Beat Saber

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Beat Saber
Beat Saber logo.jpg
Developer(s)Beat Games
Publisher(s)Beat Games
Designer(s)
  • Ján Ilavský
  • Vladimír Hrinčár
  • Peter Hrinčár
Artist(s)Jan Ilavský
Composer(s)Jaroslav Beck
EngineUnity
Platform(s)PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, Android,Oculus VR
ReleaseMay 21, 2019
Genre(s)Rhythm
Mode(s)Single-player

Beat Saber is a virtual reality rhythm game developed and published by Beat Games. The game features the player slicing blocks representing musical beats with a pair of red and blue light sabers and takes place in a surrealistic neon noir environment. Following an early access release in November 2018, the game was fully released for PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Windows on May 21, 2019. The game supports most virtual reality headsets, such as PlayStation VR, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Oculus Quest.

Gameplay[edit]

The game includes several songs with up to five levels of difficulty. The player uses VR motion controllers to wield a pair of lightsabers, the left one colored red and the right one colored blue by default. In each song, the game presents the player with a stream of approaching blocks, laid out in sync with the song's beats and notes, located in one of the 12 possible positions of a 4x3 grid. The game also features the option of playing some songs in 360°, or 90° orientations where blocks approach from around the player. Each block is colored red or blue, corresponding to the color of the saber that should be used to slash it, and may be marked with an arrow indicating one of eight possible directions in which the block may be required to be slashed through. There are also blocks with dots instead of arrows, which players may hit in any direction. When a block is slashed by a saber, it is destroyed and a score is awarded, based on the length and angles of the swing and the accuracy of the cut. In addition, there are occasionally mines that the player should not hit, and obstacles in the form of oncoming walls that the player's head should avoid. There is also a white bar underneath the path where the blocks travel, which slowly fills up as you hit notes correctly. If the player hits any note in the incorrect direction, the white 'health bar' will become less full by a small chunk. If the player completely misses a note, the bar will lose a large chunk. If the bar becomes completely empty, the game will end.[1]

Since its early access stages, the game included a single player mode as well as a party mode, which features a leaderboard with the player's names, which are entered after each song is played. Additionally, the 1.0 release version introduced a level editor and a practice mode which allows the player to alter the song's speed, or start playing it from some point in time other than the beginning, as well as custom songs.

Release[edit]

L-R: programmer Vladimir "Loki" Hrinčár, head of marketing Michaela Dvořáková, and composer Jaroslav Beck at the Game Developers Choice Awards 2019

The game was first released in early access on Microsoft Windows on May 1, 2018.[1] The game was released on PlayStation 4 on November 20, 2018.[2] An editor was announced for release in May 2018, which would allow for the creation of custom user songs, but it was postponed,[3] and added in May 2019.[4]

In March 2019, Beat Games released its first paid song pack, featuring 10 songs from electronic music record label Monstercat.[5] "Crab Rave" was added as a free update on April Fools' day that year.[6] On May 2, 2019, to celebrate the game's first anniversary, a prototype version created three years prior was released to the public as Beat Saber Origins.[7] The game was fully released out of early access on PC on May 21, 2019.[4]

On November 26, 2019, Facebook, Inc. via Oculus Studios announced that it had acquired Beat Games. The company stated that the purchase would not affect future development of Beat Saber on third-party VR platforms besides Oculus.[8] Beat Games will continue to operate in Prague as an independent studio, although under the umbrella of Oculus Studios. The studio confirmed that the game's 360 degree mode would maintain its expected release timeframe of December 2019.[9]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate score
AggregatorScore
MetacriticPS4: 86/100[10]
PC: 93/100[11]
Review scores
PublicationScore
Edge8/10[12]
GameSpot8/10[13]
IGN9.5/10[14]

During its early access phase, Beat Saber received positive reviews, becoming the highest rated game on Steam less than a week after its early access release.[3] The game sold over a million copies by March 2019.[15]

Edge thought the game was an excellent fit for VR as a medium, writing "At this point in virtual reality's development, it's still rare to encounter a game that feels native to the technology. Beat Saber is an exception."[12] IGN noted that while the game "doesn't push the limits of [VR tech] too far", the game is extremely effective at communicating the appeal of VR, and considered the game "a go-to for introducing anyone to virtual reality." [14] Gamespot noted that at launch the supported song library was "slim", but nevertheless concluded that "Beat Saber is an exhilarating rush and an exhausting game to play in the best way."[13]

Awards[edit]

