Beat Saber Review 2022: Seminal VR Title Remains As Relevant As Ever

With regular updates, DLC releases and changes to the game since launch, Beat Saber remains VR’s poster child. Read on for our updated Beat Saber review for Quest 2, PSVR and PC VR.

BEAT SABER REVIEW

Years of Dominance

It’s hard to understate Beat Saber’s influence on the VR industry. It was one of the earliest success stories in VR gaming and became a catalyst for the now-oversaturated market of VR rhythm games. After launch in 2018, it catapulted itself into the spotlight as the must-have VR game for any headset owner and became one of the only VR-exclusive titles to gain brand recognition in the wider gaming industry. As starting points go, it was a good place to be in.

Perhaps more amazing is that in 2022, four years post-release, Beat Saber remains dominant as ever and has never properly faded from the zeitgeist. Meta acquired the studio behind the game, Beat Games, in 2018, but Beat Saber remains available on almost every major VR headset – Meta-owned or otherwise. It consistently holds a near-unbeatable position around the top of most VR store charts, as it has done for several consecutive years now. With consistent free updates and paid DLC releases, there’s now a wealth of content to work through as well.

Beat Saber 2022 Review The Facts

Platforms: Oculus Quest, Quest 2, PC VR, PSVR
Release Date: Out Now
Developer: Beat Games, Meta
Price: $29.99

Even the skeptics would have to admit that Beat Saber is still the biggest VR game in terms of availability, omnipresence and recognition, especially with more casual audiences. But a lot has changed since 2018 – not just advancements in hardware, but also our understanding of solid VR design principles.

The standard is higher than ever, so how well does Beat Saber hold up?

Surprisingly well, is the answer. But before getting into the nitty gritty, let’s cover the basics.

beat saber

Easy to Understand, Hard to Master

Beat Saber is a VR rhythm game with an easily-understood core concept. Set to music, the player will use two ‘lightsabers’ – one red and one blue, by default – to slice through blocks as they fly through space towards the player. The colour of the blocks – red or blue – correspond to which lightsaber to use, while directional arrows on each indicate whether you should slice up, down, left, right or even diagonally. If you’re confused, think Fruit Ninja… but with music. In VR.

The blocks are aligned to the rhythm of the music – the more on-time and accurately you slice, the higher your score. Slicing consecutive blocks without mistakes builds combos. Missing blocks or making mistakes resets your combo and can stack up to result in a level failure.

There’s other twists as well – walls you have to avoid, bombs you can’t hit, double blocks or cross-armed slices  – but overall it’s a conceptually simple game with a very high skill ceiling. Even though the upper echelon of players compete at an insanely high level, everyone can play Beat Saber – the large variety of music, modes and difficulty levels means it’s enjoyable for newcomers and experts alike.

Old Genre, New Platform, Same Feeling

Rhythm games are a popular gaming genre, no matter the platform. But not only does Beat Saber execute the rhythm game tropes well, it also exhibits an expert understanding of what makes a fantastic VR experience – especially impressive for 2018.

Beat Saber’s gameplay isn’t just addictive, it’s tactile. Every move you make lines up perfectly with your expectation for how that action should feel. In other games, actions don’t always align with the virtual world, like putting your hand up against a virtual wall only to realize that your physical hand falls through it.

There’s no such disconnect in Beat Saber. There’s cohesion and responsiveness between your actions in real life and VR, because slicing blocks is designed as an inherently weightless action. Your brain never expects feedback from your actions, so everything just feels right.

This unsolved hardware problem – generating realistic feedback and resistance against actions – is likely to stick around for quite a while. By avoiding the problem entirely, Beat Saber has positioned itself as a timeless experience, at least for the foreseeable future. Even across generations of different hardware, Beat Saber feels incredibly satisfying to play – just as much now as it did in 2018.

beat saber multiplayer

Games Modes, Accessibility, Modifiers

Compared to launch, there’s now a lot more on offer in Beat Saber as well. The music library has been massively expanded (more on that later), but there’s also several different game modes to keep you entertained.

