Harmonix has announced a new virtual reality “rhythm shooter” game called Audica, which is launching as an Early Access game for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive on March 7th. Based on the first trailer, it’s a musical shooting gallery reminiscent of AudioShield or Beat Saber, another VR title that turns highly physical combat into a rhythm mechanic.
Audica is the latest of several Harmonix VR music games, including its 2017 game Rock Band VR. Its initial version will come with 10 songs and one weapon set. By late 2019, it’s supposed to have 25 or more songs that you can play with several different weapons and environments. According to Game Informer, which previewed the game, Audica focuses on electronic music. Its launch songs include “I Want U” by Alison Wonderland, Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love (Afrojack Remix),” and “Splinter” by Savant.
Audica is primarily licensed music, with some custom tracks by Harmonix “friends and family,” as with Harmonix’s earlier Guitar Hero and Rock Band games. To play it, you’ve got to shoot blue and orange targets with one of two color-coded pistols — sometimes straight-on and sometimes with a twist, like turning your gun or holding the trigger to drag the shot in a curve.
Harmonix’s trailer doesn’t make playing Audica look like standing in a shooting range or even playing a musical shooter like Rez Infinite. It features lots of sweeping, Beat Saber-esque gestures as the player tries to hit a barrage of targets; company co-founder Alex Rigopulos calls its style “choreographic” and dance-like.
The trailer actually makes Audica look a little bit overstuffed with different shooting mechanics and not necessarily as streamlined and intuitive as Beat Saber where you’re effectively just swinging sticks around and dodging obstacles. But the experience of playing it might be totally different, and we’ll be able to play it in just a few weeks.