Developer: Kluge Interactive
Publisher: Kluge Interactive
When it comes to PSVR as a platform, Beat Saber is usually pointed to when one is asked about the best game on the platform. The electronic light saber game is the gold standard when it comes to rhythm games on PSVR. It took awhile, but Synth Riders is finally here match the juggernaut, giving players a nice alternative.
Synth Riders is a rhythm VR in which players cruise through synthwave aesthetics as they match their hands to orbs on the track. Synth Riders strongly encourages freestyle dancing. In the game’s Rhythm mode, players don’t need to swing at the notes in any way, their hands simply need to be in the right place. This allows for Synth Riders to not only be a solid workout, but its always a fun way for players to dance to the synth vibes.
The base game comes with 54 music tracks across a few genres. While other rhythm games are limited to one or two genres, Synth Riders isn’t afraid to explore a bit. This is even more evident if players explore some of the DLC, which includes some harder rock like Rancid and The Offspring and even swing tracks for players to enjoy.
The non-DLC tracks really fit with the game’s vibe. This is especially because there are over 10 environments for players to ride through. They aren’t incredibly detailed, but they are thematic and fit the aesthetic perfectly. Synth Riders is a game that just feels good to play. It doesn’t feel like it’s too difficult since it doesn’t limit players to specific gestures. While there are various difficulties to challenge players, Synth Riders feels best when players are just vibing and having a good time.
If just having a good time isn’t your thing, there are many challenging ways to play. Leaderboards exist for each song and difficulty to motivate and push players to be the very best. If flowing through the music is too simple, the Force mode is a great alternative to Rhythm. Score is determined by how hard the notes are hit, making it a more intense affair. There is also a spin mode that makes the player rotate through 90° while playing.
There are tons of ways to customize the experience, adding to Synth Riders‘ value. Whether they are visual, audio, or difficulty tweaks, there are many ways to play. Most of the 55 songs are wonderful. I wasn’t familiar with just about all of them, but they really grew on me. For everything that it has, it is disappointing that there isn’t any multiplayer in Synth Riders. There is a party mode where players can pass around the (sweaty) headset in between songs, but that’s it.
Synth Riders goes all in on the visual experience. Bright colors and fun environments fill the game. They aren’t overly detailed environments, but players will be too caught up in the experience to truly catch the details. The mapping is fantastic, and the game is easy enough to follow with easy to understand rules and cues.
Some might not be into how free-spirited it is, but Synth Riders is truly one of the best VR experiences available. It completely embraces its aesthetic and delivers a wonderful workout/dancing game for those who need an alternative to Beat Saber.
Synth Riders is a delightful freestyle exercise game with tons of fun tracks and even more value.