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This week’s PSVR game of choice is Audica an action rhythm game by masters of the rhythm game genre the one the only Harmonix
Audica is a game I have been on the fence about for ages, I have had it in my trolley over on the PS Store far more times then I care to remember and haven’t until yesterday felt ready to take the plunge from wanting to actually owning the game. The reasons for this are two-fold for one, the price it’s an expensive game and I’m cheap so I waited patiently for the inevitable price drop as all PSVR games are quickly reduced (apart from Beat Saber and Job Simulator) but it hasn’t happened and yes I am well aware that as I finally bit and got the game, it will be the PS Stores bargain of the week. Sometimes you are just unlucky.
The second reason is that up to recently the reviews just haven’t been that good. I checked out a lot of reviews from Eurogamer to Without Parole and none really sold the game to me. That was until this week when I read a review on the Road to VR website (although this was the Quest version) and suddenly other websites started to revisit the game Without Parole had another look and decided that the games was fun on the harder difficulties, PSVR Underground did a live stream and really seemed to like it. So with the views of the internet behind me I decided to give the game a go
Here’s What I thought…
The Soundtrack, As with any rhythm game it’s not fun if you don’t like the sounds your body is trying to move to and Audica is no exception and for me, for the most part the soundtrack is great yes, its very heavily leads to EDM but I felt that it really nits in with what you have to do in the game, after the game is basically hit a target in time with the song and hitting a note seems to work with the EDM selection they have here. Of course there is a couple of tracks that aren’t reminincent of a night out in a local night club but, they are few and far between. Basically if your not into EDM this is not the game for you. What I will say is that the game is full of songs bands and artists that I have heard of from Billie Ellish to Youngblood, its a game full of stand out tracks, that had me dancing a long as I tried and oftern failed to shoot along to the beat.
The graphics are great, they do what they have to do. There basic, with the stages little more than shapes and to put the things you need to shoot in front of, functional, there is one to start with and a few more to open once you have played through the campaign. The targets themselves do explode into a shower of light once shot that nice to look even on the standard PS4
Is it hard? Well that all depends how good you are at rhythm games. I am not very good at rhythm games, I found the beginner stages very easy and I feel that anyone new to the game should start here first because after the beginner stages everything after that you will have you multi-tasking as you look out for the visual clues of where the next note to come from, whilst still trying to battle the current note. Trust me anything harder than standard will have you pulling your hair out as you try to master each song. I suffered more than my share of fails simply because I couldn’t yet move quickly enough to the song. That’s with the game giving you a very generous amount of auto-aim as well. This is a game that wants you to win but, wants you win by learning each track as you go.
Are the guns good to shoot?
Yes, yes it feels great to fire the guns in Audica. Once or twice I felt myself making a pew pew noise as I fired my guns around the menu before the start of each level, even missing is great as hitting the outside of selection box has the bullet making a fantastic pew sound as the bullet hurstles back (harmless) towards the player. Add in that they feel great in the hand, you can throw them in the air and twirl both guns around in your hand and there a great time in their own right
Is it a Beat Saber killer.
Beat Saber. The big VR rhythm game on the block. In fact scratch that the big VR game full stop. It was the first question my friends asked me when I said I had the game, is it better than Beat Saber? The answer is the same now as it was then. It is and yet somehow, it isn’t both games do something similar in a very different way, this is more than one game using swords and another using guns. Audica feels different to Beat Saber it’s its own game, not a Beat Saber clone. I found Audica a little less intense than Beat Saber, with the notes popping up around the screen, rather than marching relentlessly towards you ala Beat Saber. A little bit more relaxed maybe, Audica is a lot more forgiving especially on the beginner levels, its a game that wants to put its arm around you, wants to help you improve, where Beat Saber will keep hitting you until you master it, until you prove to the game and yourself that you are good enough to play. Yes both ramp up to a very high difficulty, both are excellent games with Beat Sabers tough love a very different to the arm around the shoulder approce of Audica.