Beat Saber slices through the leaderboards

Hyperbolic Magnetism’s, a game studio, highly anticipated game Beat Saber sold fifty thousand copies within its first week of release. Now, it is currently on the top selling virtual reality games on Steam and has an overwhelmingly positive rating on virtual reality platforms, and it is easy to see why.

Beat Saber’s concept is simple; as the player, you are given two different lightsabers. During the game, a sequence of color-coded boxes are flying at you with a song (generally electro) playing in the background. The objective of the game is to hit the colored boxes with the corresponding saber.

Its simplicity is what makes the game so popular among gamers, but its ultimate strength is its “game feel,” or in other words, how the game feels to play. Slicing through the boxes triggers a sound effect as well as haptic feedback through the controllers, which makes the player feel like he is orchestrating the soundtrack. In addition, the lack of resistance players get from cutting the boxes in half gives the illusion of power and makes the player feel unstoppable. The light trail left behind when players move a saber adds to the “powerhouse feeling” that is a byproduct of playing the game. This gives Beat Saber that StarWars vibe that players often praise it for.    

Players are given the option of playing three different modes: Standard, No Arrows and One Saber. Out of all the modes, One Saber is by far the most physically challenging because unlike the other modes, where your swings have time in between them and give you momentum for the next swing. One Saber gives you neither of those luxuries, meaning the main obstacle for One Saber mode is speed. Because of how strenuous some modes and difficulties can be, people often view Beat Saber as an exercise game, even though that’s not how it’s marketed. Some fitness channels have even experimented with supplementing it for elements of their normal exercise routines. Some mods, or modifications, players add to the game actually allow them to see the average heart rate and calories that they can burn from a song.

Mods in Beat Saber can add custom colors, custom sabers, custom avatars and multiplayer to the gameplay. But by far the most popular mod is the custom songs. As the name suggests, this mod allows you to add virtually any song to your Beat Saber playlist. These songs are made by the beat saber community and are also choreographed to match the music. Want to play “Take on Me” by A-ha? You can do that, and in fact, it’s the most played custom song on Beat Saber. Do you want to play the entire audio of the Shrek movie? Probably not, but you can also do that if you’re feeling determined. Overall, Beat Saber is one of those games that would make you go out and buy a headset for. And if not play, then binge watch streamers play. A 10/10 game.

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