The classic mode is Solo, the stock-standard high score mode that lets you play through any track you like, with many optional modifier options. There’s also now a multiplayer mode, which lets up to five players compete against each other for a high score, either in public or private lobbies.

A campaign mode does technically exist, but feels neglected and overdue for a complete overhaul – it’s not worth your time over Solo mode. An upgraded campaign with better structure and some form of progression might be interesting (and perhaps is on the way), but the fairly neglected state of the existing campaign isn’t exactly a huge loss.

Accessibility options and gameplay modifiers are abound in Beat Saber, which let you tailor the game to your needs and wants. You can enable different options to make the game easier, more accessible, harder or just completely different, adding a lot of depth for people who want to mix up gameplay or cater to specific needs.

There’s also special 360 and 90 degree levels that see you turn on the spot as blocks come from different directions – a fun gimmick, but nothing mind-blowing.

Beat Saber Billie Eilish Music Pack2_1920x1080

An Expansive Library

Given how big the library has grown since launch, Beat Saber’s music selection should have something for everyone by now, provided you’re willing to pay extra.

Humble beginnings saw only a few original electronic tracks included at launch, composed by Beat Games Co-Founder Jaroslav Beck. New free tracks and additional original music from Beck still arrive in updates from time to time, but it’s the paid DLC releases that offer the most exciting selections, featuring some prominent and legendary artists – Linkin Park, Fall Out Boy, BTS, Green Day, Lady Gaga, Panic! At The Disco, Billie Eilish, Imagine Dragons and Skrillex, to name a few.

Each pack brings with it a unique feel, perfectly crafted to capture the spirit of the featured artist. It makes each pack feel truly hand-crafted and brings much-needed variety across the library. The only downside for new players will be the cost – when you add DLC to the cost of the base game, things could start to get a bit pricey.

However, the expansion of Beat Saber’s music selection has also had an effect on consistency. The skill ceiling of Beat Saber players has increased dramatically in the last few years, as has the style and variety of track mapping. While the developers have evolved the game’s mapping, it’s now clear that the difficult labels – Easy, Normal, Hard, Expert, Expert+ – can mean completely different things from one track to another. What was considered Expert in 2018, for example, feels like a walk in the park compared to an Expert map released in 2022.

Room for Improvement

Outside of the actual gameplay, parts of Beat Saber’s user experience are starting to show their age. The entire menu system – large, flat and floating panels, with a point-and-click cursor attached to each controller – might have been serviceable in 2018, but now feels clunky and unintuitive. There’s been lots of innovation in intuitive user experience in virtual reality, but Beat Saber has not kept pace.

The same can be said for the game’s visuals. While overall the game looks great on most platforms, it also doesn’t feel like the best possible visual presentation, especially on Quest hardware. Other releases have really pushed Quest’s standalone hardware to the limit, delivering stunning visuals. It’s hard to believe Beat Saber couldn’t do a bit more to impress in this day and age.

Admittedly, the newer DLC and OST releases feature environments that are way more visually interesting. But if anything, this only contributes to the aforementioned feeling of consistency – some levels look breathtaking, while others now look incredibly dated and barebones.

All of these minor issues are a result of the piecemeal approach taken by Beat Games, adding and changing elements slowly but consistently, bit by bit. While it’s an approach that has served Beat Saber well until now, it’s also segmenting the game and beginning to make it feel less like one cohesive package.

It would be nice to see this addressed, preferably in one big drastic update. Even a full on sequel – Beat Saber 2 – might be the best option, providing a polished and ground-up rework of the core game, while introducing some new elements and transitioning existing players over with legacy map and DLC support.

Beat Saber

Beat Saber Review 2022 – Final Verdict

For any new headset owner, Beat Saber remains an essential purchase. Even if the genre is not traditionally your style, the game holds such an esteemed place in VR history and remains completely relevant to modern audiences, exemplifying sublime gameplay that puts intelligent VR design first.

