Say the words “rock opera” and some loathsome cynical tumour deep within me will writhe as it tries to excrete a snobbish joke about Ben Elton. I’m trying to be a better person, trying so hard every day. But look, here’s Karmaflow: The Rock Opera Videogame. It’s a puzzle-platformer with a cast list that reads like the unofficial soundtrack to a late-’90s IRC channel, filled with folks from metal bands including Dragonforce, Arch Enemy, Sonata Arctica, and Cradle of Filth. The first of two acts launched yesterday, and it’s become an actual real-world rock opera too.
In epic rock opera style, Karmaflow tells a story about troubled worlds in need of saving, accompanied by an orchestral score with metallic shredding, roaring, and wailing. The puzzle-platforming looks unexciting, but I imagine the grand spectacle of a rock opera will be doing the heavy lifting anyway. It’s a shame the world and character designs don’t seem to carry the metal vibe over as much as, say, Brutal Legend does, but Karmaflow is made by a much smaller and partially-crowdfunded team.
Karmaflow is £12.49 on Steam. Only the first act is out now, but that’ll get you the second too when it arrives, which developers Basecamp Games say will be in April. Here, have a launch trailer: