Audica is Harmonix’s new VR music shooter
Harmonix announced a brand new VR rhythm game on Twitter today called Audica. Based on the footage it looks like it’s a mixture of first-person shooter mechanics with the same style of rhythm-based music gameplay the developer has become known for.
Other than the announcement tweet and debut trailer we know basically nothing about Audica at this time. You can see the announcement trailer here:
Here’s what the Steam page has to say:
Audica is a VR Rhythm Shooter from Harmonix, the makers of Rock Band™ and Dance Central™. Armed with a pair of rhythm blasters, you shoot and smash targets to the beat of a soundtrack featuring songs from some of the world’s most popular electronic artists. The better your timing, accuracy and form, the better your score. The better your score, the higher your place on the Audica Leaderboards.
Audica is incredibly intuitive and immersive from the first time you play – use your blue and orange blasters to shoot color-coded targets to the beat while in a breathtaking cosmic arena. On expert difficulty, Audica gameplay is intense and exacting. If you want to claim a spot at the top of the leaderboards, you’ll need to practice until you and your blasters become one, performing a tightly choreographed ballet of beat-blasting brilliance.
You’d be hard-pressed for me to come up with a better series of alliteration than “ballet of beat-blasting brilliance” to describe what I saw in the trailer. That’s A+ word-slinging right there.
In an exclusive interview with Game Informer, Harmonix co-founder Alex Rigopulos dished some extra details. As it turns out, Audica is actually crafted from the remnants of the canceled competitive music shooter, Chroma, that Harmonix had started prototyping years ago.
According to the interview, in Audica you dual-wield VR guns to take aim at targets that form out of different colors and shapes similar to skeet shooting. There is a circle closing around each target and once it is fully closed that’s the precise moment you should shoot it as the music thumps along. In a way, it looks and feels a bit like Audioshield or Beat Saber, but is gun-based rather than swiping or punching.
Audica’s soundtrack will focus mostly on electronic music. When it releases in early access that will include ten total songs, the first five of which are:
- 1788-L & Blanke “Destiny”
- Alison Wonderland “I Want U”
- Donna Summer “I Feel Love (Afrojack Remix)”
- James Egbert “The Space”
- Savant “Splinter”
As someone that’s been a fan of Harmonix’s work for years (even before Rock Band, going all the way back to Frequency and Amplitude from nearly 20 years ago) I’m excited to see them still involved with VR. Harmonix Music VR on PSVR was an interesting, albeit overall lacking, eclectic collection of music mini games, while Rock Band VR on Rift had some really great ideas implemented. Even SingSpace on Gear VR on Go, a VR karaoke game, was a good time with the right people.
Audica will be their fourth VR game so I’m excited to see what lessons they’ve learned and applied from the last several years. You can look forward to playing Audica on Oculus Rift and HTC Vive as an Early Access game on March 7th, 2019. It’ll be on both Oculus Home and Steam.
Harmonix “hopes” to bring Audica to PSVR and Quest eventually as well. You can join the Harmonix Discord for more details as it nears Early Access launch and see the official website.