No matter the project, music has played a core role in each of Harmonix’s games. The latest project from the studio behind Rock Band, Guitar Hero, and Dance Central is no exception—though it may look quite different.
Harmonix unveiled A City Sleeps to coincide with the Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle, Washington, and at its core, the game sounds familiar to fans of shooters like Ikaruga and arcade classic Defender. Players control the main character, Poe, with one control stick, and aim and fire her weapons with another. But Harmonix’s latest title, complete with an anime-influenced art style, injects the formula with a few fresh twists.
Poe, a “dream exorcist,” is tasked with ridding the people of her town of demons plaguing their nightmares. Aided by a trio of ghosts, Poe must travel into the dreams of all those around her who have been put into a deep, horrific sleep and fight her way through hoards of enemies to save them.
Sleeps sets itself apart—and becomes a distinctly Harmonix product—thanks to its original soundtrack. The game’s music will be used to dictate where enemies appear, how they move, as well as the movement of Poe and her enemies’ projectiles. While the most daring players may want to try it with the audio off, Sleeps looks to be best enjoyed with its soundtrack bumping out of a computer’s speakers.
A City Sleeps is planned for release on Windows PC and Mac via Steam this October.