Beat Saber makes you feel like a Jedi. If that Jedi was the conductor of an orchestra. And if that orchestra only played hardcore dance music. And also if it had that chap from Mad Max in it who plays the flame-throwing guitar on top of the car. And no, I’m not over exaggerating; it really is that cool.
Beat Saber has been out for a while now on PC, but this week it finally launched on the Playstation VR and I’ve been getting very sweaty with it in this week’s Ian’s VR Corner, which you can watch below. I’ve even put myself in vision for this episode so you can witness me swinging my laser swords around like they were glow sticks at a rave.
For those unfamiliar, the workings of Beat Saber are brilliantly basic and basically brilliant. Red and blue blocks advance towards you on a track, Guitar Hero style, and you have to slice those blocks in half with your twin laser swords (aka two Move controllers). The difficulty comes in making sure you match the colour of the block to the colour of your sword, and the direction of your swing the to direction of the arrows on the blocks.
It’s a simple premise but it’s one that works so well in VR because of the way the physicality of swinging the Move controllers immediately grounds you in the virtual world. Seeing a laser sword buzz past your field of view as you wave your arm around brings your Jedi fantasies to life, but the gentle buzz of the force feedback in the controllers as you slice though each block boosts the sense of realism tenfold by creating a sense of impact.
Then there’s the occasional laser wall that you need to dodge or duck under. These combined with the movements needed for block-cutting give the proceedings a dance-like quality that makes chopping to the beat of the music feel immensely satisfying.
Motion tracking on the Move controllers is also really responsive, I played stood up for the video above and the game followed my movements perfectly. I also tested the game in a seated position and while it did work flawlessly 95% of the time, there were a couple of instances of controller drift that ruined some perfect combos.
Virtual reality is at its best when it’s wowing you with something new and original, or in this case especially, making childhood dreams come true. As with Tetris Effect, it’s impossible to use video footage to accurately convey just how incredible Beat Saber feels in VR. Whilst my video above will give you a good idea of what’s in store, it’s only when you play the game for yourself that you’ll really understand just how joyous it can actually be.
If you own a PSVR already, put this alongside the other must-play titles like Resident Evil 7, Moss, Astro Bot and Fire Wall Zero Hour. There’s no two ways about it, the Force is strong with this one.
If you enjoyed this episode of Ian’s VR Corner, you can catch up with my previous adventures over on YouTube in our VR playlist, where I get silly with Kona VR, Salary Man Escape, The Exorcist: Legion VR, Killing Floor: Incursion, The Persistence, Detached, Pixel Ripped 1989, Rec Royale, Arizona Sunshine, Transference , Zone of The Enders 2, Downward Spiral: Horus Station, Astro Bot Rescue Mission, Evasion, Free-roam Zombie Survival, Home Sweet Home, Paper Dolls and Legends Of Catalonia: The Land Of Barcelona.