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Guitar Hero creators Harmonix and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive studio Hidden Path Entertainment have teamed up for a game that combines their interests in music games and shooters. Chroma is a musical, multiplayer shooter in development for the PC.
"Chroma has been a dream project of mine for some time,” said Harmonix co-founder and CEO Alex Rigopulos. “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."
Harmonix and Hidden Path envision Chroma as an "arena-style" first-person shooter. Players wield weapons with different musical properties. A weapon based on an electric guitar will perform differently than one based on, say, metal drums. There are also multiple classes, each with different musical perks to help their team to victory.
Music also alters the terrain of the battlefield. The landscape will transform at key moments of each song. Cover could be added or removed, changing your situation dramatically.
Chroma will be free-to-play. However, Harmonix says that it won't be pay-to-win. Would any developer would actually admit that their game is pay-to-win? Probably not. Regardless, Harmonix says that their game will be "fun and fair" to all players regardless of how much money you spend.
The announcement mentions that the game is powered by the Unreal Engine, presumably UE4. The visuals for the game are gorgeous. In the first trailer, two characters battle each other on a battlefield made of brittle, shining glass while dubstep plays. It's unclear whether the entire game looks like this or whether there are other art styles depending on the music playing.
The closed alpha test for Chroma will occur soon. You can sign up at PlayChroma.com.
"Please note that, in Alpha, you'll experience a very early version of the game; there will likely be a ton of bugs and incomplete functionality," says the sign-up page. "This initial preview will not be representative of our final release -- we'll be using your feedback to iterate and work towards a final product."
The alpha version of Chroma hasn't been optimized yet either so the system requirements are higher than they'll be in later versions. Here are the recommended specs for the alpha: