Ever wanted to play the drums, but never had the musical inclination? Developer Garage51 has you covered, providing a virtual space to prove that you’ve got the beat.
The presentation of the game, while not bad, is familiar territory. Lots of demonic and cartoonish imagery abound, giving the title a Guitar Hero aesthetic. So too does the note chart, presenting a number of colored 'demons' that fly towards you on the screen, prompting you to hit them at the right time. The demons are overdesigned, however, with all manner of wings and tendrils. On higher difficulties, this makes it much harder to keep everything sorted as the note charts are absolutely stuffed.
On the bright side, the charts themselves are quite fun. They map rather well to a variety of rock genres and approximate the playing of drums well enough that even rhythmically disinclined gamers will have a grand time. Haptics also sync brilliantly with drum hits, though hit registration on your cymbals can be frustratingly inconsistent; we watched the sticks going through the cymbals without registering on multiple occasions. Additionally, there is a cool feature where eye tracking can tell if you close your eyes, and awards you a multiplier accordingly for “showing off”.
But a rhythm game is nothing if not for the soundtrack, and Drums Rock's selection is merely okay. There are a couple licensed songs from Ram Jam, Evanescence, and Joan Jett, but they’re covers. The meat of the soundtrack is original to the game, consisting of covers approximating famous bands well enough that you can tell what the team was going for. The end result is a collection of songs that are distractingly almost like something you’ve heard. Most are serviceable, and a couple are even genuinely good, but compared to traditional licensed music, it’s a bit of a let-down.
What you’re left with is a solid VR showcase game, but the good-not-great music, and the hit detection issues ultimately hold it back from being anything more.