Harmonix today announced a brand new VR rhythm game on Twitter called Audica. From the footage, it appears to be a mix of first-person shooter mechanics with the same rhythm-based style of musical gameplay that the developer has become known for.
Other than the announcement tweet and the first trailer, we know next to nothing about Audica at this time. You can see the trailer here:
Here’s what the Steam page says:
Audica is a VR rhythm shooter from Harmonix, the creators of Rock Band ™ and Dance Central ™. Armed with a pair of rhythm blasters, you shoot and smash targets to the beat of a soundtrack featuring songs from some of the world’s most popular electronic artists. The better your timing, accuracy and form, the better your score. The higher your score, the higher your place in the Audica rankings.
Audica is incredibly intuitive and immersive from the first time you play the game – use your blue and orange blasters to shoot color-coded targets to beat in a breathtaking cosmic arena. On expert difficulty, Audica’s gameplay is intense and demanding. If you want to claim a place at the top of the leaderboards, you’ll have to practice until you and your blasters become one, performing a tightly choreographed ballet of dazzling brilliance.
You’d be hard pressed to find a better set of alliterations than “beat burst ballet” to describe what I saw in the trailer. It’s an A + slinging word right there.
In an exclusive interview with Game Informer, Harmonix co-founder Alex Rigopulos provided a few more details. It turns out that Audica is actually made from the remnants of the canceled musical shooter, Chroma, which Harmonix had started prototyping years ago.
According to the interview, in Audica, you use dual-wield VR guns to aim at targets of different colors and shapes similar to skeet shooting. There is a circle that closes around each target and once it’s fully closed that’s the exact moment you need to shoot it while the music is blaring. In a way, it looks and looks a bit like Audioshield or Beat Saber, but it’s based on a gun rather than a sweep or a punch.
Audica’s soundtrack will primarily focus on electronic music. When it releases in Early Access, it will feature ten songs in total, the first five of which are:
- 1788-L & Blanke “Destiny”
- Alison Wonderland “I want you”
- Donna Summer “I Feel Love (Afrojack Remix)”
- James Egbert “The Space”
- Scholar “Splinter”
As a fan of Harmonix’s work for years (even before Rock Band, going all the way back to Frequency and Amplitude almost 20 years ago), I’m delighted to see them still involved in VR. Harmonix Music VR on PSVR was an interesting, if largely missing, eclectic collection of musical minigames, while Rock Band VR on Rift had some really good ideas to go. Even SingSpace on Gear VR on Go, a VR karaoke game, was having a great time with the right people.
Audica will be their fourth VR game, so I can’t wait to see the lessons they’ve learned and applied over the past few years. You can expect to play Audica on Oculus Rift and HTC Vive as an Early Access game on March 7, 2019. It will be on both Oculus Home and Steam.
Harmonix “hopes” to finally bring Audica to PSVR and Quest. You can join Harmonix Discord for more details as the Early Access launch approaches and see the official site. Tell us what you think of the game in the comments below!