This game is fantastic and is a must-buy if you play guitar. If you don't play guitar and are curious, it's actually good enough that I'd still recommend getting it. It is far and away the best music game on the market.
Be warned that it's more of a guitar practice tool than a game. But that's exactly what it should be: a practice tool that has just enough game-y design to keep it interesting, but not so much that it gets in the way of practicing. The only linear progression the game has is in the form of "missions" along the side of the menus that encourage you to try different things. You can ignore them entirely if you want, but sometimes they are very helpful (especially the ones associated with the Session mode, which teach you bits of relevant music theory). It's a well-designed experience.
The interface is very slick and the game has no loading time or lengthy transitions between browsing and playing songs. This is great news because the interface was the main flaw in Rocksmith 1. "Riff repeater" phrase rehearsing options are integrated into the pause menu, so you can drop into them on the fly while playing songs.
The soundtrack is excellent. It has hits (Knights of Cydonia, Paranoid Android, etc), more obscure music with fun guitar parts, and even a few tracks from small indie bands I have never heard of. The song Stay In by Jaws is one of the indie songs that stuck out to me. And it's very worth it to import Rocksmith 1 songs -- they have had their tabs updated to fix inaccuracies and to use new features in the new game (RS1 DLC songs have be updated as well).
The game has a Session mode, where you can load backing instruments, jam, and have them follow along with you. It works surprisingly well. If you want to jam but don't want to fiddle with drum machines, or you don't have musician friends that can come over, it's a pretty good substitute. It has many different types of drums, guitars, basses to choose from, you can set any key to use, the tempo, and how structured the jam is (no structure, 12 bar blues, etc).
There are also a number of Guitarcade mini-games that focus on various guitar techniques. They are a distraction for when you're bored with performing songs, but some of them are pretty amusing. There is even a House of the Dead 2 spoof where you play chords to shoot zombies.
I've only played guitar for about a year and a half, so I'm definitely still learning. It's thanks to Rocksmith that I've kept up with practicing as frequently as I have. When learning an instrument it's easy to get bored when it turns into a grind and you don't know what music to try. You need some structure. Rocksmith is that structure, and more.
Posted: November 26th, 2013