So far, most music-based games have been licensing deals and based entirely on tapping out rhythms, like in Rock Band or Tap Tap Revolution. We haven’t really seen an iPhone game where the band was creatively involved, and that’s what makes Linkin Park’s upcoming iPhone game seem so unique.
The band has actually inserted themselves into this game, and you’ll encounter squat 8-bit versions of them while on the 10-hour, RPG-like quest. The story of 8-Bit Rebellion is about an evil corporation called Pixxelkorp, which has stolen Linkin Park’s music in an apparent effort to stifle dissent.
Your character, which you can customize down to the hairdo and clothes, is tasked with completing missions like tearing down wanted posters of the band members or locating and colluding with other important revolutionaries in the virtual city.
Once you’ve customized your avatar, you can roam the streets of Linkin Park’s city by selecting a district, such as a Vegas-like casino strip or a sunny wharf. Pixxelkorp goons will try to harass you, but you can whack them with your weapons by touching the middle of the screen. The movement controls were a little unusual, though. Instead of a virtual joystick, you have to touch the outside edges of the screen to move.
The level of customization and online features were, for us, the most surprising thing about this game. We didn’t expect a licensed band game to have its own friends list and a virtual apartment you can decorate and invite your friends to visit. The game will connect with Twitter and Facebook, in addition to the Linkin Park website forums.
8-Bit Rebellion also includes unlockable tracks and videos of Linkin Park songs. Using in-game currency, you can unlock 8-bit or actual versions of some hits as well, although all of these tracks seem to be short snippets instead of the entire song (available for download through a handy iTunes link). If you’re really into Linkin Park, you’ll appreciate the chance to unlock a clip of their new single, Blackbirds, by completing the game.
The action isn’t much to get excited about, but the interesting virtual world in the game will likely please any adventure or role-playing gamer. Even if you’re not a big fan of Linkin Park’s music, you can just put on your own soundtrack and explore the retro-styled environments. 8-Bit Rebellion will be out later tonight, so we’ll have more impressions for you soon.