There is a bright future ahead for VR games which use the element of music in a creative way. Audio Arena is a great example of how this concept can work in the future. This single-player game for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift lets the music create the game for you. This leads to some unique content every time you boot up the game, which improves the overall replayability of the game. For the price of $6.99, there is a fair amount of content to enjoy right now.
Audio Arena is A Good Game With Some Flaws
It is evident game like Audio Arena are not going to work for everyone right away. Especially because this is a mobile VR game ported to mainstream PC headsets, there will be some complaints along the way. On paper, the concept works quite well. The player controls a spaceship and needs to avoid enemies. These enemies are generated based on the in-game music playing in your headset. Moreover, there is a fair bit of variation among these enemies as well, with variance in movement speed, enemies eating one another, et cetera.
For anyone who played any other VR rhythm-based game in VR in the past, Audio Arena is difficult to compare with anything else that uses a similar model. Players who pick up this game should have no real expectations, though, as the game is not without flaws either. Not being able to select your own songs is a big problem, but it is something that may be added later on. With several stages to go through, there are plenty of songs to listen to and enemies to avoid. Every level also has a few challenges for players to complete, which makes the overall experience a bit more enjoyable.
On the in-game mechanics front, Audio Arena seems to work quite well, even though it is pretty basic overall. With just one ship to control and no 3D depth to any of the environments, there certainly is room for further improvements. Controlling the ship can be done through controllers, although using the ‘Gaze” option works quite well. Then again, both of these options feel rather basic as well, but for the price of $6.99, it’s difficult to complain.A more punishing gaming difficulty would also be appreciated, as that is not present in the current iteration of the game.
The big question is whether or not Audio Arena needed to be ported to an HTC Vive or Oculus Rift. While the developers want to bring this game to as many people as possible, it seems the basic functionality of this game and lack of customization will turn off a lot of potential players. It’s a fun game to play once and perhaps never touch again, even though we do enjoy the more relaxed nature of Audio Arena. Anyone looking for a more “hardcore” challenging rhythm-based game may want to look for other options, though.
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