Harmonix Announces Musical First-Person Shooter: Chroma

The creators of Guitar Hero and Rock Band are delving into the world of first-person shooters with Chroma.

The company that brought us games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band is setting aside their plastic instruments to explore their next endeavor -  a musical shooter. 

A joint project from Harmonix and Hidden Path Entertainment, Chroma is a free-to-play, music-based, multiplayer, first-person shooter. It’s a mouthful to describe and judging from the trailer that was released today, it’ll be an earful as well.

"People used to joke all the time, you should do an FPS based on musical notes," publishing director John Drake told Polygon. "Well, now we have done it. In the past, music games became sims, but we feel like there is a lot more to them as a component of gameplay."

Music is integrated into almost every aspect of Chroma. Each battle is set to a song which players can add to and use to their advantage. Moving and shooting in sync with the background music offers special bonuses like super speed and weapon power-ups. Instead of bullets, weapons fire off glowing, laser-like sound waves, adding whichever instrument you’ve selected to the game’s collaborative song.

The game’s arena is affected by the music as well. Musical “change ups” cause the chrome-clad arena to shift and transform, creating towers and canyons where flat land used to be.

The game will sport features familiar to FPS players, like shooting mechanics and specialized classes, but according to developers, less skilled players will not be at a disadvantage. Music is the driving force of the game and a musically inclined player has the potential to be just as deadly as a sharpshooter. 

For as crazy as it sounds, Chroma could be the breath of fresh air we need in a genre so overcrowded with recycled ideas. The game is still in very early development but Harmonix is currently accepting applications for alpha testers. Chroma will be released for PC via Steam later this year.

Stay tuned (pun intended) for more updates. 

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Designer, Dovahkiin, and aspiring Disney princess.

Published Feb. 18th 2014

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