In games that track scores based on a player’s performance it’s almost always enough to lure a player into a competitive mindset where they want to do the best they can to achieve a great record. In Audioshield, the emotion and enjoyment the player can feel from playing one of their favorite songs is enough to get them to the point where they forget all about a score because they’re having too much fun in the moment to care. Blocking orbs that represent beats in a virtual reality world is an awesome experience whether they all get deflected or not.
Audioshield is a rhythm game available for the HTC Vive that allows users to load any song from their computer into the game and play it. It’s the user’s objective to use one of three different styles of shields to block orbs that represent the beats from the selected song, making this a VR beat-matching game with a library of music that’s dependent on what you own.
There are three difficulty levels to select from that can make beat-matching a casual experience or an arm flailing chaotic mess – but in a good way. So it’s not necessarily a chaotic mess, it’s more about needing to be quick and correctly recognizing and blocking the two different colors of orbs that move in on the player.
Players hold a blue shield with their left hand and an orange shield with their right hand. So when a set of orange orbs all of a sudden show up on the left side and blue orbs on the right, it can quickly throw a player off their game as they’ll have to cross their arms appropriately to block the orbs. It can be tough at first to get used to, especially in moments where colors switch sides multiple times within a quick sequence.
It’s great stepping onto one of the two stages and preparing for blocking incoming orbs to any and all of your favorite songs. It establishes a great new experience for rhythm games by being placed in a VR world and watching as hundreds and thousands of orbs come flying at the player for them to block. Using VR to experience music this way makes Audioshield that much more enthralling and really allows the player to get immersed into a song and the activity of beat-matching.
For me personally I love listening to trance music, and I find songs with good beats and uplifting melodies a lot of fun to just listen to. But now having the opportunity to be inside a rhythm game like Audioshield with the ability to interact with my favorite songs becomes an entirely new way to love music.
I’ve also encountered multiple instances where I’m listening to one of my favorite songs and it caused me to not care much about blocking orbs because I feel like jumping and having fun with the beat while only casually attempting to block. I didn’t care about orbs getting past me as I was having too much fun in the moment. It’s just an awesome experience like that.
I will say that I wish there were more stages than just the two that are featured in Audioshield. It would be great to see a number of different surroundings that have unique features to them that the player could choose from. Yes, the player is focused on the fast approaching beats the entire time, but different atmospheres can still add a lot to the overall experience. Unique stages can always compliment different songs and styles of music as well.
Still, there’s plenty to enjoy here with the ability to play any song and work on a better score each time out. Plus, when it is time to improve on a score instead of just enjoying the moment, who doesn’t like competing on leaderboards for their favorite songs?
Keep holding those Audioshields high!