If Harmonix can be likened to a band, then Guitar Hero was the single that put them on the charts, Rock Band and Dance Central were their commercially successful yet soulless contractual albums, and Chroma is that experimental phase where they jam 14-minute tracks using the sole surviving ethnic instruments of a dying island tribe while looping whale sounds in the background.
Chroma is their newly announced free-to-play team-based “music-driven” arena shooter in which music controls everything from the physical nature of the map to the kind of classes you can select. Classes will apparently cater both to maniac shooter fans and those that prefer seeking music rhythm precision. As a “Fader” — a musical icon of the futurescape where this bizarre concept takes place — you’ll be able to form teams dedicated to specific musical genres in an attempt to dominate the opposition.
Harmonix are working with Hidden Path, the developers of Counter Strike: Global Offensive and Defense Grid: The Awakening, to handle the pew-pew aspects of the design while infusing it with their musical know-how. It’s a solid base, and I can only hope they deliver on some of the features being promised, such as guns harmonising with other team members for different abilities.
As you can imagine, the game is still in the early stages of development, but you have a chance to take part in a closed alpha by filling out the survey here. Get in now so you can say you, like, played it before it was famous, maaaaan.