Yes, parts of the experience are starting to feel ever so slightly outdated, but those are very minor gripes for what is otherwise a seminal VR game. Nothing has yet to penetrate the virtual reality zeitgeist quite like Beat Saber. If you have a headset, you have to try it. It’s as simple as that.

Upload VR Review Essential

Beat Saber is available on Oculus Quest and Meta Quest 2, PC VR via Steam and Oculus, and PSVR

UploadVR recently changed its review guidelines, and this is one of our new Essential review labels. You can read more about our review guidelines here

This review was conducted primarily on the Quest 2 version of the game, but applies to all platforms. What did you make of our Beat Saber review? Let us know in the comments below!

Beat Saber Gets A New 3D Level Editor On PC

Beat Saber’s PC version now has a new 3D interface for level editing. Or it does in beta, at least.

This new editor was built from the ground up for players that want to make their own tracks for Beat Games’ hit rhythm title. You can get a first look at the new interface in the below stream from beatmappers Freeek and Kolezan.

New Beat Saber Level Editor Arrives

At its core, the editor lets you add music and then map blue and red boxes to it. You don’t need to jump into VR to do this; the editor is used from a normal PC display. As you might expect, this also includes support for Beat Saber’s newest features, like the Arc and Chain block types and the new lighting systems we’ve seen implemented in the most recent song packs.

That said this is an early release for the editor and there are plenty of missing features and bugs to iron out. Going forward, there are plans to add support for 360 degree and 90 degree levels as well as waveform scaling, and adding an interactive scrollbar amongst other features. You can see the full patch notes for the new editor right here.

Currently, there’s no mention of bringing the editor to other versions of the game, though mods and customizations have always been a sticking point for the Quest and PSVR editions of the game.

Are you going to be diving into Beat Saber’s new level editor? Let us know in the comments below!

‘Beat Saber’ Electronic Mixtape Brings Fatboy Slim, Darude, Deadmau5 & More

Popular block-slashing rhythm game Beat Saber just got an unexpected drop of 12 new tracks in its Electronic Mixtape paid DLC, which includes content spanning nearly two decades of electronic music.

Beat Games, the Meta-owned developers behind Beat Saber, initially teased the Electronic Mixtape at Meta’s Quest Gaming Showcase late last month. Now the studio has surprise-launched the paid DLC across all supported VR headsets starting today.

Beat Saber’s Electronic Mixtape comes with 10 songs for $13, or $2 per song when purchased individually. Check out the full track list below:

  • Marshmello – “Alone”
  • Martin Garrix – “Animals”
  • Bomfunk MC’s – “Freestyler”
  • Deadmau5 – “Ghosts ‘n’ Stuff” (feat. Rob Swire)
  • Madeon – “Icarus”
  • Darude – “Sandstorm”
  • Zedd – “Stay The Night” (feat. Hayley Williams)
  • Fatboy Slim – “The Rockafeller Skank”
  • Rudimental – “Waiting All Night” (feat. Ella Eyre)
  • Pendulum – “Witchcraft”

Ok, so Beat Saber is already pretty electronic-heavy. Whatever you may think of the music on offer though, the constant influx of paid and free DLC has kept Beat Saber squarely seated in the top 10 on respective lists for most popular VR game on both the Quest and PSVR platforms—not bad for a game from 2018.

The launch of today’s Electronic Mixtape pack follows what seems like a non-stop push for evermore DLC. Thanks to Meta’s deep pockets, Beat Saber has been able to include content from high-profile artists such as SkrillexBTSGreen DayTimbalandLinkin Park, and Imagine Dragons, not to mention the Interscope Music Pack featuring tracks from the likes of Kendrick Lamar, OneRepublic, Limp Bizkit, and Maroon 5.

The post ‘Beat Saber’ Electronic Mixtape Brings Fatboy Slim, Darude, Deadmau5 & More appeared first on Road to VR.

Beat Saber Electronic Mixtape Releases With Deadmau5, Pendulum, More

The Beat Saber Electronic Mixtape DLC is available now on all platforms.

