Review: Electronauts (PSVR)

Review: Electronauts (PSVR)

Platforms:

  • PlayStation 4
  • Oculus Rift
  • HTC Vive
  • Arcade

Platform/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4 Pro
  • HDTV

Extras:

  • PlayStation VR Required
  • DualShock 4 None
  • Move Required (2)
  • PS VR Aim Controller None
  • Cross-Buy Yes
  • Cross-Save Yes
  • Cross-Play No
  • Cross-Chat No
Title: Electronauts
Format: PSN (1.88 GB)
Release Date: August 7, 2018
Publisher: Survios
Developer: Survios
Original MSRP: $19.99 (US), £16.99 (UK)
ESRB Rating: T
PEGI: 3
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Audio Review:
The audio review for this game is available on Episode 585 of the podcast at 61:52.
PS Nation Podcast Episode 588 - Get Your Warface On

Gameplay:
Electronauts is a music game unlike any you’ve ever played before. This isn’t Rock Band or Guitar Hero with notes coming down a highway. It isn’t a call and response rhythm game like PaRappa the Rapper or Samba de Amigo. It certainly isn’t a dance game like Dance Central or DanceDanceRevolution, though you may find yourself dancing as you play. It isn’t even MTV Music Generator, although that’s at least on the same continent, but not quite the same ballpark.

Review: Electronauts (PSVR) Review: Electronauts (PSVR)

Electronauts is a music generation game. It allows you to take all the disparate elements of a song and effortlessly blend them together into your own creation, even if you’ve never played an instrument in your life. I know that sounds impossible, but believe me, it’s not.

Using the PlayStation Move controllers as virtual drumstick-like wands, you’ll be creating your own personal masterpiece in no time. You’re an astronaut on a platform surrounded by all manner of electronic consoles and an in-depth, interactive tutorial will get you up to speed pretty quickly.

After that, you’re left to your own devices. Choosing a song from the thirty-nine available tracks is easy enough, especially since you may not be familiar with the Electronic Dance Music (EDM), DJ’s, and occasional Hip-Hop artists the playlists leans heavily on. You can sort by Song, Artist, or Genre, the latter of which can be very useful when the rest are unfamiliar.

Once you pick your backing track you’re placed on a floating performance platform that travels across a very TRON-esque landscape. You can easily loop sections of the music, select specific instruments, and create a wide range of effects using the Move and T buttons along with your motions almost exclusively.

Review: Electronauts (PSVR) Review: Electronauts (PSVR)

It’s incredibly deep and infectiously fun. This is exactly the kind of VR experience that was made for a party. With a little bit of instruction almost anyone can create beautiful music with very little effort. Going that extra mile though can really bring the track to life.

This is all made possible by something Survios is calling the Music Reality Engine™. With it, the music is always on key, no matter what crazy effects and sounds you’re adding, and it never skips a beat, so everything sounds smooth and professional.

I was nervous when I ran through the tutorial. It seemed like there were too many knobs and switches and I didn’t know how I would ever remember it all. Once I got into my first track though, all the anxiety melted away and I found myself smiling, laughing, and dancing my way through an epic thirty minute masterpiece.

I was dropping in vocal tracks, mixing in the chorus every now and then, recording drum sequences on a series of orbs, and lobbing audio grenades to punctuate the beats. It was amazing. You even have a selfie pole so you can see yourself grooving to the beats. I can’t believe how much fun I was having.

Review: Electronauts (PSVR) Review: Electronauts (PSVR)

Visuals:
An experience like this won’t work without an excellent user interface and it’s clear that a lot of thought was put into how everything is laid out and how easy it is to get around the menus and customize the control decks. The only place I got a little confused was in the recording section where you can save a clip of what you’ve done.

The landscape will morph along with your song as you glide across it and you can exert some control over it yourself by changing the colors and such before you even start. It’s a good way to set the exact mood you’re going for.

Audio:
Thirty-nine tracks are available right from the start and while it leans heavily on EDM, there’s a good chance you’ll find a groove that works for you. All of the different sounds, instruments, effects, and such that are available to you fit seamlessly into the songs you’re creating/remixing like magic.

Full Tracklist

Online/Multiplayer:
While Electronauts has a multiplayer component on other platforms, it didn’t make it to PlayStation VR. In a party situation however, using the selfie pole allows you to control what everyone else is seeing on the TV so you can put together a full dynamic performance if you want.

Review: Electronauts (PSVR) Review: Electronauts (PSVR)

Conclusion:
Survios takes another step forward in VR innovation with Electronauts and once again hits a home run. With about five minutes of training, anyone can become a musician in this sci-fi flavored virtual space.

I’m floored by how easy it is and how much fun it is to make really good music. It’s an incredibly relaxing experience and it’s great for stress relief at the end of a hard day. I dare you to go into the Electronauts world and not enjoy yourself.

Score:
9.0

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

Written by Josh Langford

Josh Langford

Josh has been gaming since 1977 starting with the Atari 2600.
He currently owns 26 different consoles and 6 different handhelds (all hooked up and in working condition) including all consoles from the current generation.

Josh is currently the US PR & Marketing Manager for Fountain Digital Labs and has recused himself from any involvement on PS Nation arising from posting or editing any news or reviews stemming from FDL.

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