Electronauts Review (PSVR)
For the purposes of transparency, this review was created using a code provided by the company or their respective PR company. The use of a review code does not affect my judgement of the game.
Survios the team that has brought two exceptional games in Raw Data and Sprint Vector to VR, have now taken a step into allowing you to create music within VR, with their new title Electronauts. Personally I would not look at this release as a game but more of an application or creation tool. But, does it hit the high notes or disappear into distance like one hit wonders?
What Electronauts does is puts you on centre stage as a DJ, allowing you to use the tools it provides to drop your own remixes, beats and even jam with friends – and all in virtual reality. Which challenges you and offers you the chance to make some killer tracks, never mind what your experience with song creation is. It is really just down to you and the tools the experience provides, just let your creativity flow and soon you will have a hit on your hands.
Survios have really gone all out with their library of tracks to make sure there is something for everyone, launching the game with 40 tracks from 50 artists. These are spread across all different genres from EDM, House, Hip Hop, Chill and Trap just name a few. They don’t stop there either the game features music from the likes of Tiesto, The Chainsmokers and DJ Shadow. Giving you the power and chance remix tracks from popular artists, and when you get a good remix going it can make you feel like a musical genius.
The level the team have gone to in order to give you these remixing powers is outstanding, bring with the game their own proprietary Music Reality Engine which breaks down the tracks into interactive components, that allows the tracks to sound great never mind how you decide to mix them. The sort of mixing this allows is changing the vocal hooks, turn off elements of the track like the snare for example, create your own beats by drumming on synth orbs and a lot more.
When it comes to creating the tracks the key is to experiment, make you own beats, check out the vocals on offer, play with the backing tracks elements and get an idea of what you can do – then release that creative musical beast within you. Soon you will be feeling like you are the DJ on the stage, and taking in what you can actually do with this creation tool.
In order to make your tracks you have three decks placed in front of you, and a number of what the team have called gems in your area. You can place any of these gems into the decks and it will load up that tool. So, say you wanted to change the backing track and vocals more often than other things you could have them constantly loaded in two of the decks and use the third for the remixing tools. One thing I also loved is these gems can be moved but the loops will keep playing, meaning you can create a nice little beat with your synth drum and move it off the deck and it will still loop in the track. Then if you want to mute that loop you can just point at it in the tools tray and press on it and it will be done. The creation interface is certainly one that works in VR and does a great job of keeping you immersed in the game.
If you think remixing fun stops there… you are mistaken. Why not collaborate on a track with a friend or even a random stranger online and make an awesome remix together. Not only does it offer the multiplayer option, it is also going to be cross-platform – lets get all types of headsets making some sweet music and create some power duo’s.
With both of their previous games, when it comes the visuals they have made two completely different styles of presentation, both of which suited the game. Well they have carried on this trend with Electronauts brings a more surreal presentational style with the visualisations that will be playing around your floating stage, and a more realistic looking character model for you.
The tracks are not the only thing you play with, the game allows you to customise the visuals in the game as well. This allows for the hue, saturation and the pace of the visualizations to be played with. Good news for content creators and streamers as well, the game allows a number of camera options for your recording and streams.
As you would expect the game’s audio is made up of the huge array of tracks available to remix, because this is really all Electronauts needed. The essential part of this was making a sure the tracks and the parts you can add and alter were all crystal clear and high quality, and I glad to say they are.
You can create you music master pieces either standing or seated, I tried both and found some issues with the seated play, as sometimes it lost tracking when trying to switch out the gems. The game is played using two Move controllers which are both shown as batons in the game, for the corresponding hand. The only buttons you are going to need when creating your tracks are the triggers and move buttons, making it possible to make your remixes without being confused with overly complex controls. Which for me was going to be essential to keeping you immersed in the game, and not disrupt your creative flow.
If you enjoy remixing music or even get into it due to Electonauts the game really does have infinite replay value, as you can use the tools provided to make endless different remixes of the tracks added. You might ask… but what if I get bored of the tracks already available? Well great news more and more tracks will be getting added to the game and for free. Then if the community takes off jumping into and creating with others will just give it more replay value.
The team over at Survios have done again and brought an awesome experience exclusively to VR. Electronauts brings an great music creation tool to the medium, which takes me back to playing Music on the PlayStation and the eJay games on PC. They have really gone all out collaborating with some huge artists, creating the Music Reality Engine and putting the power of remixing over 40 tracks into our hands. If you love music or even just want to have some fun remixing songs alone or with others, there is currently nothing better out there than Electonauts.
Also available on HTC Vive and Oculus Rift
Available on August 7th 2018