Today during a GDC Showcase digital event talk, Cloudhead Games CEO Denny Unger revealed that Pistol Whip is getting a new story-based campaign similar to Pistol Whip 2089, except this time it will “revolve around the past” instead.
New Pistol Whip Story Mode
Unfortunately the talk is not publicly available yet, but if you have a GDC Showcase registration it aired today at 9AM PT during the ‘Developer Spotlight’ segment of the “Future of Gaming: Quality and Connection” fireside chat.
Here is what he had to say, the relevant announcement details are bolded:
We have plenty of updates we’re doing to Pistol Whip…but something we’ve always wanted to do is a thing called Labs, it’s a division of Cloudhead that lets us experiment more deeply with VR as a technology.
Back in December 2020 we released our first cinematic campaign and it was called Pistol Whip 2089 and it was set in the future. It had a snappy story mode tying it all together with new weapons, new modifiers, a boss battle, and it was really well-received. We’re working on another one, no surprise there. Again it’s five scenes, new modifiers, new weapons, new bosses, and it takes us into the past. It revolves around the past and it’s gonna be a ‘Wild ride!’ and you can infer whatever you want from that.
We’re also working on ‘concierge’ which is a system that dives really deep into modifiers and making Pistol Whip an even more accessible experience with a ton of different ways to play the game. We have so much more to push into Pistol Whip over the next year, and likely beyond that, that’s one great thing we’re seeing about the VR market in general is that when titles do well they do well for a really long time if they’re well-supported.
It certainly sounds like Pistol Whip isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. At the end, Unger mentioned there are other projects as well that he cannot discuss yet.
Pistol Whip 2089 deviated from previous Pistol Whip releases in the sense that it added a “cinematic” campaign mode rather than just individual song tracks like it had before. This mode still features the iconic neon-soaked aesthetic and borrows heavy influence from the likes of Terminator.
The story is delivered via narrated dialog and comic book-style artwork between moments of gameplay. It’s a really good format that we hope to see other non-traditional VR games adopt or iterate on going forward. You can read more about the development process here.
I can tell you that, personally, when I first played the release version of Beat Saber after spending time with Early Access and saw a single player campaign option, my mind immediately hoped for something like this rather than just nodes on a map with objectives.
People probably don’t play games like Pistol Whip for the story, but it certainly does offer something unique and engaging in a way that “just another” music track never could. It would be great to see Cloudhead continue down this path with more structured, narrative content in Pistol Whip if for no reason other than we get to enjoy them flexing their story muscles once again while we wait for updates on The Gallery Episode 3.
Have you tried out Pistol Whip 2089? Do you plan on checking it out now that it’s coming to PSVR? Pistol Whip 2089 is a free update. If you’d like to buy the game itself, it’s available on PSVR, PC VR, and Quest for $24.99.
The developers of Arizona Sunshine and After the Fall, Vertigo Games, have slowly been expanding their publishing portfolio. In addition to several location-based VR arcade properties, A Fisherman’s Tale, and others, Vertigo Games is now adding Anotherway’s Unplugged to their publishing portfolio with a slated release window of Q3 2021.
If the name Unplugged sounds familiar, that’s because we’ve covered it before back in April of this year. Unplugged (working title) is a hand-tracking based air guitar VR music game for Oculus Quest. We’ve written about VR guitar games before, from Rock Band VR which uses an actual plastic guitar peripheral to Rocking Hero and Riff VR which both approximate movements using VR motion controllers, but Unplugged is pushing boundaries in other ways.
Since it’s a hand-tracking based game, precise finger placement is critical, but it will be challenging to accurately track quick movements and impossible to provide the tactile feedback of touching the instrument.
“What started out as a passion project seemed to grab the attention of many VR media and content creators, and we soon realized that the project had much potential and we needed a partner to help us bring it to life,” said Julia Casal, Producer at Anotherway, in a prepared statement. “By partnering with Vertigo Games we are able to scale up the project and pursue our ambitious goals. The experience has been wonderful so far and we are extremely motivated to start the journey of working on Unplugged along with them.”
Unplugged is currently slated for a Q3 2021 release, but there are no specific dates beyond that. Quest is not mentioned as the only target platform, but it’s the only hand-tracking headset we’ve seen the game played on thus far. Check out the game’s official website for more details.
The original VR music rhythm game, Audioshield, is coming to Oculus Quest this week and will let you play automatically generated maps from any MP3 stored on your device. Read our original review of the PC VR version right here.
Fans of more recent VR rhythm games like Beat Saber might not realize the genre itself is actually four years old. When the original HTC Vive launched back in 2016, Audioshield was one of its debut titles debuting in Early Access. It even let you pull up any song from YouTube to play along to, automatically, without having to make custom maps for each track. In many ways, Beat Saber is just Audioshield with hand-crafted levels and swords.
Now developer Dylan Fitterer, the same man behind indie music hit Audio Surf, is bringing his VR rhythm game down to the standalone, wireless Oculus Quest platform. To access your own MP3s you just need to store them on your Quest via download or transferring them directly over USB.
According to Fitterer via email:
Cloud services like Google Drive and Dropbox are an easy way to transfer your mp3s to the Quest. You can just log into the cloud service from the headset’s web browser to retrieve them. Audioshield then looks in the Downloads folder for your songs and offers them for play.
We also got confirmation from Fitterer that your Quest will recognize tracks stored in the ‘Music’ folder as well, which can be accessed via a wired file transfer as well. For easily accessing your Quest’s internal file structure, we recommend using something like SideQuest even though it’s not really sideloading if you’re just storing MP3 files.
