During the PlayStation VR2 Release Series isn’t full of tons of new and unique experiences, it’s full of great ports. Many of these are music games that have quickly become a VR staple thanks to their success Defeat Saber and other rhythm-based titles, and thankfully, PS VR2 manages to do all of these games justice, unlike its predecessors.
Motion-based VR games were often a pain in the original PS VR due to its poor tracking. However, I like rhythm games Ragnarock, Pistol whipand Synth Riders really shows how much better PS VR2 is. Ragnarock features impressive hand tracking as it relies on the player using a drum in time with the music to animate the viking ship they are on. It’s a basic experience, but it’s made even more exciting because you’re actually watching the punches come at you and beat away in rhythm with exaggerated movements.
Unplugged: air guitar is another more traditional title that showcases how well rhythm games can work in VR. While you look undeniably goofy while playing, you almost feel like a rock god when you strum an imaginary pick and move your other hand around the guitar’s virtual neck. This all adds up to an engaging rhythm game that uses the midrange well to do something plastic instruments can’t do, although it does have a few tracking issues (which seem to be more of a game problem, not hardware reliability, the tracking is different).
Pistol whip and Synth Riders go a step further, as these rhythm titles are much more action-based and require constant movement, making them sonically pleasing ways to get your heart pumping. If the tracking breaks at any moment, it can send a good run down the drain – something PS VR gamers were all too used to – and the fact that it’s there really highlights just how much better Sony’s latest headset is. Instead of getting a compromised version of a great game that’s better elsewhere, PS VR2 offers a premium experience.
Two early standouts from the original PlayStation VR are also a joy on PS VR2 Rez Infinite and Thumper both utilize updated technology. Rez Infinite plays better than ever thanks to impressive eye tracking that allows players to aim purely by sight in an on-rails shooter. It’s incredibly accurate and faster than other aiming methods (either through head tracking or Sense controls).
Meanwhile Thumper doesn’t feature such a leap for its traditional gameplay, the much higher-quality 4K display allows players to fully immerse themselves and get into the groove of a “rhythm violence” game featuring a space beetle going down an intergalactic highway full of bugs. with death traps. Both Thumper and Res are a real spectacle and are definitely playable titles, even though they are ports of established games at this point.
While not a traditional rhythm game by any means, the music is still a huge part of another of PS VR2’s best games. Tetris effect. When played in virtual reality, the fresh twist on the classic puzzle game becomes a dazzling and immersive audiovisual experience. Fully absorbed into the colorful stages, the music combines with the visuals to create a memorable and often emotional experience that you wouldn’t normally associate with a drop. And because luxury is such a big part of the experience, PS VR2’s haptic feedback and enhanced visual fidelity mean that Tetris effectWell, the effects can shine even brighter.
Some big rhythm games still on the horizon, like Defeat Saber (and one more in this post, Drums Rock), and there are sure to be more to come in the coming years, it’s clear that the PlayStation VR2 is a worthwhile choice for those interested in music games. Their quality stands out, as almost every one offers a unique take on the rhythm genre, whether it’s shooting bad guys to the beat or providing musical inspiration for a bunch of rowing vikings. While there are flaws in the overall release lineup, Music Games will undoubtedly thrive on Sony’s headphones in these early days.
Disclosure: Codes were provided by publishers Tetris effect, Unplugged: air guitar, Ragnarock, Thumperand Rez Infinite.