Perhaps one of the most uplifting rhythm-based games we’ve played in quite a while, Avicii Invector is out now on for Xbox One, Playstation 4 and PC. We took a look at the PS4 version.
The rhythm-based genre faded away there for a while, when the last few Rock Band and Guitar Hero games didn’t do as well anymore. We’ve seen several smaller games use rhythm effectively though, including this year’s Songbird Symphony and Tetris Effect. Beat Saber’s been incredibly popular within the VR scene as well, though most of these games lack something those big franchises used to have – stellar licensed soundtracks.
Avicii Invector most certainly doesn’t have this problem, as it spans the Swedish producer/DJ’s career which was sadly cut short due to his suicide last year. It features all of his well-known hits as well as a few lesser-known ones and tracks that were release posthumously. The one song that’s missing is Bergling’s Bromance, which was released under the Tim Berg name, but tracks like Levels, Fade into Darkness, Hey Brother and Wake Me Up are all accounted for.
The game was created as a collaboration between Hello There Games and Tim Bergling himself, and has now been released as a much-improved re-release of the game Invector. Featuring new visuals and an expanded tracklist, this is also the first time players can go hands on with the game if they don’t own a PS4.
It’s interesting to see that Avicii Invector features a story mode that’s delivered through cutscenes, but the story itself is incredibly forgettable – featuring a look inside the spacecraft you’re controlling to hear your pilot Stella complain about her ship breaking down. It’s hard to do a story in a rhythm-based game unless the music complements the story (like in Songbird Symphony) or you’re doing a “rise to fame” kind of career mode, because otherwise the two parts feel somewhat disconnected.
Luckily, the gameplay itself is excellent, and (provided you’re a fan of his work) the soundtrack is stellar. The game plays out a little bit like Audiosurf, though with heavily polished HD graphics. Flying through a pre-designed level hitting the right button at the right moment is something that players of other rhythm-based titles will instantly recognize, but although this is a newcomer-friendly game it helps if you’re familiar with the Dualshock button layout. The game visually tells you which button to press, but when it’s not a d-pad button then it helps to know where the square and circle buttons are without looking – which is a bit of a learning curve for friends you have over who aren’t Playstation players themselves.
Avicii’s songs are still every bit as uplifting as when they were first released, and this game captures that with addictive gameplay and an audiovisual spectacle that’s as great to watch as it is to play. With a lack of diversity in visual style (and some might say in music as well) I could see this one being best suited to shorter (1 hour) gameplay sessions, but those sessions are a lot of fun – especially in local multiplayer mode when you have friends and/or family members around. With rhythm-based gameplay that’s easy to play yet tough to master, it’s hard to not enjoy this as long as you have even a mild affinity for Avicii’s work.