Chroma represents a few major steps for Harmonix. This will not only be their first free-to-play game, it will also be their first developed for PC and their first in the Arena FPS genre. Developed in partnership with Hidden Path Entertainment (Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Defense Grid: The Awakening), Chroma attempts to fuse musical elements with classic multiplayer action.
The Harmonix website provides a list of Key features that will be implemented in Chroma:
• Music-driven FPS gameplay – Music matters. Chroma features innovative first-person shooter mechanics that tie the game’s soundtrack directly to combat, traversal, and more.
• Music is your weapon – Unleash streams of sound and music with your arsenal and bring the musical landscape to life in battle! From deep woobling bass to the crunch of an electric guitar, crushing metal drums to poppy synths, choose a weapon load-out that reflects your musical tastes and personal style and and take your sounds into battle.
• Band together – Your team is your band: Join up with your friends and battle for glory. Master multiple classes, each with their own unique musical gameplay mechanics and perks, and lead your team to victory.
• Conquer shifting terrain – “Change Ups” at major musical moments dramatically alter the landscape of the battlefield in realt time both physically and strategically, raising sniper towers, adding cover, and more in sync with the music.
• Free-to-play, but not “pay-to-win” – Free to jump in and play with deep customization, but smartly designed to preserve a fun and fair experience for all players.
In a FPS-saturated market, Chroma has the potential to separate itself with an interesting twist. Making the game free-to-play is pretty smart of Harmonix as well, considering how different the concept appears to be. Chroma will begin Closed Alpha soon. Those interested can sign up for access at playchroma.com. Harmonix plans to release Chroma through the Steam platform on PC in 2014.