Earlier this week, the fourth original soundtrack pack (OST 4) arrived as a free update for Beat Saber. We’ve tried it out — here are our impressions.
Late last year, former Beat Games CEO and current Head of Music Jaroslav Beck revealed that Beat Saber’s upcoming OST 4 tracks would have a “theme” featuring “guitars and synthetic guitars” with “metal-ish” music. At the time, we wrote about how this seemed like great news on paper — the Linkin Park DLC was one of our favorite paid DLC pack so far, so some new original tracks with a metal and electric guitar influence could be interesting.
Sadly, the four new tracks in OST 4 fail to live up to some of the more recent paid releases featuring popular rock bands like Green Day and Linkin Park. In fact, these new OST songs don’t even really live up to the quality of the other original OST packs from Beat Games themselves.
In terms of the music, the tracks in OST 4 feature Beat Saber’s familiar electronic and dubstep sounds but with sprinkles of electric guitar and “metal” elements. The first track, Into the Dream (ft. Jakub Tirco) by Jaroslav Beck, showcases the most “rock” elements out of the four, but there’s still a vague metal theme running throughout the rest. It’s a combination that doesn’t work very effectively in my opinion.
The dubstep and the “metal” instruments don’t mix stylistically and there are very few memorable musical moments in any of the tracks. While I’m not the biggest fan of electronic and dubstep music in general, I still enjoy a fair amount of the tracks included in OST 1-3.
Beat Saber fans have consistently asked for more rock and guitar-focused tracks. With the Green Day and Linkin Park packs, they got their wish. Those maps play really well and feels very distinct — expanding this selection to include more modern and classic rock would be a great idea. The push to create original “metal-ish” dubstep hybrid tracks is where OST 4 falls short. Even just compared to the previously released original tracks, there’s a charm, playfulness and originality that’s not found here.
— Beat Saber (@BeatSaber) March 15, 2021
Over time, the difficulty curve in Beat Saber seems to be getting less consistent and that’s happening again with OST 4. I’m no Beat Saber master, but I can handle most songs on Expert usually. With OST 4 I was able to get through all of them on Hard difficulty on my first attempt with no problem, which seemed a bit too easy, but the gulf in difficulty going up to Expert is much larger than in the past.
With other releases, I’ve been able to play on Expert with only a few struggles, but the OST 4 tracks on Expert felt lacking in rhythm and thoughtfulness in the way they’re laid out. They’re missing the flow and nuance found in past tracks.
The combination of electric guitar riffs with dubstep beats leads to some really jumbled moments that seem to focus on the speed of the notes without paying much care for the rhythm and the feel of the movement while playing. In comparison to other recent tracks at the same difficulty, such as American Idiot or Numb on Expert, the OST 4 tracks don’t feel as thoughtful and lack their own identity and style of play.
OST 4 does come with a new environment too, which looks rather snazzy and has some nice effects. The default saber colors for OST 4 are black and red, which look quite stylish.
Even though it’s free, OST 4 is a frustrating release to me from Beat Games. The music isn’t as memorable as I expected, the difficulty curve feels more erratic than usual, and the mapping seems jumbled and ill-conceived compared to other recent releases. I’d like to see Beat Games either produce some more paid DLC artist releases or focus on recapturing the compelling spirit of the early Beat Saber tracks for future original releases.
Have you tried out the new tracks included in OST 4? Let us know what you think down in the comments below!