Harmonix announces Chroma, a free-to-play rhythm-based FPS

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Rock Band and Dance Central creator Harmonix is showing that the studio is much more than an accomplished music game maker with the announcement of Chroma, a free-to-play multiplayer first-person shooter that is driven by music and rhythm.

Currently in development for the PC in collaboration with Hidden Path Entertainment (Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Defense Grid: The Awakening), Harmonix says that Chroma “completely reimagines the classic Arena FPS formula,” tasking players to sync up actions like shooting and jumping in time with the beat of a given level’s soundtrack.


Harmonix co-founder and CEO, Alex Rigopulos, said of Chroma:

“Chroma has been a dream project of mine for some time. Watching the teams at Harmonix and Hidden Path begin to bring this vision to life has been tremendously exciting. We’re also thrilled to release an alpha version of this game and to evolve it in collaboration with our players. We can’t wait to hear what people think of this new approach to both first-person shooters and music games.”

Chroma looks to borrow recognisable concepts from online shooters, like classes, team-based objectives, sniper rifles and other weapons, and customisation, except augmented with music and sound to freshen things up considerably.

Chroma – Debut Screenshots

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Instead of simply mashing on the fire button while dual-wielding pistols, you’ll need to click in time with cues scrolling down a traditional Rock Band highway while the pistols automatically lock on. If you show patience while aiming down a sniper scope, you’ll be able to deliver a more powerful shot if you shoot when the music has built up a special meter. The landscape will change and transform on the soundtrack’s ‘change ups,’ to add cover, raise sniper towers and more. And if you decide to make use of jump pads scattered around the world, you’ll need to take note of the soundtrack’s beats and jump higher in time with the music.

Harmonix also says that the way you customise your in-game persona will be modelled around your own musical tastes, with weapons that make use of “the crunch of an electric guitar,” “crushing metal drums,” “poppy synths” and more.

The debut trailer for Chroma doesn’t feature any in-game footage, but should give you an idea of what to expect:

Chroma – Debut Trailer

You can apply to take part in the upcoming Closed Alpha test for Chroma to see the game for yourself before it’s out later this year – make your way to the application page over here to sign up.

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