I've had quite a lot of play on Rock Band now. It's great. But first the downsides. I'm playing an import PS3 version so I'm not sure what the situation is with downloadable content. At the moment I can connect to the internet and see songs to buy but I can't actually download them. I don't know whether this is because I'm connecting to the American store or because I'm connecting to the UK store but it's not properly enabled yet, due to the game not being out until the Autumn. Either way, it's not the end of the world.
More annoyingly there is the known problem about the incompatibility of the PS3 GH3 controller with Rock Band. Maybe there'll be a patch at some point or maybe there won't. In the meantime I've ordered an adaptor which should make the old PS2 guitars work. Better than nothing if it works.
So onto the game. The guitar element is pretty much the same as Guitar Hero. So it's all about the drums and the singing. Singing is fun enough but nothing new for Singstar Veterans like myself. Something is gained by having it at the same time as someone playing an instrument but it feels more like an add-on than a vital component of the game.
Drums are a different kettle of fish. The drum-kit is well made and has actual real wooden drumsticks. Playing it feels like playing real drums, because you essentially are playing real drums. The difficulty level on it seems a lot higher than the other instruments but this is likely just because it's new. It might look on screen like it works the same way as the guitar but playing it is much more about rhythm patterns. At times it's like trying to pat your head whilst rubbing your tummy. But when it clicks it's good fun.
Where the game really seems like it will excel is multi-player. So far I've not been able to play with more than two people but I think with four it will be fantastic. As long as we can all fit in the room!
Final great thing to mention is the character building. We've made a couple of little people who look just like us... here's a pic: