Chroma is what happens when the studio that gave us Guitar Hero and Rock Band makes a first-person shooter.
Harmonix Music Systems has announced its next big thing, and it's a shooter! That's right, a shooter, an FPS, the kind of thing that typically involves burly men and evil aliens and guns and explosions and good times all around. Not necessarily the sort of game you'd expect from a studio best known for turning millions of people into pretend musicians, but this doesn't look like an entirely conventional shooter, either.
Chroma is a class-based online shooter that puts you into the fight as a Fader, a "musical icon of the future," where music is your weapon and sound is your arsenal. What does that mean? No idea, and Harmonix doesn't seem too concerned about clearing it up at this early stage, but different weapon loadouts will produce different sound and effects that will "reflect your musical tastes and personal style" as you go into combat - a Motorhead versus Mozart type of thing, perhaps.
Players will also have to contend with shifting terrain as they battle for control of the Signal, as the landscape changes during "major musical moments," throwing up cover, sniper platforms and other strategic elements in time with the music.
Chroma will be free-to-play, which I know won't excite the pants off of everyone, but Harmonix insists that it won't be "pay-to-win," and that all players will be able to enjoy a "fun and fair experience." We'll see how that works once the game launches; in the meantime, there's a reasonably cool teaser you can enjoy and a closed alpha you can sign up for at playchroma.com. Chroma is slated to hit Steam later this year.