Games like Audioshield that automatically generate a map based on how the music sounds, using your own MP3s, provide a nearly endless amount of cotnent since you can always just keep loading new song.
Do you plan on getting Audioshield when it releases on Oculus Quest this week, April 16th? Let us know down in the comments below!
Community Download is a weekly discussion-focused articles series published (usually) every Monday in which we pose a single, core question to you all, our readers, in the spirit of fostering discussion and debate. For today, we want to know why you think VR music games are so insanely popular compared to the rest of the VR market?
Back when consumer-grade VR was first starting to really take off in its current iteration in 2016, I did not expect music-based rhythm games to be the genre to really take the medium mainstream. I was wrong.
Ever since Beat Saber exploded onto the scene things have changed. Between Beat Games’ viral sensation, Audica from Harmonix, Audioshield from before both of them, and a slew of other music-based VR game, it’s impossible to look at Steam, PSN, or any of the Oculus Store platforms without coming across a few rhythm VR games. They’re truly everywhere.
My question then is: Why? What about rhythm, dancing, music, and generally audio-heavy games and experiences are so addictive and alluring in VR? Conventional wisdom might tell you that visually immersive and physical content would be the most popular in VR, but in reality it seems like Beat Saber defied logic and single-handedly created its own interpretation of a genre that’s fallen out of fashion with non-VR gamers.
What do you think it is about VR music games that makes them so popular? Is it just left over nostalgia and excitement from the era of DDR, Rock Band, and Guitar Hero, or is it something else? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments below!
It looks like the upcoming Beat Saber announcement that was recently teased for November 7th is a new music pack in partnership with Rocket League developer, Psyonix, and music label Monstercat.
We found out about the new Beat Saber music pack from a video created by YouTuber Get To Da Choppa VR in which he points out a PSN Store listing for the pack was found already ahead of any sort of official announcement. Unless it has been taken down by the time you read this, you can see it listed right here. We’ve also included an image for reference in case it gets taken down prior to release:
As you can tell this new Beat Saber music pack includes six songs, all of which are used in Rocket League, and will cost $8.99:
Tokyo Machine – ‘PLAY’
Stephen Walking – ‘Glide’
Slushii – ‘LUV U NEED U’
Tokyo Machine – ‘ROCK IT’
Dion Timmer – ‘Shiawase’
Slushii & Dion Timmer – ‘Test Me’
Notably, this is the second cheapest Beat Saber music pack to date, ahead of only the $6.99 four-song Panic! at the Disco pack. The music pack follows a trend of focusing mostly on electronic-style music, which is great for fans of that genre. Here’s Tokyo Machine’s PLAY for reference:
Notably, this new Beat Saber music pack that’s partnered with one of the most popular indie games of the generation (Rocket League) launches on the same day as Pistol Whip, Cloudhead Games’ upcoming new rhythm shooter. You can see tons of gameplay footage of that on our YouTube channel and keep an eye out for our review once it launches later this week.
Let us know what you think of the selections down in the comments below!
For today’s livestream we’re diving into the neon-soaked rhythm insanity of Pistol Whip to show off what it’s like from the player’s actual first-person perspective. If you’re curious about how we livestream the way we do then look no further than this handy guide for general tips and this guide specific to our Oculus Quest setup.
Pistol Whip is finally releasing this week on November 7th! To get you ready for its release we’ll be livestreaming the rhythm-based action shooter for the first time using the pre-release build. We can only show five of the songs during the livestream, but we’ll really try and put them through their paces. If you want to read our hands-on preview you can do that here or watch a bunch of great mixed reality videos here.
The Pistol Whip stream is planned to start November 4th at around 2:15PM PT and we’ll aim to last for about an hour or so. We’ll be hitting just YouTube. You can see the full stream embedded via YouTube right here down below once it’s up, or find it here on this page:
You can see lots of our past archived streams over in our YouTube playlist and various other gameplay highlights. There’s lots of good stuff there so make sure and subscribe to us on YouTube to stay up-to-date on gameplay videos, video reviews, interviews, and more original content!
And please let us know which games or discussions you want us to livestream next other than Pistol Whip! We have lots of VR games in the queue that we would love to show off more completely.
It looks like we’ll have some Beat Saber news to share next week.
Beat Games recently put out a tweet simply mentioning a date, November 7, and a GIF of a red beat. The beat is moving from one side to another and the background behind it is blurred, but appears to be moving.
To us, it seems like this could be hinting at the 360 degree levels we’ve been waiting on for a while. Beat Games first revealed this feature at E3 in June. It turns the game on its head, quite literally. Notes fly in from all angles, getting you to twist and turn rather than just looking down a straight line.
Back at E3 Beat Games said this feature would likely only be available for Oculus Quest. Quest, of course, doesn’t require any wires, so you won’t be tripping up as you spin around. That said, the developer did say that it was looking into other forms of support for wired headsets, perhaps implementing 180 degree levels instead of 360 degrees.
The only question is will this feature go live next Friday or will we simply get a release date for it? Beat Games did say support was coming this year, so we’re hoping it will be out that day.
November 7 will be a big day for VR in general. That’s the same release date for Pistol Whip, the frantic new rhythm action game from Cloudhead Games. The two games are set to go head-to-head for the virtual crown of rhythm action games, then.
Audio Trip aims to be the definitive VR dance game, featuring music from your favorite artists: Lady Gaga, Skrillex, Zedd, deadmau5, and more! Catch gems, ride ribbons, dodge barriers, and smash drums on YOUR Audio Trip!