Harmonix didn’t find much success with Rock Band 4 back in 2015, but the legendary music game developer is back with another title that blends shooting with bumping beats.
Shoot to the beat
Audica is set to a classic Harmonix soundtrack, but replaces lines of notes or plastic instruments with targets that you must accurately shoot in time with the tunes. You have access to two different blasters – one orange and one blue. The targets you hit are color-coded so you must use the correct one when firing.
Harmonix said the soundtrack contains music from “some of the world’s most popular electronic artists,” and if the launch trailer is anything to go by, it will force you to move quite quickly as you attempt to get a high score. This will be judged based not only on your shot accuracy, but also on your timing and your form itself. Because of this, it looks to be a great choice for fitness enthusiasts, almost as a form of dancing.
Harmonix is no stranger to the dance game genre, either, having developed four Dance Central games for Xbox systems. The emphasis is on form over flair in Audica, however, which could also make it a good option for those looking to improve their posture or balance.
Early access for now
Audica will launch in early access on the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive on March 7, with a full release planned for the end of 2019. The full version of the game will have more than 25 songs, along with a campaign mode, practice mode, more environments and weapons, more leaderboard functionality, and “possibly new gameplay mechanics.” In early access, the game will have 10 songs and four difficulty levels for each of them, and the price will be reduced. With any luck, it will take off like Beat Saber did and give Harmonix the attention it deserves again.
We’ll see if Harmonix is able to replicate the fitness potential of Beat Saber, as well, which won our award for Best VR Fitness game in 2018. Its similarity to BoxVR, which replaces shooting for punching, is also clear, and that game’s strength and cardio workout has us very excited to give Audica a go. BoxVR is designed with fitness in mind, however, including a calorie counter. Audica doesn’t have that — at least not yet.