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Less Brutal, More Legend: Karmaflow Is A Rock Opera

that sure is a thing right there

As a recovering, relapse-prone power metal fan, I feel duty-bound to tell you about Karmaflow. On one hand, it’s a puzzle platform adventure inspired by the likes of Zelda, Journey, and Darksiders, but on the other, it’s an actual, factual power metal rock opera. Characters burst into glorious mane-tousling, guitar-combusting shred ballads, with voices provided by the likes of DragonForce singer Marc Hudson, Epica’s Simone Simons, and Cradle of Filth’s Dani, er, Filth. This sounds like the best worst thing ever.

The musical pedigree here is actually rather impressive, with numerous metal acts signed on in addition to a 52-piece symphonic orchestra. Well, that is assuming Karmaflow passes muster on Indiegogo. It’s a bit under halfway to its 50,000€ goal, but the developers – who cite experience on games like Age of Wonders, Overlord, Awesomenauts, and Killzone – claim that the game will be made in some form or another no matter what.

Here’s a basic rundown of the maybe-taking-itself-a-little-too-seriously madness:

“In a rich fantasy setting, you take on the role of the Karmakeeper, who is responsible for maintaining the balance in different worlds. You will travel to these worlds and have to save the Guardian Spirits that live there, by finding and unlocking the long lost Karmaflows.”

“Through puzzling, platforming, and exploration, you will be treated to an extensive story told through interactive music. The Karmakeeper will gain new abilities while making his way through rich environments, and uses sources of Good Karma he can find in the world to drive out the Bad Karma that led to the Guardian Spirits’ downfall.”

It actually looks fairly nice so far, though it is extremely early. Much of the art style appears to have murdered Journey and stolen its skin to wear as a stylish coat, but there are worse sources of incredibly overt inspiration. I do wish the Karmaflow team had more to show of its vaunted “interactive” music, though – if not in final form, then perhaps using a few preliminary recordings synced up with gameplay.

But still: a power metal rock opera videogame. It will either be the greatest thing or the absolute worst. And if we’re really, really lucky, it’ll do a screaming knee slide into the center and be both at the same time. I am hopeful. I am hopeful in spite of myself.

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Nathan Grayson

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