Harmonix, the people behind Frequency, Amplitude, and the plastic instrument craze of the mid-00s, has announced a new title, Chroma.
In its press release, Harmonix says that Chroma "features innovative first-person shooter mechanics that tie the game's soundtrack directly to combat, traversal, and more." Players will fire sound and music at enemies, including the "crunch of an electric guitar, crushing metal drums," and "poppy synths," making a weapon loadout a matter of musical taste.
Bands replace teams, though there will still be multiple classes, each with appropriate mechanics and perks. Perhaps the most interesting element is the way the terrain of the battlefield shifts. Harmonix says that "Change Ups at major musical moments dramatically alter the landscape of the battlefield in real time both physically and strategically, raising sniper towers, adding cover, and more in sync with the music."
The game is free to play, but Harmonix says that it isn't "pay to win." That usually means that the pay elements will be primarily cosmetic – additional skins, maybe even other instruments or musical styles. The game is PC-exclusive right now, and headed to Steam this year.
This is the most interesting thing we've seen out of Harmonix in a while. I'm excited about their take on Disney's Fantasia, but I don't know if it'll give them the freedom they need. Chroma is the first time the team has gone completely off rails, and I can't wait to see what they do. I hope my hillbilly deathstep band will be as effective as I think it will.