I’ve got a weird thing for weird rhythm games. It’s been a long time since I’ve been any good at Guitar Hero, but there’s an inescapable attraction in my mind to timing things to music. Tinimations’ Klang, then, in which you play an “elite rave warrior” (which, incidentally, is what I want carved into my gravestone), piqued my interest.
“Klang blends the variety of tasks players must perform in action games with the timing of rhythm games.” Tom-Ivar Arntzen of Tinimations said in a press release. “The result is a super immersive experience where both what you’re doing and the music you’re doing it to matter.” Of course, being a rhythm game, Klang‘s marketing material stresses the importance of the music, but repeatedly this idea of multitasking is mentioned – the player will have to balance movement with the soundtrack. This sounds exhilarating, but also potentially confusing and disorientating, so I get the sense that a lot will come down to the game’s execution.
Klang‘s combination of ideas remind me generally of Crypt of the NecroDancer, which also attempted to combine exploration and action, though it veered towards RPG. The Metronomicon, as well, is another upcoming music-infused action game. Unlike those two titles, Klang avoids the trappings of fantasy, opting for a neon-drenched future setting.
The game is scored by bLiNd, an EDM artist who is also prolific in the game music remix community. According to him, “For Klang to really work, it had to be highly optimized to fit the music. This is why I went to great lengths to create an original soundtrack that both worked with what players were doing in the game and got them pumped to play.” Thinking about this, I’m reminded of my recent experience playing Furi. While not, strictly speaking, a rhythm game, the boss’s attack patterns were synchronised with the game’s stellar soundtrack, creating this sublime audiovisual and gameplay experience as the soundtrack’s highs and lows both pushed you onward and tested your nerve. I’m quietly hopeful that this feeling is what Klang will aim for.
Klang offers to “test even the most skilled rhythm gamer’s multitasking skills by throwing exploration, combat and platforming into the mix”, and from the looks of the trailer they’re not lying. Publisher Snow Cannon Games announced today that the game will launch via Steam on September 22nd.