Time for Nu Music’s second VRticle, covering music in the virtual world!
Anyone even peripherally involved in the VR community knows about Beat Saber. It is the most popular musical VR game, became the highest rated game on Steam less than a week after its release, it works across platforms (HTC Vive, Oculus, and Playstation), and last year it sold over a million copies. It was even a launch title for the newly released and highly anticipated Oculus Quest, and is now basically the Guitar Hero of VR. They also partnered with Monstercat and Imagine Dragons to make album bundles with complete levels attached, which is tremendously exciting for the hardcore players who can get through a whole album!
If you live in a city with a VR arcade, go there ASAP and try it out (in Toronto, I’d recommend either VR Playin or Ctrl V)! If
not, you can watch people play on youtube or twitch and live their joy vicariously until you get a headset of your own.
Here’s how the game works, for the new nerds out there. Basically you put on the headset, launch the game, choose a song, then use badass lightsabers to block the beats (represented by colourful squares flying at your face). It is very similar to DDR, but in three dimensions instead of two. Levels range from Easy to Expert +, But the most exciting thing about Beat Saber is the fact that amateurs can make their own levels! BeatSaver.com is the biggest source of unofficial levels made by the beautiful randoms of the internet, and although no one makes any money (because it’s strictly for home use), it’s tremendously fun.
These glorious, faceless, hobbyist level makers choreograph awesome dances to pop songs that haven’t been adopted into the official Beat Saber family yet, and it’s a great new way to express creativity! For example, the Shake it Off and Gangnam Style levels both trick the player into doing the dances from the music videos, and by the time you notice you’re doing the dance it’s too late. This game asks a lot of its players without being confusing. You need fast reflexes, creativity, gumption, and most importantly of all you need a love of music! It’s challenging without being frustrating, deserving of its popularity, and gorgeous in its simplicity. I can’t wait for multiplayer one day!
Thank you for reading, and we’ll see you in the virtual world!