AVICII Invector is a rhythm game which has you manoeuvring a spaceship* on a triangular track to the tunes of 25 songs by EDM superstar Tim Bergling (better known to the world as AVICII). The game immediately draws the attention not only because of its killer soundtrack but also due to its popping visual flair.
*I do wonder why rhythm games gravitate towards spaceships as often as they do (Aaero, Stereo Aereo, Audiosurf…). I guess it’s because they offer aesthetics that fit the music better?
While the basic gameplay concept isn’t anything we haven’t seen before, it IS marvellously executed. In the easy difficulty, you simply need to follow the on-screen instructions, pressing A, B & LB/RB when your ship flies over them.
Now, I kind of have to get into this from the very onset of the review, but I’m not a fan of using the LB button to strum. I understand WHY they picked this button: theoretically, it makes it easier to alternate between the shoulder button and the face-buttons or even to keep it pressed when the game requires you to hold it down. But it’s not exactly an easy button to press in quick succession (though this may be a very personal issue that other people will have zero qualms about). I don’t know, it just felt uneasy to me, I can’t quite put my finger on it (perhaps literally 😉 )
Moving on: Every so often you’ll need to dash to the sides or rotate the triangle-shaped level to re-align yourself with the incoming button prompts. In the easy mode, you’ll get a visual cue for such oncoming track changes but in normal/hard you’ll often have to anticipate them yourself.
To change up the pace and put some emphasis on certain parts of the music, there are also times where your ship will take off and the gameplay changes to a flight section which makes you fly through the centre of a few hoops. I recently changed from being an inverted player to non-inverted (I blame Hoverloop) so this part felt natural to me, but anybody who can only control airborne vessels when the Y-axis is inverted will have a hard time: you can’t change this in the settings. EDIT: Great news! The developers informed me this has been patched!
The end-goal is obvious: you have to avoid missing any notes because you’ll need a 75% hit rating to beat the level. Get a few hits timed correctly in a row and you’ll get a x4 multiplier. Keep the streak up and you’ll eventually charge a boost which will double your multiplier to a maximum of x8. This looks visually stunning and is handled brilliantly: the perception of your speed may be increased, because your ship is flying further ahead of you, but the notes actually keep coming in at the same pace. Still, I would advise to use it mostly for the ring-sessions as they are still rather easy to hit while boosting. If you’re aiming for a leaderboard highscore however, the moment you activate it may make all the difference.
Even more important for highscore hunters, is hitting those PERFECTs by timing your button presses JUST right. When I still hadn’t unlocked the “Get 15 PERFECTs in a row” achievement after over 6 hours of playing, I thought it was just because of my own skill, but I heard concerns from other players online that they had the same experience with the game. Heck, in normal & hard difficulties, some of the top 10 people don’t even have a 100% hit rate on the faster tracks. If you ARE hunting for a 100% completion with all PERFECTs, you’ll be happy to hear that reloading the level happens almost instantaneously.
One possible issue for this could be the input latency, but I recalibrated a few times and it stayed between 1 & 3 ms each time. (Still: I commend them for including this setting, it could make a world of difference for some people, especially if you have a TV or monitor that isn’t made for gaming)
There’s also a story mode included in the game: Every few levels, you’ll get to watch a 2D animated scene, following a young rebellious woman through the various worlds which Invector lets you discover. I have to be quite honest here and say that it didn’t add a lot to the experience for me personally, but it didn’t detract anything from it either.
What WAS a huge boon for the game and which added a full point to the score, is the presence of split-screen multiplayer. You can face off against up to 4 people locally and it’s a blast to see how you compare to your friends & rivals. You even get to pick a difficulty per player which is perfect for when an experienced player wants to introduce the game to his friends while still being challenged themself.
After the level, you’ll get to compare various metrics like total score, most hits, longest streak & most perfects. It’s a nice competitive option for when you have friends over and want some good old couch multiplayer entertainment.
AVICII Invector is an amazing rhythm game with a killer soundtrack and eye-popping visuals. Its effects linger even after you have turned off your console and you’ll probably be singing along to the stellar soundtrack throughout the day. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be revisiting this for years to come, trying to improve your own score, and having a blast each time you do. An easy recommendation for fans of rhythm games everywhere: Don’t let this one pass you by!
Check out my playlist on Youtube if you’d like to see it in action:
*An Xbox One review copy was provided by the publisher for this review