It took me a little while, but I finally bought into the virtual reality craze. All three of the main VR headsets are sitting at more enticing prices than ever before, ranging from $299 to $499. These recent price drops were enough to get me to buy an HTC Vive.
So far, I'm really intrigued by the Vive. I'm not sure how open world games with a lot of movement will work in virtual reality, but I definitely have plans to check out Fallout 4 VR. The headset is also a lot more CPU intensive than you may think, so make sure you have plenty of power to go around.
While I'm waiting for some new PC parts to come in, I decided to take a look at some of the simpler games the Vive has to offer. One that immediately caught my attention was Audioshield, developed by Dylan Fitterer.
If either of these names sound familiar, you've likely played or at least seen the Audiosurf games. These simple rhythm games became popular because of their unique level generators, which have the ability to create intense tracks from any sound file on your computer. This means Audiosurf's soundtrack is whatever you want it to be.
Audioshield is no different in this aspect, but it features a whole new level of interactivity. Instead of moving a vehicle down a track based on the music you select, you'll be wielding shields in both hands and deflecting the beats of your music as they fly toward you.
This premise is pretty basic, but Audioshield has three difficulty modes that range from simply raising your arms to wildly flailing your entire body around the living room. I felt like an absolute mad man trying to hit all the notes on the hardest difficulty.
The game is also completely aware of the workout you're getting, encouraging you to punch the notes as hard as you can for extra points. This allows you to get completely lost in your music, giving you a sense of awe that other rhythm games can't quite deliver on. It will also make you break into one heck of a sweat if you play long enough.
The most amazing thing about Audioshield is the level generator. No matter what kind of music you like to listen to, the program can make an amazing game out of it. Rock music, electronic music, orchestral music, and even slower symphonic songs are all wonderful choices in Audioshield. Each song will give you a different experience. Even if you want to play a song that you don't have downloaded, the game supports streaming music directly from YouTube.
But with all of this said, you might think Audioshield sounds like glorified dancing, and you would be absolutely right. At the end of the day, you're basically just dancing in whatever VR space you created. Of course this can be done without virtual reality, but Audioshield allows you to create your own private dance party that quickly turns into an addictive party game. The wonderful visuals and the engaging interactivity delivers a genuinely exciting experience that I've yet to feel in another rhythm game. You'll have a great time alone and with friends. If you're looking into the world of virtual reality, you should definitely give some of your attention to Audioshield.