Beat Saber (PC) Review

By Chris Leebody 06.01.2021

Review for Beat Saber on PC

From kids to parents, aunts and grandmothers - if there is one VR title that stretches across the generations in terms of accessibility and mass appeal, Beat Saber is the one. Debuting back in 2018, this rhythm-music VR experience transformed the perception of virtual reality as a niche hobby and expensive toy, right into the gaming mainstream with something everyone could pick up, succeed in and also make complete fools of themselves to those watching. Since 2018, the game has gradually grown bigger and better and with various music packs already added as DLC, alongside a new MP update that was much sought after. Now, along comes one of the biggest bands to emerge from South Korea in recent years, BTS, with 12 of the septet's hit songs.

It's no surprise that Beat Saber has become the critically acclaimed VR behemoth it has evolved into. If there is one thing that VR needed, it was something that had the mass appeal of - great music, physical movement to dance and rhythmic glowing boxes to chop. For anyone unfamiliar with the game, that really does sum it up. Think Guitar Hero back in the day and what a huge success that franchise became and then it suddenly becomes clear.

Glowing boxes with directional arrows will fly at the player, as they are tasked with chopping them at the correct time with glowing light-sticks that may or may not resemble the famous accessory from Star Wars.

"That sounds easy", some people cry. Well, those people should give Beat Saber a true try, because while the three volumes of original default tracks have a variety of speeds and levels of difficulty, it defies anyone to play them on hard and not finish their session of gaming drenched in sweat.

Screenshot for Beat Saber on PC

Make no mistake, Beat Saber is a proper workout, and this is one that keeps you sucked in and itching for that "one more play" just to perfect a track.

One of the aspects that makes Beat Saber so appealing is the visual design. The player stands on a sort of neon blue/pink runway - while a cacophony of rave lights and exciting things happen along this sci-fi stage. It is an incredibly engaging space and it is the standard of any VR title to suck the player into the world they are trying to inhabit and Beat Saber certainly does this. It's not just little glowing boxes to keep an eye on either, flying walls are part of the mix as well, with the ducking and diving adding that real boost to this fun-filled cardio workout.

Screenshot for Beat Saber on PC

Between the speed at which the boxes are flying at the player, the change in directions, and the complicated matter of certain colours pertaining to the left and right saber, there is a hell of a lot to think about. The sense of accomplishment from actually mastering a track on expert difficulty is tangible.

It has to be said, the quality of the Oculus Quest 2 speakers add immensely to the experience. 3D surround sound - turn the volume up and get immersed in music and movement.

At the same time, the greater specs of the Quest 2 and the new 90hz mode, means that anyone upgrading their headset will find the experience even more immersive and enjoyable. Of course, while there are a bundle of tailor-made tracks included in the base game by Czech composer Jaroslav Beck, this isn't even scratching the surface of what is possible in Beat Saber... but more on that in a moment.

Screenshot for Beat Saber on PC

K-Pop supergroup BTS are pretty much the hottest thing in music right now. So it is no surprise that a music-rhythm game seeks them out and boy does it work well for this genre. Any fans of theirs will know the group is known most of all for their energetic-hits they have been wowing the globe with since 2013 - the likes of Dynamite, IDOL and DOPE - all of which are included in this pack of 12 tracks, all with bespoke beat maps and dance moves.

Not only are these tracks frenetic and fun music workouts, but cute TinyTan figures also join the party in game, with the animated characters delightfully dancing along to the songs. It's a small touch, but fans will appreciate it immensely and in VR, it is the cool features like this that really add to the experience.

Back on the intriguing point above, Beat Saber has grown a massive community among the VR world and one benefit is the ability to add custom songs to the game. What this means is all the player's favourite tracks can now make up an almost endless list of songs to learn and dance along with. Best of all, the process is a cinch to set up.

Screenshot for Beat Saber on PC

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

Beat Saber feels like the title that has propelled VR gaming into the mainstream and its effect on inspiring a whole host of other developers to enter this space cannot be underestimated. The core gameplay loop here is one the whole family can get involved in and it is not an over exaggeration to say this game can consume hours once it gets its hooks in. The BTS tracks are a welcome addition and if there is one band whose music seems to fit perfectly with this, it surely has to be theirs. Energetic, bombastic and addictive - prepare to be replaying Dynamite a lot to perfect its tough beat map. While some will argue the game itself and subsequent packs are ever so slightly overpriced, with multiplayer now active and the ability to add as many custom songs as one desires, for any VR owner this is simply a must-buy.

Developer

Beat Games

Publisher

Beat Games

Genre

Dance

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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