Are there other forms of life out in the universe? I’m not the person to say yes or no, but let us say there is. What would this life form look like? How would they communicate with us? In a deep part of space, a corpse of an astronaut floats throughout the cosmos. An entity comes into contact with the astronaut that has passed on, and it begins to explore its mind, and rebuild its memories. This is the basis of Laserlife; to rebuild the memories of the astronaut and learn what happened to him.
Laserlife at its core is a rhythm game that is a mixture of the PSN game Entwined and Amplitude. Using the left and right analog sticks, you control two lasers that you need to match up with floating molecules that are essentially notes. In the first phase, you’ll need to hit either R2 or L2 depending on which stick you use to actually play the note. You will have different combinations of rotating the analog sticks to match up with each note. The notes aren’t musical notes per say, but they are beats to the music that plays in the background. This however, is only the first phase. The second phase has you essentially doing the same thing, control the lasers to match up with specific beats and thirdly, the final phase has you avoiding red barriers that will hurt you and decrease your score. After completing the third phase, this completes the reconstruction of the memory, which shows a piece of the dead astronaut’s past. For example, the astronaut remembers having a dog and having a boat. Each memory only lasts a few minutes and there are only 12 memories in total. It is a short game that can be completed fairly quickly, but I wouldn’t recommend rushing through the game. I played through a few memories at a time and it gave me time to reflect on the music and visual style that I encountered. Rushing through the game may dampen the overall experience. It is not hard to complete the game in an hour or so, and it almost felt impossible to fail a song. The levels do increase in difficulty, but I was never close to failing a stage. Strangely enough though, with knowing that it is almost impossible to fail, it gave me more opportunity to focus on the music and visuals. I welcomed more of an experience that I could enjoy the visuals and music, rather than having to make sure I don’t fail.
In the background of the entire experience is the beautiful visuals the game has to offer. At times the color and visuals can be subtle, and at times it can be psychedelic. There are a lot of moving parts in Laserlife, and sometimes the background of the game can intrude on the gameplay. Colors and other visual cues can get in the way of the upcoming note. They can also get in the way of the lasers you control, forcing you to find where your laser is. The camera will move throughout space, making twists and turns. This can mislead you as to knowing where each new note will appear. It could seem that a note will be on the left, but after a turn, it appears on the right. It caused me to miss a few notes, which didn’t hurt me in the long run, but can be frustrating for players looking to have a perfect score. With the futuristic visuals looking great, seeing a real life item such as a house or boat can look bland in comparison. It can break the immersion.
The controller rumbles to the beat of each song. This may be a subtle touch but when in the groove of a song, the rumble in the controller will help you judge each new beat. With the twelve memories, some songs are repeated, especially in the first phase, but the second phase in each memory is a different song and a different visual style. The second phase is definitely the most enjoyable, as the songs and visuals shown are more interesting than the other two phases.
Laserlife combines unique gameplay, fantastic visuals and a good soundtrack that will have you moving to the beat. The visuals are enthralling to look at and you may end up replaying some stages again to see the visuals and hear the music. The game may be short, but the game doesn’t overstay its welcome, and the only reasons to replay it are for higher scores and to see the presentation over again. Laserlife is worth checking out, but I advise not rushing through the experience. It’s meant to be played in short spurts and not to be indulged all in one sitting.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here.
What I Like:
- Fantastic visuals
- Great music
- Unique gameplay
- Overall enjoyable
What I Dislike:
- Background can intrude on gameplay