Electronauts is a hard game to review, mainly because it seems like less of a traditional game and more of a music maker kit. Don’t be put off, though, as for any budding musicians out there, Electronauts serves up a decent experience.
Naturally, you’re going to need a PSVR headset to play the game, as well as two PS Move wand controllers. You can’t play the game any other way, so don’t even bother asking about PSVR Aim support…
Like I say, it’s hard to call Electronauts a pure game. In a game there is an objective; a definitive start and, most of the time, a definitive end. Electronauts does not comply to the normal conventions, and instead lets you do whatever you damn well like.
The first hour or so of Survios’ music maker will see you learning the ropes. This is not an easy one to get to grips with, but once you know what’s what, you’ll soon be making banging anthems in no time. It’s just that it does take to really get good at using the various tools that the developers have provided.
Thankfully you are guided somewhat and the tools are clearly labelled so even a dummy like me can differentiate between different parts of a song. You’ve got your Intro, Build, Drop, Break, Deep, Outro, and then the freestyle tools and even a video-gamey bomb that lets you knock out a one-off percussion to break things up.
If you’re shaking at the thought of creating music with Electronauts, worry not. Even if you’re a complete novice when it comes to music, the game works behind the scenes to make sure that whatever you create ends up sounding at least half decent. I won’t lie, some of the “tracks” I made were downright awful. I guess it doesn’t help that I’m not really into electronic music, or dance music, or any music that isn’t specifically The Killers. But that’s just me, and I still managed to have a good time with the game over the last few weeks.
With over 40 tracks to splice and tweak, there’s no shortage of music to make. If you happen to be a musically gifted lad or lady, you can delve a little deeper into Electronauts’ toolkit and create something from scratch. You’ll still rely on the in-game backing vocals and basics, but if you’ve got the time, talent, and patience, there’s no reason you can’t do more.
Electronauts is not only a unique experience, but it’s also a visual treat. The game presents you with a Daft Punk-inspired stage where your in-game avatar even dons a Daft Punk-esque outfit. You could say this is effectively Daft Punk: The Game, minus the official endorsement.
I spent my time with the game on both PS4 Slim and my recently purchased PS4 Pro, and no matter which console you game on, the presentation is still top-tier. There’s no squinting to make out text, though the usual VR limitations are in play.
Controls are decent and intuitive. Using the wands exclusively was a little worrying at first; the game requires you to pick up different tools and place them, as well as using the wands as a pointer. Thankfully Survious has come up trumps once again. I experienced very little, if any, issues with tracking of the headset or controllers, so the frustrations were all due to my inability to make a decent dance track. My two-year old boy, Charlie, is known to dance to anything, but he won’t dance to Daddy’s music. Make of that what you will…
Electronauts PSVR Review
Electronauts is an oddity. It's a brilliant music tool and even the most amateur of DJs can slap a track together with a few waves of their magic, musical PS Move wands. For some that may be enough, but for others it may seem too little. A few more "gamey" features could have done the game wonders, but it's not a bad experience if you go in knowing it is, first and foremost, a musical experience and not a full-on video game. VR is changing things, isn't it?
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a copy of the game provided by the publisher. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Reviewed using PS4 Slim and PS4 Pro.
Chris has been writing about gaming news for far too long, and now he’s doing it even more. A true PlayStation know-it-all, Chris has owned just about every Sony console that ever existed. Trophies are like crack to this fella.