I Am Pretty Much All About This Rock Opera Game

I have no eyes so I must sing

You might remember that I reported on the Indiegogo for a rock opera videogame called Karmaflow a while back. Dumb name I know, but rock operas are kind of inherently dumb in the most spectacular, wonderful fashions possible. The crowdfunding campaign didn’t quite get full funding, but it yielded enough for the team to really get into the multi-part harmony with string accompaniment that is game development. It’s looking like exactly my kind of thing, too: think Journey with power metal sing-a-longs. I KNOW. I know. New trailer below.

For the uninitiated, this one features singers from Dragonforce, Cradle of Filth, Epica, Sonata Arctica, and Arch Enemy, among others. The symphonic bits, meanwhile, come from the Dutch Metropole Orchestra. Even if the game only turns out so-so, its soundtrack will likely cause listeners to sprout poofy metal manes and knee slide to work every morning.

The game itself is a puzzle-platformer, easily the least intriguing thing about it, but hopefully the concept and (so far) very interesting-looking world provide a solid foundation for hoppity boppity antics.

I’ll be honest: I dig the hell out of this. My musical tastes range from dumb to overblown bombast to idiot, and – as you may have suspected – I kinda sorta like videogames a little. This is chocolate meets peanut butter for me. Chocolate meets peanut butter meets metal. I am ever skeptical since I’ve yet to play any of it, but here’s hoping, like, a lot.

Karmaflow will be out in January 2015. Are you ready to rock and/or opera?

57 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    Harlander says:

    \m/ \m/

    Tangentially, I heard some rumours of Sonata Arctica making a videogame based off one of their albums, but it didn’t go anywhere.

    multi-part harmony with string accompaniment that is game development

    I C(++) what you did there… I think.

    • BarneyL says:

      Hopefully it turns out to be an OK Computer game.

    • rpsKman says:

      It went nowhere indeed. The studio doesn’t exist anymore. But Tony is here. And this sounded like Simone?

  2. magogjack says:

    You had me at Cradle of Filth…

  3. Great Cthulhu says:

    How did I miss this before?! I am sooo not interested in the gameplay, but that didn’t stop me with Brutal Legend either. Hope they’ll be able to make an equally atmospheric world.

  4. Spacewalk says:

    And all bands that I can’t fucking stand too.

    • Premium User Badge

      Harlander says:

      There’s something liberating about knowing you’re not going to like something so early in its lifecycle, though, isn’t there? You’re spared the dizzying elation and bitter disappointment of hype

    • Volcanu says:

      You’d be more of a Mercyful Fate kinda guy I’m guessing?

      • Spacewalk says:

        Oh yes, but if I had to be honest I’d rather see a game about Bal-Sagoth rather than the King.

        • Spacewalk says:

          Or a Mount & Blade clone set in Blashyrkh.

          • Volcanu says:

            Possible title : ‘A Grim and Frostbitten Kingdom’ or perhaps ‘Battles in the North’ would be more apt…..

        • Volcanu says:

          If only because the title would be amazing, and probably take up half of your Steam game list through it’s long windedness…

          EDIT- comment system doesnt make it clear but this refers to the Bal Sagoth post. Actually the front covers of most of their albums look like they could be from a mid 90’s computer game…The ‘Power Cosmic’ particularly

    • Shooop says:

      Hahah, you and me both.

      Fucking hate Dani Filth especially.

      • Volcanu says:

        I am not a fan of his vocal style to be honest with you but he does appear to have a good sense of humour and a tongue lodged very firmly in his cheek from whenever I’ve seen him interviewed…

        • rpsKman says:

          He’s a cool and intelligent guy, but he just doesn’t have a voice anymore.

        • MadTinkerer says:

          There are plenty of people who as far as I know are perfectly fine folks whose work is not to my tastes. Like all of the Call of Duty developers. And most Hip Hop artists (I prefer R&B).

          • Volcanu says:

            Fair enough, but if that’s the case would you still say you ‘fucking hate’ them though….?

    • Bassen_Hjertelos says:

      I gather King Diamond is the rule of law? :o)
      I’m not a real fan of the whole symphonic gothic metal genre as I mostly find it too bland and soft, but I do like me a metal opera-ish thingamajig once in a while.

  5. noodlecake says:

    I’m not generally a fan of over the top, pompous metal (or much metal at all for that matter), or operas/musicals but I absolutely dig that this is being made, and it looks really pretty. Coupled with thewse quite beautiful and unique visuals I can see myself enjoying this, and at least it’s a nice melodic sort of proggish metal rather than horrible growly vocals.

    I have my eye on this. :)

  6. Lemming says:

    I’m 100% on board with a rock-opera video game. However, I’m not loving the art. It’s a bit too weird, pushing this game slightly over the line into pretentious territory.

    • Premium User Badge

      Harlander says:

      Pretentious art sounds pretty apt for the genre to me

    • Spacewalk says:

      It totally needs to look exactly like the Battle At Helm’s Deep sleeve because you can’t get more metal than that.

      • Shodex says:

        I’m agreeing with this. I get that they’re trying to go unique, but the setting doesn’t feel ‘metal’ enough.

    • Niko says:

      Weird doesn’t equal pretentious. A game would be pretentious if, say, it’ll be pitched as a completely new and different from all previous game metaphysical experience, inspired by Enlightenment philosophy, that forces the player to reassess their life, and then turns out to be a reskin of Pacman with some symphonic music for soundtrack.

