Harmonix, the developer behind the likes of Guitar Hero, Rock Band and Amplitude, has revealed its new "VR rhythm shooter" Audica, which launches in Steam and Oculus early access on March 7th.

In a tweet unveiling the game, Harmonix said that Audica combined the studio's "award-winning music gameplay with precision shooting mechanics and a killer soundtrack, all set in a mesmerising cosmic arena." And if that's not descriptive enough for your liking, you can get a taste of Audica in action - complete with super-imposed shooty-lady - in the trailer below.

The gist of it, from what I can gather based on the video, is that targets appear at fixed points around the arena as a music track unfolds, and it's your job to point your virtual guns in the right direction and pull the triggers to destroy them on the beat. To add a bit of variety to proceedings, it seems some notes need to be held and then whipped around in a specific pattern, while other incoming targets must be batted away. Put all that together and you've got a recipe for some energetic, potentially calorie-decimating, arm waving.

The likes of Rez Infinite, Thumper, and Beat Saber have already amply demonstrated how effective the immersive pull of VR can be in a rhythm-action setting (to the point where players are practically transcending the limits of the human body in Beat Saber), so fresh takes on the genre are always welcome, particularly from a developer with Harmonix's pedigree.

If you're sufficiently intrigued by Audica and fancy giving it a go, the game enters early access on Steam and the Oculus Store from March 7th. This initial release will feature 10 music tracks with four difficulties for each, one environment, one weapon set, and online leaderboards. Version 1.0, which is expected to arrive before the end of this year, will feature over 25 songs, a campaign mode, a practice mode, additional environments and weapons sets, expanded leaderboards and, potentially, new game mechanics.

Harmonix hopes to bring Audica to PSVR once it leaves early access.

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Matt Wales

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Matt Wales is a freelance writer and gambolling summer child who won't even pretend to live a busily impressive life of dynamic go-getting for the purposes of this bio. He is the sole and founding member of the Birdo for President of Everything Society.

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