Beats of Fury is a mix of Rhythm Game and Bullet Hell, developed and published by Bubble Head Games. It combines gameplay from a top down shooter with rhythm music battles against waves of monsters. You play as a mixing DJ or a solo guitar player, aiming to perfect your timing to take out monsters to the beat of the music, accentuated by crazy visual queues on the screen. You really feel every note and beat as the backdrop and camera twists and turns to the music, immersing you into each song.
This is one of the best music-related games I’ve personally played since those first days of 2007’s Guitar Hero II back on the Xbox 360. There are 10 great song selections in this early access version across various genres of music such as Metal, Rock, EDM, Trap and House. I’m not normally a fan of metal music but it suits these types of rhythmic games. Single notes and strings of notes come at you in the form of monsters that are coloured coded to a key or button binding. Each song has four difficulty levels to complete it and there are global leader boards to measure your performance. Easy difficulty with the keyboard uses green ‘A’ monsters and red ‘D’ monsters, starting off relatively simple which helps you learn as the songs get more difficult. Normal difficulty adds blue ‘S’ monsters and hard adds yellow ‘W’ monsters.
When monsters move over the flashing target area and you hit the correct note, it will shoot music at the monster. Depending on your timing will determine the score you can earn. I used the mouse to aim and the wsad keys to hit the notes. You can use just the keyboard as well as a gamepad. After playing for an hour, my left hand was starting to cramp so I will use a gamepad for future plays to see how that goes. These music notes are perfectly timed with the beat of the song playing. It’s easy to catch yourself head bopping along as you’re slaying the monsters.
I find myself accurate with touch typing and instinctively know where WSAD keys are, however when the beat speeds up and on normal and hard difficulties, I was making heaps of mistakes when there were quick mixes of different key notes strung together. I performed better on songs that I was familiar with, as you know the tone and speed of the song so can predict whats coming next. Though when there were strings of notes with quick notes in between, i got all muddled up. When you make a mistake, you lose a small percentage of health. String too many errors together and you’ll be defeated.
Once you complete the 10th song, a cutscene shows with the words ‘later on…’ and you are seen battling against what looks like a boss who is shooting music notes at you. This looks like a tease of either the 11th story mission or maybe a separate battle mode. Looking on the Beats of Fury official website, the team of three developers states they are 90% through developing the game and they’re working on two new modes – mix it mode and youtube mode. In mix it mode, all the game tracks keep mixing together creating random levels and you have to survive as much time as you can to get the highest score possible. In youtube mode, the player will be able to use a youtube link to stream music and build your own level with any music that you love. Both of those modes sound awesome and I’m looking forward to the full release.
Beats of Fury is currently in early access and I was sent a review key by the developers, however I can’t see a method to purchase the game in Steam. I’d definitely add this to your wishlist and keep an eye on it’s development for those additional game modes which will add a complete musical battle experience.