Beat Saber — unaffiliated with Star Wars — is a rhythm game similar in design to Guitar Hero or Dance Dance Revolution. With two laser swords, you must slash color-coded blocks as they fly toward you, with red blocks handled by your right hand and blue by your left. They also have a direction labeled on the front, so you must slash accordingly in order to keep your score combination going. As you can see in the gameplay teaser video, the result resembles tribal drums, with a sense of power and weight we don’t typically see in virtual reality.
Developed by Czech studio Hyperbolic Magnetism, which previously worked on the auto-running game Chameleon Run, Beat Saber is designed to be played both in short bursts or over longer stretches of time in the included career mode, and each stage is “handcrafted to emphasize the music rhythm.”
Though the studio compared the game to Fruit Ninja, Beat Saber appears to emphasize precision and sharp, fast movements in a way the cartoony fruit-dicing series never has. It looks like it will be difficult at higher levels, though Hyperbolic Magnetism is adamant it can be learned by newcomers, as well.
“Anyone can understand [the] basic game principles and play the game in just a few seconds,” the studio said.
The visual style Hyperbolic Magnetism has chosen for Beat Saber is almost hypnotic, resembling the game Thumper in its use of dark reds and blues. Sparks and the glow of the swords helps to give it the classic Star Wars lightsaber look, and we hope for some sort of battle after racking up a high enough score.
Beat Saber is scheduled to arrive early this year to HTC Vive, Oculurs Rift, and PlayStation VR.