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Beat Saber bops out of early access

Beater than ever

Beat Saber's $100 Bills is an obnoxious song that I cannot remove from my brain. It's the musical equivalent of a bloke sidling up to you in a pub and asking if you want to see his armpits. Fortunately, Beat Saber has other songs, and makes slicing beats so satisfying that sometimes I don't even care that armpit man won't stop grunting about how wealthy he is.

If you own either a Vive or an Oculus and like either music, lightsabers or a good time, this is one of the best games to throw your VR moolah at. Especially now that it's slashed its way out of early access with a level editor.

Firstly, here is a much better song called Crab Rave.

Watch on YouTube

I haven't savoured any beats since I moved city and discovered I'm too lazy to put up shelves for my sensors, but before that I had a blast. Watching that crab rave instantly painted a grin on my face, rekindling my memories of ducking and slicing and thinking I look far, far cooler than I did. It's a rhythm game where each note arrives when it's supposed to, where playing well feels like playing music. And being played by it. It's weird.

That's largely because each track is made by hand, rather than cobbled together by AI like most tracks in Audiosurf or Audioshield. I'm a wee bit weary of community levels made in the new editor not reaching the same standard, but I suspect that worry will prove to be for naught. The cream will rise, and I might finally overcome my deep-seated loathing of DIY.

Developers Beat Games say they're not done yet, calling this "the beginning". More music from "big name artists" will drop throughout this year, both in paid-for packs and free additions. The devs also mention "many ideas for upcoming features and improvements", though don't mention what they are.

That's fine. When I played about seven months ago, all Beat Saber felt like it needed was more songs and a level editor. And maybe fewer songs that made me want to dunk my head into bowls of porridge.

Watch on YouTube

Beat Saber is available on Steam and the Oculus Store for £24/$30/€30.

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