The freestyle-dance VR rhythm game Synth Riders returns to its roots with its latest song pack. It’s called Synthwave Essentials 2 and along with two tracks from Muse, it features more synthwave classics from FM-84, Gunship, The Midnight, 3FORCE, and more. The team at Kluge Interactive wanted this latest pack to pay tribute to 80s music culture while blending in future influences of EDM, house, and nu-disco, with the game’s trademarked analog synths. After giving each new song a playthrough, I’d say they did just that. Synthwave Essentials 2 brings the total number of tracks up to an impressive 67, including 52 free songs. They aren’t all to my taste, but even the songs I don’t love are still mostly fun to play.
Aside from the regular tracks listed below, for the first time ever, players will receive what they’re calling a “Synth Riders Experience” free with the song “Algorithm” by Muse. According to the official press release, it’s “More than just a stage, this is artistically-driven, immersive visuals delivered in-game that results in the blending of sight, sound, and movement together into a transformative VR experience.” I’ve played it several times so far, and it is definitely unique and unlike any other track in the game. But there is so much going on with this one it comes with a warning.
“Synthwave Essentials 2” consists of 5 paid DLC songs:
- “Algorithm” (Alternate Reality Version) – Muse
- “The Dark Side” – Muse
- “Running In The Night” – FM-84 & Ollie Wride
- “Days of Thunder” – The Midnight
- “Tech Noir” (Carpenter Brut Remix) – Gunship
And 3 songs that are free for all players:
- “Abyss” (Gancher & Ruin Remix) – 3FORCE (feat. Scandroid)
- “Empire of Steel” (MASKED Remix) – Essenger (feat. Scandroid)
- “Automatic Call” – NINA
The tracks are available now via Steam, cross-buy on Oculus Quest/Rift, and Viveport. The free songs are rolling out as an update for current owners of the game, whereas paid DLC tracks can be purchased individually for $1.99, or all together as a bundle with a 20% discount.