Rock Band 4 Adds Terrifying New 'Brutal' Mode

Rock Band 4’s big December update drops tomorrow, continuing the game’s slow march from bare bones to full-featured band game. Among this month’s additions are score challenge features, full-combo recognition and a nightmare called “Brutal Mode.”


Brutal Mode is for advanced players who hate having fun, or at least have a warped sense of it. As one to four players progress through a song the mode monitors their performance, upping the difficulty the better they do. Notes begin to fade out, accuracy is judged more harshly—it’s insanity, basically.

While advanced players enjoy being brutalized, perhaps partaking in the new Variable Breakneck Speed feature that allows them to modify a song’s velocity up to 2.5 times, I’ll be enjoying the new score challenge features, which keep track of my stats and let me compare them to my friends online. There’s a new activity feed, and you can use it to taunt your friends with your scores, which is always lovely. And isn’t it about time Rock Band kept track of perfect combo progress?

Check out the full list of December updates over at the official website. I see they are improving microphone lag. It might be time for another singing video.

Contact the author by going to Brutal Mode and then walking as far away from it as possible, at or follow him on Twitter at @bunnyspatial



If these were real instruments it’s kind of a neat learning tool. Rocksmith does this and as you get progressively better at different sections of the song it starts to make the notes invisible until you’re just straight up playing the song from memory instead of visual queues.

The first time this happened to me it blew my mind, like learning to ride a bike as a kid and realizing your parent stopped holding on to you twenty yards ago. Similarly, this caused me to do the videogame version of panicking and crashing into a bush.