Game review: Audiosurf 2missed being twice as good

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 20 June, 2015, 11:02pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 24 June, 2015, 12:20pm

It's amazing to think how much the gaming world has changed since lone-developer Dylan Fitterer released Audiosurf in 2008. A cult favourite, the game automatically connected to your PC's music library, creating a fast-paced virtual obstacle course to traverse based on your chosen song's beats.

It was unique, with all the charm of a small, creator-owned project, and simultaneously pushed forward the now-ubiquitous Steam PC software, where for a long time it was only available. So how does a sequel stand up in a world that's now focused on the ethos of "bigger is better"?

Not that badly, surprisingly. Mono, which was easily the most played mode from the original, is back and better than ever. The Tetris-like gaming style has been amped up and improved, with a breakneck pace and plenty of power-ups along the way.

The biggest new addition, though, is Wakeboard, in which players are pulled along in an attempt to catch air for some "gnarly tricks". That's slightly cheesy, but it makes for a refreshing change of pace. And then there's the co-op Audiosprint, although it lacks the ferocious pace of the solo games.

That's only the tip of Audiosurf's iceberg, though. The game has been available on Steam's Early Access mode for about a year and a half now, which means it's chock-full of community skins and mods. That means you're immediately thrust into a world where every obsessive player's creativity is on display.

There's noticeable improvement in the places where Fitterer did focus. Graphics are in line with the best downloads of modern day. Sound quality, through your PC or via Soundcloud, is as high as ever. And the price is more than right, at just over HK$100 a download.

But seven years is a long time, and while they wouldn't be seen as setbacks back in 2008, we can't help being frustrated with some aspects. There's still no support for Spotify or YouTube, but that's understandable given the legalities of modern music ownership. It isn't easy to navigate music libraries, and the game defaults to iTunes even if you're not an Apple fan.

Still, Audiosurf 2 is a vast improvement over the original, and if you were a committed fan the first time, you'll love this new version.

Audiosurf 2  Dylan Fitterer