Year Award Category Result Ref
2018 The Game Awards 2018 Best VR/AR Game Nominated [16]
Gamers' Choice Awards Fan Favorite VR Game Won [17]
2019 New York Game Awards Coney Island Dreamland Award for Best Virtual Reality Game Nominated [18]
D.I.C.E. Awards Immersive Reality Technical Achievement Nominated [19][20]
Immersive Reality Game of the Year Won
NAVGTR Awards Game, Music or Performance-Based Won [21]
Sound Mixing in Virtual Reality Won
SXSW Gaming Awards Excellence in Gameplay Nominated [22][23]
Most Promising New Intellectual Property Won
Trending Game of the Year Nominated
VR Game of the Year Won
Game Developers Choice Awards Best VR/AR Game Won [24][25]
Audience Award Won
15th British Academy Games Awards Debut Game Nominated [26]
Czech Game of the Year Awards Developer's Award - Main Award Won [27]
Game Journalists Award Won
YouTuber's Award Nominated
Audiovisual Execution Nominated
Best Game Design Nominated
Best Technological Solution Nominated
Golden Joystick Awards Best VR/AR Game Won [28][29]
The Game Awards 2019 Won [30][31]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Hunt, Cale (April 5, 2018). "Beat Saber: Everything we know about the VR rhythm game". Windows Central. Retrieved May 9, 2018.
  2. ^ "Beat Saber". PlayStation. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
  3. ^ a b Horti, Samuel (May 6, 2018). "VR rhythm game Beat Saber, now the highest rated game on Steam, releasing level editor next week". PC Gamer. Retrieved May 9, 2018.
  4. ^ a b Cox, Matt (May 21, 2019). "Beat Saber bops out of early access". Rock Paper Shotgun. Retrieved May 21, 2019.
  5. ^ Horti, Samuel (March 16, 2019). "Beat Saber releases first paid DLC music pack". PC Gamer. Retrieved March 16, 2019.
  6. ^ "Crab Rave is the Latest Free Beat Saber Song, Available Now". PlayStation LifeStyle. April 1, 2019. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  7. ^ "Beat Saber Releases Origins Early Build To Celebrate First Anniversary". techmoneyfit.com. March 4, 2019. Retrieved May 10, 2019.
  8. ^ Robertson, Adi (November 26, 2019). "Facebook is buying Beat Saber's development studio". The Verge. Retrieved November 27, 2019.
  9. ^ Holt, Kris (November 26, 2019), Facebook buys 'Beat Saber' creator Beat Games, retrieved November 27, 2019
  10. ^ "Beat Saber for PlayStation 4 Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved May 22, 2019.
  11. ^ "Beat Saber for PC Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved May 30, 2019.
  12. ^ a b "Beat Saber Review". Edge. Future (328): 120. February 2019.
  13. ^ a b Barbosa, Alessandro (November 26, 2018). "Beat Saber Review – Bass-Boosted". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  14. ^ a b Stapleton, Dan (May 28, 2019). "Beat Saber Review". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved January 2, 2020.
  15. ^ Princ, Zdeněk. "Beat Saber překonal hranici milionu prodaných kusů". www.vortex.cz (in Czech). Vortex. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
  16. ^ Grant, Christopher (December 6, 2018). "The Game Awards 2018: Here are all the winners". Polygon. Retrieved December 8, 2018.
  17. ^ "2018 Gamers' Choice Awards". Gamers' Choice Awards. December 9, 2018. Retrieved January 4, 2019.
  18. ^ Keyes, Rob (January 3, 2019). "2018 New York Game Awards Nominees Revealed". Screen Rant. Retrieved January 6, 2019.
  19. ^ Makuch, Eddie (January 10, 2019). "God Of War, Spider-Man Lead DICE Awards; Here's All The Nominees". GameSpot. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
  20. ^ McWhertor, Michael (February 14, 2019). "God of War wins big at DICE Awards 2019". Polygon. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  21. ^ "Winner list for 2018: God of War breaks record". National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers. March 13, 2019. Retrieved November 15, 2019.
  22. ^ Trent, Logan (February 11, 2019). "Here Are Your 2019 SXSW Gaming Awards Finalists!". South by Southwest. Retrieved February 15, 2019.
  23. ^ Khan, Zarmena (March 17, 2019). "God of War Takes Home 'Game of the Year' at SXSW 2019 Gaming Awards". PlayStation LifeStyle. Retrieved March 17, 2019.
  24. ^ Good, Owen S. (January 4, 2019). "Red Dead Redemption 2 tops list of Game Developers Choice nominees". Polygon. Retrieved January 6, 2019.
  25. ^ Williams, Mike (March 20, 2019). "God of War Wins Another GOTY at 2019 Game Developers Choice Awards". USGamer. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  26. ^ Fogel, Stefanie (March 14, 2019). "'God of War,' 'Red Dead 2' Lead BAFTA Game Awards Nominations". Variety. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
  27. ^ "Nejlepší českou hrou je hudební Beat Saber od Beat Games". ČeskéVoviny.cz (in Czech). April 5, 2019. Retrieved April 6, 2019.
  28. ^ Tailby, Stephen (September 20, 2019). "Days Gone Rides Off with Three Nominations in This Year's Golden Joystick Awards". Push Square. Retrieved September 21, 2019.
  29. ^ GamesRadar staff (November 15, 2019). "Here's every winner from this year's Golden Joystick Awards, including the Ultimate Game of the Year". GamesRadar+. Retrieved November 16, 2019.
  30. ^ Winslow, Jeremy (November 19, 2019). "The Game Awards 2019 Nominees Full List". GameSpot. Retrieved November 20, 2019.
  31. ^ Makuch, Eddie (December 13, 2019). "The Game Awards 2019 Winners: Sekiro Takes Game Of The Year". GameSpot. Retrieved December 13, 2019.

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