First announced during the Meta Quest Gaming Showcase back in April, the Electronic Mixtape features some of the biggest electronic artists today. The roster includes Deadmau5, Rudimental, Pendulum and Fatboy Slim among others. There are 10 tracks in total that cost $12.99 as a bundle, or you can pick your favorites for $1.99 each. Check out a brief teaser for the new pack below.

The full tracklist includes:

  • Waiting All Night (feat. Ella Eyre) by Rudimental
  • Witchcraft by Pendulum
  • Icarus by Madeon
  • Ghosts ‘n’ Stuff (feat. Rob Swire) by Deadmau5
  • Alone by Marshmello
  • Stay the Night (feat. Hayley Williams) by Zedd
  • Sandstorm by Darude
  • The Rockafeller Skank by Fatboy Slim
  • Freestyler by Bomfunk MC
  • Animals by Martin Garrix

Also don’t forget that this is one of the first music packs to launch following the introduction of new lighting effects and gameplay mechanics for the game. That means the Electronic Mixtape makes full use of the new note types.

As always, the DLC is available on Quest, PSVR and PC VR headsets. Combined with the recent launch of both the Fall Out Boy pack and the game’s fifth Official Soundtrack, it’s been a very busy few weeks for the VR sensation. That said we currently have no idea what plans Beat Games has for the future. With 3 music packs released in 2022, how many more can we expect before the end of the year?

Are you going to be picking up the Beat Saber Electronic Mixtape pack? Let us know in the comments below!

Meta Quest Gaming Showcase 2022: A Full Roundup

Returning for a second year, the Meta Quest Gaming Showcase was an event jam-packed with exciting videogame announcements for the headset. With brand new surprises, sequels and updates, the event proved that Quest 2 has a cracking lineup of titles in the works.

Meta Quest Gaming Showcase

The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners – Chapter 2: Retribution

The next instalment in the VR franchise, Skydance Interactive’s The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners – Chapter 2: Retribution continues the narrative from the first game, placing you in a post-apocalyptic New Orleans trying to survive the zombie outbreak. This time around there will be more zombies, a new villain to face and even fewer resources. The game is due out later this year.

Among Us VR

The multiplayer game about teamwork and the imposters trying to kill you all will be coming to Meta Quest 1 & 2 and PC VR headsets this holiday season. Rebuilt for VR by Schell Games, Among Us VR will stay true to the original’s design whilst ensuring plenty of interactive elements purely suited to VR.  It will be a “stand-alone experience” due to the overhaul.

Red Matter 2

The atmospheric sci-fi puzzler from 2018 will be getting a sequel this summer Vertical Robot has revealed. Red Matter 2  is going to be bigger and feature more content than its predecessor, adding new mechanics like a jet pack to fly around with whilst injecting some action by giving you enemies to shoot at.

Beat Saber x Electronic Mixtape

The ever-popular Beat Saber will be getting a new song selection adding 10 iconic electronic hits to its track roster as well as a new in-game environment. No release date at the moment but here’s the track list:

  • Rudimental, “Waiting All Night” (feat. Ella Eyre)
  • Pendulum, “Witchcraft”
  • Madeon, “Icarus”
  • deadmau5, “Ghosts ‘n’ Stuff” (feat. Rob Swire)
  • Marshmello, “Alone”
  • Zedd, “Stay the Night” (feat. Hayley Williams)
  • Darude, “Sandstorm”
  • Fatboy Slim, “The Rockafeller Skank”
  • Bomfunk MC’s, “Freestyler”
  • Martin Garrix, “Animals”

Moss: Book II

Released on PlayStation VR earlier in April, developer Polyarc will soon be bringing the puzzle adventure to Quest 2. Taking control of Quill once again in a fight against the Arcane, Moss: Book 2 features even bigger threats than before, new items to fight and solve puzzles with and new characters to aid your journey.

