Ravers love music, and for many of us, that love started from a love of video games. Anyone who lived through the mid- 2000’s will remember Rock Band. Rock Band was a revolution: anyone who wanted to learn the basics of instrumental rhythm, could. Rewind a few years before that and the idea of learning dance rhythm at home was out of the question, but Dance Dance Revolution made that possible. Schools around the world even adopted DDR as part of its physical education curriculum. It was through these video game experiences I gained a love and appreciation for live music performance. Fast forward 10 years later, and DDR is still found at arcades around the world. It’s even at America's biggest dance music festival, EDC! Some concepts are timeless.
FUSER, made by Harmonix, is the next example of the timelessness of music rhythm games. With a planned release date of November 10th, 2020, FUSER reintroduces some of our favorite Rock Band tracks in a new format. Instead of attempting to replicate the same feel of the music as the original artist, FUSER allows the player to take on the role of the DJ and instead, manipulate songs to meet the needs of both the audience and the promoter. While Rock Band looks for players to “perform” the same songs with the same result each time, FUSER asks its players to recreate the songs instead with a new look, feel and vibe. By changing the musical elements within the song and adding in beats from sources, players can create an entirely new track. The game values creativity over subjective accuracy: making it a much more enjoyable experience than its Rock Band predecessor. No two FUSER sets should ever be exactly alike.
The game features 3 main modes: Freestyle, Multiplayer, and Campaign mode. The single-player campaign mode teaches players the basics of being a Disc Jockey. The first few levels are focused on teaching players a few things: how to mix, how to drop in tracks on the downbeat, how to use effects, and how to add in artistic elements to isolate or magnify specific sounds. The campaign mode features 6 stage levels, each with a unique promoter who provides different lessons and helpful tips along the way. FUSER also does an excellent job of creating a diverse cast of support characters ranging from a stereotypical 12-year-old Gen Z “Kickstarter kid” to a gender-neutral trancehead from Mexico City. The campaign mode allows players to unlock customization abilities for freestyle and multiplayer modes. The more you unlock in the campaign, the more you have for the other game modes. Everything about this game is about the customization; ranging from the player’s avatar to their crate, the stage design, lights, crowd effects, and even stage visuals. Players will also be able to fully manipulate the pitch, tempo, and key of the existing library of music to best suit their set demands.
FUSER hits retail and virtual shelves on 11/10/2020 and is available for pre-order NOW with exclusive DLC. The game exists in its own server universe, allowing for cross-platform compatibility in its multiplayer gameplay. Whether you have a Playstation, Xbox, Switch, or PC, you and your friends will be able to jam out in B2B2B2B sets no problem. The game requires no external peripheries or any extra equipment to play: making it affordable and accessible for everyone. With just a console controller or a PC and a mouse, anyone can now become a DJ right at home: no experience required.
Pooja Shah is an LA-Based IT Consultant and the FestivalAddicts Website monkey. When she’s not posting articles, playing video games, or headbanging to the latest Lost Lands Compilation Album, you can follow her festival adventures on Instagram @Pooja_Shahnanigans!