Don’t mess with secret worlds – they might just drag you into a song. Chorus, an adventure game from Dragon Age lead writer David Gaider might not look too extraordinary on the surface. A modern-fantasy RPG dealing with murderous plots and supernatural scheming? Vampire: The Masquerade, is that you?
But Chorus has something up its sleeve – something that, if it pays off, could make it very special indeed. Plenty of games have banging soundtracks. Chorus is gunning to be the first adventure game musical, giving you narrative control over every last tune.
Do yourself a favour and skip to the 1:07 mark of this trailer, unless you’re quite into a hammy developer pre-amble. You’ve been warned.
In Chorus, you’ll be chatting up a cast of Ancient Greek gods to solve a murder mystery, like some sort of adult sing-along Percy Jackson book. A Muse just turned up dead on your doorstep after lending you her supernatural powers, and her godly family would quite like to see you six feet under. An eye for an eye, and all that.
It’s a musical plugged into an adventure game, with a distinctly BioWare social system full of stat-driven choices. By levelling up in Kickass (I want to hit things), Clever (I want to think about things), or Charming (let’s smooch) traits, you’ll be able to skew both the direction of the story and -importantly – the songs.
Now, I’m normally only into theatrical bops if I’m down a few pints and the bar I’ve found myself in is having a karaoke night (and it’s been a while, even then). But Chorus’s musical numbers aren’t just for show. As a Muse, you’ll be able to shift the direction of a tune during performance, encouraging other characters to confess anything from their darkest crimes to their intense thirst for you. Ah, there’s the BioWare lineage.
Chorus is a passion project with some narrative chops behind it. Now, I don’t know how many musicals Gaider and the team have personally penned in their own time. But with Austin Wintory – the composer of Journey, The Banner Saga and personal fave Absolver – penning some sing-along tunes, while Troy Baker takes time out of being in every game ever made to direct the cast, this attempt at pulling off a videogame musical should be interesting at the very least.
They’re currently seeking funding over on Fig, that strangest of crowdfunding sites. Chorus is looking for $600,000 (£466k) to bring its mythological musical to your screen in around two years time.