Discordians have infiltrated the world of Symphonia – the land where music is born. Protagonist Melody also happens to be there, though how is a mystery. Melody, or one of the unlockable characters, must defeat the Discordians and find her way home to the real world.
Everything in Soundfall is done to the beat of its stellar soundtrack. Jumping up ledges, across gaps, and battling the Discordians. The non-combat tasks simply aren’t possible without successfully hitting the button on the beat, while on-beat combat is rewarded with combos and bonuses.
The metronome at the bottom of the screen tracks the beat, and the DualSense's haptics also pulse to it. However, in the heat of battle, there’s not enough time to monitor the metronome, and the DualSense vibrates for each shot, so it can be hard to get the bonuses and combos for staying on beat. This shouldn’t be an issue if you’re blessed with natural rhythm, but if you can’t even clap in time to save your life, then you might find progressing through some levels a lot more difficult than others. It’s an interesting mechanic, but often feels more punishing than rewarding.
Each level has its own song, and what a soundtrack it is. Soundfall really delivers on this front, as you would expect from a game whose primary focus is music. The songs are catchy, well developed, and make the game stand out from its average gameplay. There’s a wide variety of genres to listen to as you progress through Symphonia, from electronic to funk to metal and much more besides. It’s a good job things are changed up in this aspect, as proceedings can start to feel quite repetitive after a while — but perhaps the short levels are Soundfalls’s saving grace. It’s easy to jump in, do a few levels, and leave rather than demanding a huge time sacrifice.
Landing itself somewhere between a twin-stick shooter and a rhythm game, Soundfall feels like it's not really doing one or other of these particularly successfully. Saved by an incredible soundtrack, Soundfall has the potential to be a really incredible game with an exciting concept, but is let down by repetitive gameplay and a weak story.