Resident Evil 4 – The Mercenaries

The only game announcement from the show that’s available right now as a free update, the VR edition of Resident Evil 4 finally gets fan favourite mode The Mercenaries. Giving you the chance to play as several of the characters from the main campaign, the mode is all about racking up as many points as possible before the timer runs out. This VR version also comes with 20 exclusive Challenges that’ll unlock bonuses including Big Head mode and a Golden Gun skin.

Cities: VR

If you’ve been after a city building experience in VR then look no further, Fast Travel Games has remade Paradox Interactive’s Cities: Skylines for the headset. A city management simulator giving you full control over where to place structures, and how to earn and spend money whilst keeping residents have, Cities: VR is due out next week on 28th April.

Bonelab

Stress Level Zero has finally revealed that its fourth VR project is Bonelab, a sequel to Boneworks. Building off of Boneworks‘ physical interaction engine, Marrow, Bonelab is an action-adventure title set within a mysterious underground lab. With physics-driven interactions forming a core part of the gameplay experience Bonelabs will also support player built mods to further expand the content. The game is expected to arrive for Meta Quest 2 and PC VR headsets in 2022.

NFL Pro Era

An officially licensed NFL videogame for VR, NFL Pro Era is all about immersing you in American football as a quarterback. Featuring all 32 NFL teams, the simulator will put you in command of your favourite team, choosing plays and listening to the chatter inside the huddle. NFL Pro Era will be coming to Quest and PlayStation VR in Fall 2022.

Espire 2

Digital Lode’s stealth combat title returns this November, giving you new ways to sneakily kill enemies without them even knowing you were there, or not, depends how you like to play. Espire 2 will feature two new mechanical units to control, one heavier and more robust whilst the other is smaller and nimble, great for staying undetected. In addition to the main campaign, Espire 2 will also include a co-op campaign with a story set between Espire 1 & 2.

RuinsMagus

Unveiled last year, the showcase provided a brand new trailer giving a better look at the upcoming Japanese role-playing game (JRPG). Developed by CharacterBank, RuinsMagus has players investigate the abandoned ruins below the prosperous town of Grand Amnis across 26 story-driven quests, facing powerful and fearless Guardians on route. RuinsMagus is expected to launch later this year.

Crystal Atrium Environment

Not a game but a freebie for Meta Quest nonetheless, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg gave his quick address inside the new Crystal Atrium environment. You’ll find it under the Personalization tab of the settings menu, then change the virtual environment.

Crystal Atrium

Ghostbusters VR (Working title)

Last but not least was the sneaky peek from Zuckerberg of a new game being worked on by nDreams (Fracked, Phantom: Covert Ops) and Sony Pictures Virtual Reality (SPVR), Ghostbusters VR. Set in San Francisco, Ghostbusters VR will support up to 4-player co-op as you and your friends try to rid the city of ghosts in this original adventure. No timeline for release has been given just yet.

Beat Saber Electronic Mixtape Announced: Deadmau5, Marshmello, Zedd & More

Meta just announced Beat Saber’s next set of DLC tracks at today’s Meta Quest Gaming Showcase. The Beat Saber Electronic Mixtape will feature 10 hits from artists like Deadmau5, Zedd, Marshmello and more.

Most DLC packs for Beat Saber focus solely on one artist, but this pack will be the second DLC ‘mixtape’ release which features an array of different artists from one period.

Here’s the full tracklist of the Electronic Mixtape:

  • Waiting All Night (feat. Ella Eyre) by Rudimental
  • Witchcraft by Pendulum
  • Icarus by Madeon
  • Ghosts ‘n’ Stuff (feat. Rob Swire) by Deadmau5
  • Alone by Marshmello
  • Stay the Night (feat. Hayley Williams) by Zedd
  • Sandstorm by Darude
  • The Rockafeller Skank by Fatboy Slim
  • Freestyler by Bomfunk MC
  • Animals by Martin Garrix

As you can see, there are some big names and hits in the pack, but perhaps the most prominent is Sandstorm by Darude. IT’s one of the most iconic electronic songs of all time and a huge internet hit/meme track. In other words, it could be a perfect addition to the Beat Saber catalog.

