Chroma Is An Interesting Shooter That Forces You To Keep To The Beat
Harmonix is a fairly popular name in the realm of musically inspired video games. Creating the hit Rock Band series as well as Dance Central, Harmonix is an expert in making musically inspired experiences and making them feel authentic.
That’s not exactly what they’re going for in their next title. Instead, they want to blend their musical knowledge with popular shooter mechanics.
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Chroma is a new free-to-play PC shooter from Harmonix, in collaboration with the guys who created Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. The game takes a lot of inspiration from traditional arena shooters, with a host of players competing in fast-based shooting combat. The catch here is that nearly everything is governed by the background music, where even the single act of shooting because a timely, musical chore.
That’s in no way a bad thing, as it does sound extremely interesting when put into a little bit of perspective. Chroma will feature various classes that each have to compete with the music in a certain way. The Assault class can shoot with a rifle as normal, but his grenades only detonate on the downbeat. A Tank can fire missiles at an opponent, but t only stays on course if the player clicks the mouse in rhythm with the overall beat. A Sniper has a long-range rifle that is more effective when shot on the downbeat, able to take down an enemy in one shot, while the Engineer has dual-pistols that lock onto targets, but require presses more akin to a two-button Rockband segment in order to fire.
Harmonix director of publishing and PR John Drake described the challenges with making such a different type of shooter.
“We want to make sure that shooter players can come in, even if they’re not musical, and actually play the game pretty much right away and feel good about it. And we want to make sure that music fans who aren’t hardcore shooter players have an access point to come and be ‘beat heads’ who are really good at the game in a different way. The past couple months has been about finding the sweet spot between those two different things.”
Chroma will be free-to-play but Harmonix has stressed that real money purchases won’t affect gameplay in any way, rather allowing you to only cosmetically change your experience. So a lot like Dota 2, which is great to see.
Chroma will launch a closed Alpha later this month, with an open beta coming later this year. You can apply right here for the chance to jump in early, and judging by what we’ve heard now I’m pretty sure the demand will be very high.