I can’t get enough of rhythm games. Whether it’s the relative simplicity of pushing buttons to the beat of the music in Guitar Hero or the freestyle rapping in Parappa the Rapper, I love that feeling of connecting to the music through gameplay. Anytime a developer looks to do something interesting in the rhythm game realm, it’s sure to catch my eye, and Soundfall did just that.
While having a small bout of performance anxiety, musical lead character Melody is transported to Symphonia. This magical and colorful world is fueled by music and also invaded by evil monsters known as Discord. As she tries to get home, Melody is more than happy to help the citizens of Symphonia solve their problem using her new beat-based powers and weapons.
Soundfall is a rhythmic twin-stick looter shooter, which turns out to be the genre mashup I never thought I needed. Each step is accompanied by a banger of a tune, and all of your actions must be timed to the beat of the music to be used effectively. Shots fired on the beat will be significantly more powerful (and potentially throw more bullets) and dashes on the beat will give you a brief second of invincibility. It took me a little while to get used to only playing when the beat was coming, but once it clicked, I was in love.
This covers filming, but looting is just as important. Occasionally a Fallen enemy will drop new gear for Melody, and between levels you can equip it with whatever gear best suits your playstyle. I got to test out a wide variety of machine guns , rocket launchers, and scatterguns in the opening world of Soundfall, all of which completely changed the way I deal with enemies. There are also armor, swords, and ultimate ability upgrades to collect, all with cool effects to set them apart. After a few sessions with my new armor, I couldn’t do without the ability to chain dashes.
A few steps in the Soundfall preview build the sword and ultimate ability unlocked, which flipped the gameplay. When in sync with the beat, the sword can perform a three-hit combo and is perfect for dispatching smaller enemies or when surrounded. The ultimate ability I was able to use was a massive spin attack, which makes Melody invincible and is also the only ability that doesn’t need to be activated on the beat. It’s the perfect way to get out of a bad situation, and when I upgraded mine to drain health from enemies, I felt unstoppable.
Apart from the waves of enemies found in Soundfall, stages also have many other obstacles to overcome. There are crystals you can teleport between with a well-timed dash, patterns of lasers to dodge, and volcanic rocks that rain down. Each stage has a different theme full of potential dangers, and the variety of vibrant landscapes to loot and shoot was excellent even in the first world.
None of this would matter if the music wasn’t absolutely slamming, but Soundfall has a fantastic soundtrack with heaps of variety. From catchy pop music that will have you singing along to an instrumental ride through a medieval village, there wasn’t a single song from the ten levels I played that I didn’t enjoy.
When Soundfall comes out, there are some fantastic features coming that I haven’t been able to experience. Perhaps the most intriguing of these is the fact that the game can create custom levels for any music you’ve downloaded to your PC. Depending on the music genre, the environment and enemies will be different, and I can’t wait to see how each song in S Club 7 looks like as a Soundfall level.
Alongside this mode, four-player co-op will also be available at launch. With each player taking on the role of a different character and progress being made from a single player, this seems like a fantastic way to enjoy the game.
Soundfall completely surprised me with its unique blend of twin-stick action and rhythm game timing. It’s a game that has really stuck with me since the preview, and if I could play one game right now, it would be Soundfall. I can’t wait to try it out with some friends when it comes out.