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AVICII Invector

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Genre: Rhythm
Developer: Hello There
Release Date: Jan. 27, 2022


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PC VR Review - 'AVICII Invector: Encore Edition'

by Cody Medellin on Aug. 2, 2022 @ 12:30 a.m. PDT

AVICII Invector is a rhythm action EDM adventure, offering a seamless fusion between gameplay, graphics, and music.

AVICII Invector was released in 2019 on multiple platforms, and it was a hit. The late EDM producer's music worked well with the ethereal backgrounds, and the gameplay followed the "easy to learn, hard to master" ethos that has been sacrament to general game design. After the release of some DLC and a port to the Switch, AVICII Invector: Encore Edition makes it to Meta Quest 2, where rhythm games are almost a staple for the VR platform.

For those who haven't played the other incarnations on other platforms, the gameplay is similar to Amplitude but takes place in a triangular tunnel rather than a few parallel note highways. As in most rhythm games, you'll press the face buttons in time with their appearance on the note highway, but the iconography is more pronounced since you can't look down on your Touch Controllers to verify that you're hitting the correct ones. The triggers also represent the line notes and are what you'll hold down as sustained notes. There are also arrows that need hitting with either thumbstick that act as notes as well as highway switchers, so you can get notes that are worth more points in the song. On top of that, there are bonus sections where your ship is no longer bound to a highway, and you can fly through large rings for bonus points.

For the most part, the actual rhythm sections aren't too complicated. Each track has four different difficulty levels, but only the hardest one tries to trip you up; if you falter, the others know when to pull back to get you back in the rhythm. No matter what difficulty you're playing on, you'll find that the notes are placed logically, as opposed to catering to controlled button-mashing. You'll also find this to be an experience, as the music blends well with the neon-soaked environments. In short, it feels like a rhythm game done right thanks to some familiar mechanics.

There are only a few complaints related to gameplay. The first isn't necessarily the fault of the game, as it can experience some hitches when the headset receives notifications and achievements. It's almost as if the system is punishing you for being good. The second has to do with the cut scenes that bookend each song. Instead of re-doing them in VR, the team decided to retain the motion comic's 2D look by presenting it as a flat movie. For some, this is a bit disappointing to see the immersion broken, but most people won't be bothered by it since the story isn't exactly a draw.

The Encore Edition includes all of the DLC released thus far, bringing up the number of playable songs to 35. The DLC is open from the start, but you need to unlock the rest by completing the songs in the previous playlist, just like in the regular game. To be fair, if you take away all of the user-made content and DLC from the bigger games like Beat Saber and Synth Riders, then the list is comparable. However, with the knowledge that no more DLC will be coming to the game while others are getting it constantly, the library can feel rather small. That's no fault of the developers, as there's only so much you can put in for what is essentially a tribute to the late Tim Bergling, but it is something to consider.

The game wasn't initially built with VR in mind, so those expecting to see notes translated into motions will be left disappointed. The same goes for those hoping that motions would also be used in the brief flying sequences. The main use for VR is in the environments, which are now engrossing thanks to VR's expanded field of vision. Much like Tetris Effect, it's all about immersion as you fly through each of the landscapes that accompany the song. The light show hits a bit more impressively without becoming an epilepsy trap. If you're susceptible to motion sickness, you should skip this game. You might be fine during most of the sequences since they take place in tunnels, but their transparent nature means that the presence of the environments can still mess you up. The bonus areas where you're freely flying through rings can make you feel uneasy almost immediately.

AVICII Invector: Encore Edition hasn't been hurt at all by the translation to VR. The traditional control scheme has ported well to the controllers, while the blending of music and environments creates a mesmerizing experience. The presence of so few songs compared to a good deal of other rhythm games can be disappointing, since the chances of more DLC is almost nil, but for those who aren't prone to motion sickness, this is another great addition to the Quest 2's rhythm game library.

Score: 8.0/10

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