Hello There Games’ AVICII Invector originally launched for flat screen systems back in 2019, but now they’re bringing the experience to VR gamers with an Oculus/Meta Quest 2 release of the game. Time for a closer look as AVICII Invector: Encore Edition.
Ever since publisher Wired Productions first announced AVICII Invector, we’ve been interested in it because we enjoy Tim Bergling’s music, so when a VR port was announced we couldn’t wait to go hands on with it. After all, games like Beat Saber and Synth Riders are consistent favorites on every headset we have here, and in terms of the tracklist it seemed like Invector was a shoe-in.
Does it deliver? Yes, it’s an excellent rhythm-based game, and this is the best way to play it as well. However, compared to games like Beat Saber it doesn’t make the most out of the medium it’s now been released for. For starters, the game is controlled with a pair of Touch controllers but doesn’t make any use of its motion controlling capabilities. In other words, you just hold both controllers in front of you and use them like you would a regular gamepad. It works fine (as long as you have the touch layout sort of memorized) but it also feels like a missed opportunity – even though we understand that it would have been hard to make the core mechanics work just as well with motion controls. But having ‘motion controlled sections’ or a freestyle bit in some tracks could have been fun, especially with AVICII’s brand of uplifting dance music.
The Encore Edition also doesn’t fully leave its flat screen roots behind. While the tracks themselves are beautiful and enchanting to play through, as you zip through colorful and vibrant 3D spaces, the cutscenes in the game are presented on a hovering flat screen panel in front of you rather than through VR scenes. While it would have been quite the undertaking to rebuild all that just for the VR version, it does make the game stand out against VR-dedicated music titles in a negative way.
That probably sounds overly critical though, AVICII Invector is a great game to play in VR because of its accessible gameplay and pleasant learning curve that makes it fun to keep trying to push for higher scores. And, if you enjoy electronic dance music, it has one of the best and most recognizable tracklists you’re going to find – this version even has ten additional tracks when you compare it to the base version we reviewed back in the day. From classic chart-topping tracks like Wake Me Up, Hey Brother and Levels to songs that were released posthumously, it’s all here and it makes for a wonderful audiovisual tribute to the late artist.
For VR gamers who enjoy EDM, this one’s a must-have. Its biggest drawback is that it doesn’t make that much use of VR as a medium, in a space where games like Beat Saber and Synth Riders were built for VR from the ground up. In an audiovisual sense, however, Invector’s gameplay comes alive more than ever before in VR, and solid gameplay and a stellar tracklist make it easy to forgive that this isn’t the most VR-enabled rhythm game out there.