A rhythm game lives and dies by one major factor: its soundtrack. Focusing entirely on one artist can be a smart move, but that artist needs the beats to back it up. It did work for Rock Band‘s journies into the catalogs of Green Day and The Beatles. Considering how great he was, the late DJ AVICII seems like another fantastic artist to focus on. Originally released in 2015 just under the name Invector as a PlayStation 4 exclusive, we’ve gotten an updated rerelease to honor the late DJ. AVICII Invector sees more platforms to play it on, more songs to play, and updated gameplay. Is this the perfect tribute?
AVICII Invector features 25 songs from AVICII. It has some of his biggest songs, like “I Could Be the One”, “Lonely Together”, “You Make Me”, and more. If you played Invector back when it originally came out in 2015, you may notice some songs from Tim, AVICII’s final album, are also here. This is the exact kind of tracklist a rhythm game needs, managing to hit multiple genres while all having a cohesive set. Each and every song is fun to play to, and I loved getting a chance to play along with my favorite AVICII tunes. It’s a fantastic tribute to the artist.
If Only I Knew What was Going On
There actually is a bit of a story here, told in concept art cutscenes after some of the songs. You play as a delivery driver named Collector Pilot H45H1M, who appears to be lost in space? Unfortunately, I didn’t really get the story. I ran into an unfortunate glitch that caused about half of the story cutscenes to skip as soon as they started. With no way to view them after the fact, I only really caught bits and pieces of the story. I think it had something to do with grief and dealing with it, but beyond that I’m not sure what it is.
Really though, you’re here to hit buttons along with a beat, and that’s where AVICII Invector shines. Each of the 25 songs in the game makes up one stage, and each stage is broken into a couple of different gameplay elements. The most common of the three has you flying down a triangular tunnel, hitting notes as they come at you. You’ll use the four face buttons and occasionally one of the shoulder buttons to hit a snare. At first, this seems pretty easy, but soon the beats get rather complex. I played the game on normal, and the last few stages certainly gave me a challenge, though if you’re just looking to beat each stage once for the story you’ll manage that quite easily.
The big catch during these segments is how sometimes you’ll have to turn the entire tunnel to hit notes. Sometimes you’ll have to do it at clearly marked spots, which will serve as both assistance in making sure you’re where you need to be, and as more notes to hit. As the game advances, more often the turns won’t be marked and you’ll have to see the upcoming notes and know when to turn for them. The idea is sound in theory, but often I found it difficult to see the notes on the walls until they were right in your face. I’d rather the whole game have used signals to help you turn when needed. Occasionally the game will instead become a Guitar Hero-styled straight line with three different “lanes” the notes come down. For all intents and purposes, this plays the exact same, but visually it’s easier to understand switching lanes instead of turning the entire course.
Bounce to the Beat
Once in a blue moon, AVICII Invector has you breaking free of the track entirely, flying around in an open space and trying to pass through hoops. This is a much simpler style, made more for slower segments of songs. Often you’ll see them in long periods of similar sounding notes, or for moody atmospheric segments. If the song features it, which not all of them do, it’s often only for a very brief period of a few seconds at best. It’s fun when it pops up, but not often enough to matter.
In addition to all this, AVICII Invector is surprisingly good to look at. The whole game has a great dark sci-fi art style that manages to fit it so well. You’ll be flying through fantastic sci-fi cities and strange forests. I loved getting a peek into each world, and these are places I wouldn’t mind exploring outside of the game.
AVICII Invector Review | Final Thoughts
I came away from AVICII Invector rather impressed. Everything is here for a smart, fun, rhythm game that treats AVICII with respect. It has a killer soundtrack, which all rhythm games need, and it knows how to use it. A few failings, like some notes being hard to see or the fact that I couldn’t see the story, aren’t enough to really ruin my experience. Fans of the DJ absolutely need AVICII Invector in their lives, and even those who have little to no experience with him but just enjoy rhythm games will find more than enough here.
TechRaptor reviewed AVICII Invector on PlayStation 4 using a copy provided by the developer. The game is also available on PC, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.