    • noodlecake says:

      Yeah. I’m not sure what’s pretentious about it. :S It’s not putting on a pretence of anything. It’s just artists being creative and unique and delivering something that stands out. We need more of this, not less.

  7. Baltech says:

    If Tobi Sammet made a videogame…

  8. vivlo says:

    “For the uninitiated”
    Surely you mean “for the not 15-years-old-emo-girls” ?

    • Michael Fogg says:

      Wrong stereotype. Should be rather ‘for the 15 years old LARP-loving boys’.

  9. Eukatheude says:

    Featuring the worst singers from the worst possible metal bands!

    • noodlecake says:

      Hmm. She sounds less abysmal than most metal vocalists I’ve heard.

  10. Rikard Peterson says:

    How did I miss this last time you posted? I don’t know any of the bands (I don’t listen to much metal, or hard rock of any kind), but this does look interesting. I don’t mind that it’s a platformer either (prefer those to shooters).

  11. Baines says:

    This is one of those games that I wanted to see make their Kickstarter, but didn’t trust that the final result would be good enough to pay for it before release.

    EDIT: Maybe the article should also mention Karmaflow In Concert, the live tour for the music for the game.

  12. derbefrier says:

    I will just echo that I too am not a huge fan of metal(I prefer the punk rock) but I have been known to listen to it every great once and a while. some bands like dragonforce are just technically impressive even though its not my style and I can dig that. If the game itself is fun I will give it a shot. All my best friends are metalheads so I am familier with most of the bands.

  13. Keyrock says:

    Okay, so there are going to be some really shitty metal bands in this (are there really people that like Dragonforce? Seriously?), but beyond that, what do you actually do in this “game”. I know it was mentioned that this is a puzzle platformer, but watching that video I come away with the question “do you actually do anything in this game?”

    • Magnusm1 says:

      “shitty metal bands”

      Thank god we have you here to teach us what is good music and what isn’t. It’s not like music is subjective or something.

      • Karma_Ivo says:

        The bands themselves will not be on this, just the singers. All the music is especially composed for the game and written for band & orchestra. The singer in this video is Mariangela Demurtas from the band Tristania (and occasional guest-singer for Moonspell).

  14. magogjack says:

    What about metal fans makes them so whinny about metal?

    • Premium User Badge

      Harlander says:

      It’s because when you sing along you end up a little horse

      • Sleepy Will says:

        Hehehehe

      • Geebs says:

        Regardless, it looks like this game’s kickstarter didn’t manage to convince many metal fans to pony up the cash. It seems they got a pretty palfrey sum…

        • Volcanu says:

          I thought about it, but when I saw the stable of bands they had enlisted it had to be a neigh from me…

          • Premium User Badge

            Skabooga says:

            Well, they are probably just bitter that modern metal bands aren’t producing music half as good as the classic bands like Sleigher.

          • Geebs says:

            Yeah, I kinda bridled at the suggestion that Dragonforce are worth listening to. I’d seriously like to pommel those guys.

          • LennyLeonardo says:

            I was sitting here thinking “it’s spelled ‘pummel’, you idiot”, and then I realised that I’m an idiot and you are a genius. True story.

          • magogjack says:

            Thats kind of how I felt about accidentally inspiring a string of puns because I can’t spell. I didn’t want to say anything however and buck the trend since I’m no good at wordplay.

          • Volcanu says:

            Probably for the best magogjack. Id hate for you to end up saddled with emotional baggage resulting from pun failure

  15. lowprices says:

    Having watched the video this will either end up as an appalling mess or my game of the year. I genuinely can’t see how it could turn out to be anything else.

  16. Shooop says:

    Did the team set out to choose the worst possible bands they could on purpose? Because that’s exactly what they managed to do.

    • Magnusm1 says:

      Thank god we have you here to teach us what is good music and what isn’t. It’s not like music is subjective or something.

  17. Truck_Rockpec says:

    ” …this one features singers from Dragonforce, Cradle of Filth, Epica, Sonata Arctica, and Arch Enemy, among others.”

    Welp, I’m preordering, especially if they have an edition where the soundtrack comes on its own. I’m a rock opera/metal nerd too. Ayreon is easily my favorite, and this looks like it might be up there in terms of creativity.

    • dvoid says:

      Yea, big fan of Arjen(ayreon) , would love to make a game based on hies Into the electric castle album ;)

  18. nimbulan says:

    I’d actually forgotten about this game. I remember looking at their Indiegogo campaign and not being very confident in them making a good game. I’d be much happier with a game along the same lines as Brutal Legend. While I do like the idea of a metal opera game, the music in the trailer just sounds a bit off to me, like the instrument balance is wrong for metal. I guess we’ll see how it turns out.

    • Rikard Peterson says:

      Funny, I was about to write that the orchestration was pretty good. The electric guitars blend well with the orchestra. Though I guess that makes the sound less “metal” than if they’d been in the foreground. If I have one problem with the music in the trailer, it’s that the singing is a bit weak. Imagine Björk singing instead, and it would have been great.

  19. Lazarus says:

    So… That logo… It that a Mass Effect Reaper?

  20. unit 3000-21 says:

    I was hoping for some good ol’ glam rock opera game but they gave me Dragonforce instead.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      That was my thought as well, but I do also love me some cheesy power/symphonic metal from time to time. Sonata Arctica being a particularly guilty pleasure.

  21. Dances to Podcasts says:

    Journey, eh? I guess after their Indiegogo failed they… didn’t stop believing.