|Platform(s)||PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, Android,Oculus VR|
|Release||May 21, 2019|
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.
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.
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.
The game was first released in early access on Microsoft Windows on May 1, 2018. The game was released on PlayStation 4 on November 20, 2018. An editor was announced for release in May 2018, which would allow for the creation of custom user songs, but it was postponed, and added in May 2019.
In March 2019, Beat Games released its first paid song pack, featuring 10 songs from electronic music record label Monstercat. "Crab Rave" was added as a free update on April Fools' day that year. 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. The game was fully released out of early access on PC on May 21, 2019.
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. 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.
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. The game sold over a million copies by March 2019.
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." 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."  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."
|2018||The Game Awards 2018||Best VR/AR Game||Nominated|||
|Gamers' Choice Awards||Fan Favorite VR Game||Won|||
|2019||New York Game Awards||Coney Island Dreamland Award for Best Virtual Reality Game||Nominated|||
|D.I.C.E. Awards||Immersive Reality Technical Achievement||Nominated|||
|Immersive Reality Game of the Year||Won|
|NAVGTR Awards||Game, Music or Performance-Based||Won|||
|Sound Mixing in Virtual Reality||Won|
|SXSW Gaming Awards||Excellence in Gameplay||Nominated|||
|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|||
|15th British Academy Games Awards||Debut Game||Nominated|||
|Czech Game of the Year Awards||Developer's Award - Main Award||Won|||
|Game Journalists Award||Won|
|Best Game Design||Nominated|
|Best Technological Solution||Nominated|
|Golden Joystick Awards||Best VR/AR Game||Won|||
|The Game Awards 2019||Won|||
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