Name: Beat Saber
Developer: Hyperbolic Magnetism/Beat Games
Publisher: Beat Games
Platforms: PlayStation VR
Reviewed on: PlayStation 4 + PSVR
Released: 20.11.2018
Acquired: A self-bought copy of this game

For the first time ever, I got the opportunity to test this new phenomenon named Beat Saber during The Link this year. At that time, the only issue was that this game was only available for the Oculus Rift and HTC Vice headsets. But now, a PlayStation VR version has arrived, and of course, I had to get myself a copy of this. This is my review of the PSVR version of Beat Saber.

First of all, our regular review template for both regular video games and early access/remasters fits with this title. So I’ve decided to mix it up a bit, taking small parts from both templates onto this review.

For those of you who don’t know what Beat Saber is all about, it’s a unique virtual reality rhythm game, where your goal is to beat or slash through the beats that are being represented by small cubes in different colors and directions. The PC version does come with the option to add custom mods and custom songs, this is not the case in the PSVR version, however, the PSVR do get some exclusive songs, here’s the full list;  

  • $100 Bills
  • Escape Ft. Summer Haze
  • Legend Ft. Backchat
  • Beat Saber
  • Angel Voices
  • Country Rounds Sqeepo Remix
  • Balearic Pumping
  • Breezer
  • Commercial Pumping
  • Lvl Insane
  • Turn Me On Ft. Tiny C
  • Rum N’ Bass [PSVR exclusive]
  • Unlimited Power Ft. Frank Bentley [PSVR exclusive]
  • I Need You [PSVR exclusive]
  • Be There For You Ft. Kinnie Lane [PSVR exclusive]
  • Elixia [PSVR exclusive]

The tracklist isn’t that “huge” yet, but the developer has announced that they will frequently update and add new songs. I consider this as a good thing and a bad thing, it’s good that they’ll add more content later on, but it’s bad that the tracklist is a bit thin at launch. One other thing I should mention is the “sound experience”. This can either be a bad thing or an incredibly awesome experience, it all depends on your own equipment. A bad headphone might destroy a bit of that experience, but a good headset or even a huge surround system does deliver an adrenaline full experience, that feeling you get as the bass hits when you hit each box is epic. Feeling like a sith lord in a rave party!

The Good

First of all, let’s start with the things I liked. The graphics in this game, even “inside” the VR headset isn’t complex but gorgeous to look at. The colors itself never made me confused, never gave me motion sickness and my eyes even with spectacles never got “hurt”. (In some VR titles, my eyes get dry and a pumping feeling in my eyeball occurs sometimes)

beat-saber_8

There is no linear or scripted story mode in Beat Saber, however, there is added a minor campaign mode which provides small challenges such as directions being removed, faster/slower pace etc. Think of this, below you see the list of different modifications you can add in “Quick Play”, combine a few of these in different songs and you’ll see what the campaign mode is all about; learning curve.  

  • Insta Fail – Any mistake fails the song
  • Battery Energy – You have a finite amount of energy
  • Disappearing Arrows – Arrows fade away as blocks approach
  • Faster Song
  • No Fail – You cannot fail
  • No Obstacles
  • No Bombs
  • Slower Song

It’s easy to say that being a half-naked Jedi master, beating up colorful boxes as if I was completely “lost”, is an incredibly fun and addictive experience. But this game doesn’t come without its flaws.  

The Bad

The biggest difference between the PC version and the PSVR version is the headset itself. As for the Oculus Rift, they use four different cameras to register your movements. But the PSVR uses only one camera, and as Beat Saber is about rhythm and a lot of movements with your whole body, you might encounter a few issues. As for me, the most “popular” issue I encountered was that my lightsaber “slid” away from me, since I was crouching to avoid obstacles, my motion controllers got “out of bounds”. (This only happened while I was playing inside my gaming room, once I set things up in a bigger room, the probability for this to happen are small).

beat-saber_10

I mentioned that the music option isn’t that huge, and this will, of course, affect the replay value as well. Once you have conquered that expert difficulty with diverse modifications, there ain’t much else to do besides doing it all over again. This isn’t a bad thing in my opinion, because I love rhythm games, and Beat Saber is by far one of the best I’ve played in years.     

Overall
7.8/10
7.8/10
  • Graphics - 9/10
    9/10
  • Gameplay - 9/10
    9/10
  • Controls - 8/10
    8/10
  • Replay Value - 7/10
    7/10
  • Content/Music - 6/10
    6/10

Verdict

Beat Saber is a fun and addictive rhythm VR experience and is by far one of the best VR titles the PlayStation VR has to this date. Compared to the PC version, the PSVR do struggle on a few things such as motion capture. But that isn’t a big deal as long as you set things up properly.

Pros

  • Addictive gameplay
  • Great colors
  • Challenging

Cons

  • Short tracklist
  • Motion-capturing can be a bit of a struggle

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