Bust out the sweat bands and tighten your wrist straps. A big update to Beat Saber yesterday added a slew of new content to the PC version. Alongside that update, the game’s first paid DLC, Monstercat Music Pack Vol. 1, is now available on both PC and PSVR. The pack includes 10 strong tracks, one of which stands out as the most challenging—and rewarding—of the bunch.

When I set out to slice my way through the new Monstercat Music Pack Vol. 1 for Beat Saber, I thought this article was going to be a general overview of the songs and beat maps, but for me, one song in particular completely stole the show. Before I delve into that, here’s the breakdown of the ten new tracks (mapped in all difficulties) in the Music Pack:

To my ear, the setlist—which leans more toward techno and club music—doesn’t have the same level of musical intrigue and variety as OST I, OST II, and the bonus tracks. Still, the mapping is solid throughout, with a handful of interesting ideas.

On Expert difficulty I enjoyed “Till It’s Over” for its interesting tonality and a string of notes which felt ‘spatially challenging’ (sort of like a solo). “Stronger” was also fun, and gets more mechanically interesting in the last half of the song.

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“Overkill,” however, was the immediate standout. What I thought initially was going to be a somewhat generic heavy metal track ended up mixing in elements of dubstep and synthwave which kept things interesting. The beat map makes great use of this variety, with the notes alternating between following intense guitar riffs, drums rolls, and dubstep flairs.

“Overkill” on Expert – Challenge and Intrigue

On Expert, “Overkill” offers a considerably more unique beat map than most of the other tracks in Monstercat Music Pack Vol. 1, with an emphasis on same-direction paired notes (swinging with both hands at the same time in the same direction), with a lot of up and down energy (effectively capturing the feel of the heavy drums and guitar):

“Overkill” on Expert+ – The Song to Beat

When I cranked things up to Expert+ for the new Music Pack, “Overkill” again stole the show, and revealed its potential as the new ‘song to beat’ among the officially mapped tracks.

On my first playthrough I was met with a frustrating mess of notes that I couldn’t possibly sight read—I typically play at the Expert+ level, but this was far more complex than most other tracks. Rejecting the knee-jerk ‘this beat map sucks’ reaction, I dove into Practice Mode to play at 50% speed so I could start to understand what “Overkill” on Expert+ was actually asking of me. What I found was a crazy, awesome, powerful beat map which is a blast to play, on top of being one of the most challenging and interesting of the official Beat Saber tracks yet released.

Luckily a speedy and skilled YouTuber already has a good playthrough posted, so in the video below you can see the full official beat map and I’ll use it as a time reference so you can see what I’m talking about:

On Expert+, “Overkill” takes the guitar and drum runs up to the next level (0:49), with tons of up and down energy and same-direction paired notes that end up being surprisingly mobile, especially when you need to cross your arms to hit a handful of them (1:07).

Then there’s the set of three huge ‘break’ swings (0:59) that not only ratchet up the song action, but do so in a way that has you swinging upward into a ‘power pose’ at the top of each note which makes you feel like a total badass. Another ‘rising’ moment in the song has a similar effect, but instead of swinging upward into a power pose, you’re alternating quickly left and right across the center with both hands as the notes steadily rise up on either side of you (1:40).

And just when you think it’s time to wind down, the song comes at you with a crazy string of same-direction paired notes which are ever so challenging and satisfying to keep up with (2:59) and to chase when they start going in every which direction (3:10).

While “Overkill” on the Expert difficulty was already fairly challenging, Expert+ might as well be Expert++ compared to many of the official tracks. I’ll admit that I’ve still only been able to complete it at 85% speed thus far, but I can’t wait to dive back in and finally master the song at full speed.

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  • MOT

    So you liked Overkill then?

  • ThisIsDumb

    A whole article dedicated to a song in beat saber…. thats overkill.
    Surely theres something better to write about.

  • pieman

    How come you guys have so many beat saber articles?

    • Blow_it_out_your_a$$

      Because the game is awesome?

      • Rosko

        Only if you are tone deaf or too stupid to enjoy proper games.

        • benz145

          So I’m tone deaf and too stupid to enjoy proper games?

          • Rosko

            I jest, although if you have to ask the question.

    • J.C.

      Probably because it’s one of very few VR games that actually kept players’ attention for more than a couple days?

      It hits that sweet spot of being easy to understand, FUN, and absolutely cannot be played outside VR. It takes no time at all even for people new to VR to find it fun.

      I do hope the next DLC features music I might actually enjoy in it. While EDM/dubstep has a lot of variation in each song (which makes for a more fun beat map), no one I know actually likes it. The big fav original tracks are #2 and #3, as they have actual lyrics.

  • Tags I812

    Beat saber mod no longer works. i had a calorie counter on there before that i used to use for workouts but now gone.

    • LowRezSkyline

      Snag an Apple Watch or FitBit, they are way more accurate at tracking your workout.

    • benz145

      Takes time for mods to get updated to work with the current version of the game. Details here on how to downloaded compatible versions once they’re updated:

      https://www.roadtovr.com/fix-beat-saber-custom-songs-mods-update/

  • Downvote King

    The article mentions a “practice mode” at 50% speed and then again at 85% speed, but I’ve only ever seen 70% speed as an option (-30%). Is this option missing from the PSVR version, or is it me that’s missing it somehow?

    • benz145

      I think you’re talking about the ‘Slower Track’ modifier which is among the options on the left panel. However, both versions include a Practice Mode which looks like a little ‘graduation cap’ icon near the ‘Start’ button for any song. When you click that button you can pick the speed of the track from 50–200% and select the starting time too. Great for learning hard tracks!

      • Downvote King

        Fantastic thanks so much. Somehow that graduation cap was part of the background to my eyes. I was hoping for full pause, reverse, slow, fast forward controls but this is great. Cheers!

  • DanDei

    None of this is techno.
    EDM, dubsteb, circuit, deep house, drum and bass are all NOT techno

    • benz145

      Ah thanks, I’m no EDM expert but I’d love to learn more about what’s considered what. I assume you listened through the setlist — would you you consider ascribing a genre to each track?

      • James Cobalt

        Ask different people of different ages and geography and you’ll get slightly different answers, since the genres blur, branch, and evolve over time. A lot of EDM in the early 90s was called techno, but we probably wouldn’t call much of that techno today as it’s a better defined genre (and it won’t sound anything like today’s EDM either).

        House evolved out of disco genres, and was often a catchall for the EDM coming out of Chicago in the 80s. Around the same time, techno was generally a catchall for the EDM coming out of Detroit. But as time went by and more people started noticing the differences between Detroit and Chicago artists, the genres became more differentiated. Trance is no longer techno, but in the very early days it was called “techno”, since that’s what it evolved from.

        Categories are hard when the the things you’re trying to categorize keep changing.

  • JesuSaveSouls

    Jesus is the way,the truth and the life.None come to the Father but through Him.

    • 3872Orcs
    • benz145

      There’s only so many warnings you’re going to get about off topic spam.

      • kool

        That would make his day he’d feel all persicuted like Jesus!

  • 3872Orcs

    one of my Vive wands has lost haptic feedback :( I need knuckles to play any more Beat Saber.

  • Come on Ben, you can do it, we believe in you!

  • VR4EVER

    Well, I for one can honestly say that I am totally in love with the flow of „Boundless“. The flow is outstanding IMHO, in Expert and beyond …