- Game: Rock Band VR
- Platform: Oculus
- Price: $49.99
- Developer: Harmonix
- Publisher: Oculus
- Genre: Music Simulation
- Additional Hardware Required: Oculus Touch + Rock Band 4 Guitar
Rock Band VR uses Oculus Rift technology to take you out of the front-room band set-up familiar to players of Guitar Hero, and into the body of a real rock star. Put on the VR helmet and you find yourself on stage, with your very own band and screaming fans in front of you, while two sensors in the room help you figure out where to stand and how far you can extend your rock-out poses.
At first, it was baffling, and I felt completely out of my comfort zone as I was taken through what seemed like an extremely complicated tutorial. It only got more complicated when I looked down at my dangling guitar. As you can’t see your hands, learning and playing the chords is tricky. The game took me through the basics but I was left strumming hopelessly out of tune, with no rhythm. Still, I needn’t have worried. After 10 minutes or so I had just about managed to pick it up.
The experience was otherwise very impressive. I was surprised by the light head set, allowing lots of freedom to look where you want without discomfort, and the atmosphere in the game was extraordinary. Looking around at your band members and giving the drummer a nod to let him know you’re ready to go gives you a real sense of being in the moment as he counts you in for the first song.
On top of this, you can transport yourself to different areas of the stage – how about up front with the lead singer? Or maybe you want to play your guitar solo with the drummer right by your side? After your first gig, you will be taken back to your interactive band lounge, where you will find the rest of your group chilling, sleeping and chatting, along with a sleeping goat on the floor next to you. You know, because rock n’ roll.
Rock Band VR has not forgotten what came before it, either. “Classic mode” is available, too, to take you back the original Rock Band format. It’s a nice touch.
When asked by the producers what I thought after the demo, all I could muster was “amazing”. It’s not hyperbole. You feel an incredible sense of excitement and adrenaline when you stand in front of a sold-out stadium and play your favorite song. It’s a cliche, but it’s like you’re there. The only thing missing? A stage dive.
Credits: Adi Robertson – The Verge.