The Electronic Mixtape release date follows on from the Fall Out Boy DLC, released last month, and has no confirmed release date as of yet. That being said, the time between announcement and release for Beat Saber DLCs tends to be pretty short, so expect to see it sooner rather than later.

As usual, the pack will be available across all platforms — Quest, Rift, PSVR and Steam — for a bundled price of $12.99 or an individual track price of $1.99 each.

This was just one announcement from today’s Meta Quest Gaming Showcase — keep an eye out for news on more releases and updates to come.

Fall Out Boy Music Pack Coming to ‘Beat Saber’ March 31st

Beat Saber, the popular block-slashing rhythm game, is getting a new paid music pack soon that will feature eight tracks from Fall Out Boy.

The American rock band announced the news via Twitter, and included a full tracklist too. Listed below, the music pack spans the band’s early 2000s period as well as more recent tracks from when it returned from its 2009 – 2013 hiatus.

  • Centuries
  • Thnks fr th Mmrs
  • This Ain’t A Scene, It’s An Arms Race
  • Immortals
  • I Don’t Care
  • My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light Em Up)
  • Dance, Dance
  • Irresistible

Like the band’s live shows, the tracks are said to be “filled with pyro,” with the pack’s trailer showing off a stage, lighting effects, and a stream of fire eruptions.

“That’s why our first VR collab had to have a TON of it… this will be the biggest rock show that Beat Saber has ever seen,” says Fall Out Boy bassist and lyricist Pete Wentz.

The Fall Out Boy Music Pack is slated to release on all supported platforms tomorrow, March 31st, at 10:00am PT (local time here). Individual songs cost $2, while the whole pack costs $11.

This follows the release of multiple music packs over the years, including tracks from Skrillex, BTS, Linkin Park, Timbaland, Greenday, Panic at the Disco!, Imagine Dragons, and a host of artists under the Interscope music label.

The post Fall Out Boy Music Pack Coming to ‘Beat Saber’ March 31st appeared first on Road to VR.

Beat Saber Fall Out Boy Pack Announced, Tracklist Revealed

A Beat Saber Fall Out Boy pack is on the way soon, and we already know the tracklist.

The new pack for the smash hit VR game was just announced on Twitter with a short video seen below. It showcased new visuals for level themes complete with some of the lighting additions made in Beat Saber’s most recent update. There’s also some pyrotechnics on display.

No date for the pack yet but the tracklist (revealed by the Fall Out Boy Twitter account) is as follows:

Centuries
Thnks fr th Mmrs
This Ain’t A Scene, It’s An Arms Race
Immortals
I Don’t Care
My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light Em Up)
Dance, Dance
Irresistible

That brings the pack to eight songs total. There’s the usual mix of new songs and classics in here but we’ll be the first to point out that Sugar, We’re Going Down is missing from the list and that’s basically a crime and possibly the biggest omission since I Write Sins Not Tragedies missed out on the Panic! At The Disco pack in 2019. That’s two emo anthems from 2005 missing from Beat Saber and I’m sure you’ll all join me in protest.

Anyway, this will be the first premium Beat Saber DLC pack in 2022 after developer Beat Games released another free OST update a few weeks back. Given that pack also introduced some new block types to the game, you can hopefully expect to see them utilized here, too.

Fall Out Boy Music Pack Thumps Onto Beat Saber This Week

As if Beat Saber wasn’t already filled with premium tracks from internationally celebrated artists, today it has been revealed that Fall Out Boy will be joining the roster alongside the likes of Green Day, Billy Eilish, Imagine Dragons, Lady Gaga, Skrillex and many more.

Fall Out Boy fans will be able to slice their way through eight of the band’s most famous tracks including This Ain’t A Scene, It’s An Arms Race and Dance, Dance; the full setlist is below. And it wouldn’t have that rock vibe without a new environment, so that’s exactly what you get, a grand stage filled with lasers, pyrotechnics and video screens (for some music video action, maybe?).

