Thumper with PSVR @PAXEast 2016

Developer: Drool Publisher: Drool Platform: PS4/PSVR/PC

[They] are calling it a rhythm violence game, and I surely felt it

The intensity and pacing of Thumper will subconsciously get your body tapping and moving, but offers something far-more than your traditional rhythm game. Developer and publisher Drool are calling it a rhythm violence game, and I surely felt it.

After a quick fit and a re-calibration of the PSVR, my perspective shifted to a trailing camera behind a metallic scarab. Gliding quickly down a rail through a dark and ominous environment,  the objective is similar to other rhythm games; to react accordingly to fast approaching action prompts.  These prompts diversify quickly, and each time I responded successfully, I was rewarded with an impact slam of  colorful flourishes, shattering polygons, and abstract shapes exploding and undulating. This accompanied by an adrenaline building bass and minimal musical score that is reinforced by your performance , is a combination that creates the tension and ultimate release when nailing the correct move.

As the pace picked up, so did the music and the adrenaline. Within minutes everything surrounding me at this loud convention dissipated as I felt completely invested in this intimidating roller coaster ride. I’m reminded by the gratification of colorful games like Fantavision and, Amplitude where the player is the  director and their success will be met with delicious eye candy, or aural synchronicity between action and music.

If you can’t get your hands on a PSVR  to immerse yourself in Thumper , I’d recommend a dark room with the audio cranked. 

Look for it later this year, or within the “launch window” of PSVR.