'Rock Band 4' To Introduce Online Multiplayer, Practice Mode, And Battleborn DLC

Fans of the Rock Band series are in for a treat.

According to Gamespot, a recent panel at the PAX East show revealed that the popular video game Rock Band 4 will be getting its first expansion pack in the months to come. Harmonix, the game's developer, announced that many features are going to be coming to the music-based game, as well.

In Rock Band 4, players use controllers fashioned into the shape of a guitar to perform songs from a plethora of bands. The goal is to complete songs with the highest score possible or to go head-to-head musically against an opponent to see who can come out on top. Other instruments can be used as well, such as drums or a microphone if the player chooses to take on another role in the band.

According to Gamespot, one of the new features will be synchronous online multiplayer, a highly anticipated mode for Rock Band 4. It was previously reported in a blog by project manager Daniel Sussman that such a feature had technical hurdles that had to be overcome. No doubt, players have been waiting for this feature from the start. While local multiplayer can be fun, much of today's multiplayer experiences are worked into an online capacity.

"Online play with Rock Band is a big deal given the amount of different combinations of player (four potential instruments, different difficulties, song affinities between players, etc.)," Sussman said. "There is a ton of testing necessary as well as technical back end to work through in order to provide a fun, stable experience."

Daniel continued to weigh in, explaining the goal of the work they intended to complete.

"For any feature development, especially features that have existed in our legacy Rock Band games, we want to be able to improve and refine wherever possible. In the case of online play, we have a lot of critical feedback on the Rock Band 3 design that we'd love to be able to address."
Fortunately, the online multiplayer feature is now set to be delivered during the holiday season. This is most likely the biggest news for players who enjoy Rock Band 4, though that's not all that Harmonix has in store. The first expansion pack for Rock Band 4 is slated for release this fall. Gamespot reports that the expansion will include music library improvements, ranging from the ability to filter by genre and rate songs, as well as others that will be touched on during E3. Playstation Blog released a blog on today, giving players a trailer that confirms the online multiplayer feature being added.
Beyond the technical aspect of improvements coming to Rock Band 4, the PAX East Panel revealed that there are many fun features that are on the way to the game, as well. Community lead Josh Harrison mentioned that this expansion pack is inspired by those for games such as Destiny and World of Warcraft, whose expansions are huge and usually include new features that players can enjoy for quite some time.

"Actually huge stuff in store here," Harrison said. He also described the features as "really huge and brand new."

As if that wasn't enough to satisfy players and fans alike, Harmonix is also releasing downloadable content based around the first-person shooter Battleborn. An image of characters Thorn and Miko, holding microphone and guitar, was shown during a discussion with Harmonix. This makes it a clear indicator that we'll be seeing Battleborn characters take to the stage along with the various features that are on their way. There's also footage, briefly showcasing the two.

Another feature to be added is practice mode, which many players also requested be added to Rock Band 4. This feature is reportedly scheduled for June. A welcome addition to the game, players will be able to practice songs to their heart's content. No doubt, such a feature will give any level of player an easier time if they want to brush up on their skills.
For players who are looking for new additions to the game sooner than next month, Harmonix announced that downloadable content tracks will be coming to Rock Band 4 this week. These songs are "What I Like About You" by The Romantics, "Redneck" by Lamb of God, and "Dope Nose" by Weezer. Josh Harrison noted that more songs would be released in May, but details on what they would be were not given.

Are you excited to be able to play online multiplayer in Rock Band 4? Let us know in the comments.

[Image Via Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images]