  • Centuries
  • Thnks fr th Mmrs
  • This Ain’t A Scene, It’s An Arms Race
  • Immortals
  • My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light Em Up)
  • I Don’t Care
  • Dance, Dance
  • Irresistible

“Our shows are flat out filled with pyro—it’s rock n roll,” says Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz over on the Oculus Blog. “That’s why our first VR collab had to have a TON of it… this will be the biggest rock show that Beat Saber has ever seen. Turn it up!”

Beat Saber - Fall Out Boy

The addition of Fall Out Boy continues Beat Saber’s dominance at the top of VR’s rhythm action genre. There are many vying for players but Beat Saber captured the VR crowd early on thanks to its instinctive gameplay that’s intensely difficult on the expert modes. Most recently, Beat Saber dropped a new update adding two new block types alongside its fifth soundtrack.

The Fall Out Boy Music Pack arrives for Meta platforms on 31st March 2022 ( mention of PSVR or SteamVR at the moment), priced at $10.99 USD for the whole pack or $1.99 per song. For continued updates, keep reading gmw3.

Beat Saber: New Notes on the Block

Like many, my favourite VR game is Beat Saber. The last time I checked, I had logged over 75 hours playing this lightsaber wielding, modern musical masterpiece. So, whenever a new music pack comes out, I dash to my PlayStation (I really need a Quest version) and download it. And while I’ve loved slashing blocks to Lady Gaga, Linkin Park and even BTS, nothing compares to when the Beat Saber crew put together new tracks, and more importantly, new gameplay mechanics.

With Beat Saber Soundtrack V developer Beat Games not only brings us six new tracks, but also, two new note blocks. For the first time since the original release, they are branching out from the standard blocks, bombs and obstacles. Before we get into the new mechanics, let’s take a look at those songs:

  • Schwank – $1.78
  • Ewok – Curtains (All Night Long)
  • Camellia – Final-Boss-Chan
  • Tanger – Firestarter
  • The Living Tombstone – I Want be a Machine
  • Jaroslav Beck feat. Meredith Bull – Magic

If you want to listen to the new songs in advance, you can do so right here.

Each new song feels as high energy as those which have come before, but they each feature a more euphoric tone compared to previous releases. There are more sustained notes which soar and wave, cresting up before iconic beat drops. Where past soundtrack updates seemed to focus on difficulty, this pack is establishing new gameplay mechanics, and using the music to showcase them.

There’s a reason the tracks each feature sustained notes and longer stretches of melody; ‘arc’ notes. These new notes can be spotted easily, as they use the traditional note block as a starting point. You’ll notice an arc of light emitting from the block; this connects through other notes and ends on a block of the same colour. You don’t have to follow the sweeping arc as displayed, you can wave your hands around, but for me, following the curves made everything feel more natural, more musical, and gave me a better sense of expression.

The next new note block is the ‘chain’. This block can be seen as a standard block which looks like it’s had a trip through a shredder. Beat Games is using these notes to express a rapid sequence of notes. Previously a short, staccato eight note effect would have needed eight separate note blocks in quick succession, now however, they are represented by ‘chain’ blocks. You might be thinking, ‘well, that sounds easier’ but the ‘chain’ notes curve a little like the ‘arc’ notes above, so striking them requires a bit more of a flourish from your hands.

Whenever a new pack of songs is released, I always play them on hard difficulty. It’s where I have the most fun and plenty of challenge. The addition of the two new note blocks has seemingly increased the difficulty, even though the notes feel easier to play. While the game feels that bit more difficult, it also feels completely revitalised.

Accompanying the new soundtrack, is a whole new lighting system for the stages. While this may not have a substantial impact on the playing of the game, the new effects elevate each stage, making it feel more encompassing. By the end of my play session, I wanted these new notes in every other Beat Games soundtrack pack. In fact, when the last note of the pack was played, Beat Saber felt like a whole new game.

Beat Saber Soundtrack V is out now on all platforms, and it’s completely free.