used to at first, especially if you are used to using TAB up until now, but you will adapt to it and find it quite intuitive. Beginners seem to have little trouble adapting where experienced players may be more....resistant :X
RS2014 is the ultimate practice tool, motivating you to pick up the instrument often and therefore practice regularly. There are lesson features and technique guides which cover many aspects of guitar playing, like hammer-ons, slides, harmonics, pull-offs, etc. Some arcade style games are included, using the guitar as the controller. These games are designed to improve your skills and muscle-memory.
A session mode includes a band that dynamically plays according to your own playing intensity. This is a useful jamming tool, and good for practicing and learning scales.
'Learn A Song' is the main part of Rocksmith, and the notation will be simplified at first, then as you improve it gets harder until you have the whole tune. At the end of each song you will get stats on the percentage of correct notes hit and your longest continuous streak. This is a fun way to learn new songs and you always have something ready to practice, just a few clicks away.
With very few acceptions, the songs are the actual recordings by original artists, so you'll be playing along to tracks that sound like they should. Additionally, your guitar tone will sound like the guitar in the recorded version, allowing you to play the song more authentically. This raises the immersion and enjoyment level as well. I don't know if the emulation is perfect, but it is certainly very good.
For added motivation you can use the leaderboards, though I don't personally, but many others do and seem to enjoy the challenge very much.
You need the Real Tone Cable to use this software. I like RS2014 so much I bought an extra cable. Check online stores. One cable is compatible with all platforms and works with guitar or bass.
There are literally thousands of hours of value to be found amongst the core content and the additional songs available as DLC. This is not a game, this is a guitar practice portal. Rocksmith is a digital interface for an interactive guitar tutorial/songbook which encourages you to practice, makes you want to play, helps you hone your techniques, and teaches you songs.
Rock on, brothers and sisters.
Oh - and Hendrix. So, yeah.