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Rhythmic Shmup: Harmonix's A City Sleeps

Seems pretty lively to me.

In the deepest, darkest basement of Harmonix HQ, Alex Rigopulos is trying to make a rhythm game out of a Cherry Bakewell. He’s added coloured buttons to it, he’s patting it to a mamba beat, he’s jabbing the glacé cherry and making an airhorn noise with his mouth. They’ll try to turn anything and everything into a rhythm game, that lot. Making air guitar into Guitar Hero went pretty dang well, though trying to rhythmise FPSs with Chroma has been trickier. They won’t give up.

Harmonix are now having a crack at shoot ’em ups, they announced yesterday, in A City Sleeps.

It’s a twin-stick shoot ’em up where, they say, “Music drives player projectiles, enemy spawning, movement, and bullet patterns.” It’s carefully choreographed and orchestrated, y’see, with music both signalling game events and reacting to them, action building up the soundtrack.

You play as a dream exorcist who’s entered the minds of a mystically sleeping city to figure out what’s going on rouse the layabouts. And you have ghost buddies who can boost your abilties and possess items within the dreamscape to help out, because anything’s possible with the twin powers of dreams and ghosts.

Harmonix plan to start selling A City Sleeps through Steam some time in October for £10.99.

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Alice O'Connor

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When not writing news, Alice may be found in the sea.

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