Title: AVICII Invector
Developer: Hello There Games
Release Date: December 10, 2020
Reviewed On: PS4
Publisher: Wired Productions
Rhythm games come in all shapes and sizes, which means each time I jump into a new franchise, I’m unsure of what to expect. I don’t think I was quite ready for the Hello Games Developed rhythm game AVICII Invector. Not only did the team take an interesting approach at the genre, but the entire soundtrack has been created by the DJ AVICII, who passed away in 2018. With that in mind, I suppose this game is also an homage to this man’s life through his work. Thankfully, it is a great representation of his accomplishments in the music industry.
AVICII Invector does try to weave a story in with its rhythm gameplay, but it never really stuck with me and I don’t think I ever liked it. For the most part, these story bits of a girl flying around the universe in a space ship only serve as a transition between the theme of levels. Each set of songs has a different background to them, but the songs don’t necessarily represent the themes.
AVICII Invector’s rhythm elements are what you’re here for though so the story can be skipped with no harm to the experience. Rhythm gameplay in AVICII Invector can become a bit complicated during your first to through the game. Players act as a ship as they tap buttons to the beat of the song as notes flow towards them from the back of the screen. Simple enough, right?
Well AVICII Invector likes to do some new things by taking players are several different rhythm boards during each level. At times, players will be tapping away on a traditional rhythm game layout, but then the level will transition to a triangle layout where players will travel up the walls as they tap to the beat. However, that’s not all, the game then takes players through another layout where they’ll need to fly their ship through circular goals. This makes levels a bit more interactive and fun as the levels are constantly changing and you have to adjust accordingly.
When it comes to the songs, AVICII was a world-renowned DJ with some standout tracks. The game features 25 of those songs, and they are each fun to play over multiple times, save for like two tracks that I didn’t feel fit in with the others. However, given that these are all AVICII songs, the tracks have a tendency to sound pretty similar as if you’re playing one long version of a remix. For fans of the DJ, this isn’t a problem, but I imagine that it might not transition well with someone just looking for a new rhythm game experience.
AVICII Invector is a fairly complex rhythm game across all of its difficulties. Each difficulty introduces another button on the controller to press, but if one thing is consistent throughout each difficulty its that you’ll be pressing the L1 button a lot. Bars are represented on the screen to prompt the player to press the shoulder button followed with either d-pad or face buttons. Surprisingly, this ends up feeling a bit comfortable after getting used to it.
That said, the Square and Circle colors are just way too similar and caused me to mess up more than a few times. Furthermore, the easiest difficulty is just way too slows for these fast songs, so I found more comfort in playing on the harder difficulties to which this game does take some skill to master. During gameplay, players will be able to initiate a boost that speeds up their craft and gives extra points. However, this does make things rather hectic so you have to be ready after it starts or you’ll end up wasting the boost. Additionally, the game seems to slow down a bit when you make too many mistakes, which I found a bit jarring as it caused me to make more mistakes as I tried to correct myself.
There is a very capable multiplayer mode in this game where players can go head to head in local matches. An interesting design choice allows players to each choose their own difficulty, which makes this mode fun for even those who aren’t too good at it. Still, I never felt like the rhythm elements in this game were approachable to others. There are times where things just get a bit dizzy or you accidentally press right when you’re supposed to press left and are completely thrown off.
What ends up holding AVICII Invector back is the size of the tracklist and the lack of variety in the music. This is mostly to be expected given that the game was made specifically to house these tracks and the game does unique things to keep the player invested. Still, what I found most appealing was the actual environments and the way the levels flowed from one layout to another. If this game was truly crafted for this man’s songs then they did a great job at creating a stage for them.
With the addition to the extra modes and great presentation, AVICII Invector is a nice way to spend an afternoon playing a rhythm game. The multiplayer features also offer a way for friends to play through the tracks together and battle it out for a high score. What the game lacks is longevity, you can complete the game in around 2 hours and the tracks end up all sounding a bit too similar after a lengthy play session. However, the saddest realization is that the person who crafted these amazing remixes has passed away.
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