PAX East First Impressions – Karmaflow: The Rock Opera Videogame

Put down your spear and tie up your Pegasus, I’m afraid the Valkyries won’t be flying tonight. While Karmaflow certainly lives up to its title as a Rock Opera video game – in fact, a live opera that ties into the game is already in development as well – it doesn’t task players with belting any tunes or suiting up in costume. Instead, Karmaflow is an exploration adventure game with some light puzzle elements, and even a few collectibles thrown in for good measure. Bringing together such rock and metal singers as Dragonforce, Epica, Sonata Arctica, Cradle of Filth, and more, the game is actually tied together by a more fantasy-driven narrative than any real-world music styling.

Karmaflow(2)Players assume the role of a Karmakeeper, a unique individual tasked with bringing balance to the universe. This particular Karmakeeper has no recollection of their past, and will develop a better understanding of their mission and place in the cosmos as the adventure progresses across five distinct game worlds with unique aesthetic qualities and distinct music tracks. During exploration, players will extract Karma orbs from various organic objects and infuse them into others to open new pathways. Be warned though, as extracting karma is much like absorbing the life force of the object, and doing so will leave it in a withered state resulting in various side effects. Each level will also contain collectibles, which can net the player rewards ranging from bonus character skins and character statues to additional music tracks. At the end of every world, players will discover multiple characters and have to make the choice of who to side with. These choices cause the story to branch outward, affecting the narrative and culminating in an ending that is ultimately shaped by the player.

Karmaflow(1)Karmaflow features about 14 musical artists, who will also be lending their voices to characters in the game. These characters will help explain the story, and offer additional sidequests to undertake as well. According to Team Karmaflow, the game’s developer, the entire experience is said to take about 3-5 hours to complete on a first playthrough, with each successive world becoming progressively larger and more abstract in design. Branching story paths and collectibles are intended to increase the game’s replay value.

Karmaflow: The Rock Opera Videogame is targeting a release on PC and Mac sometime towards the end of this year. More information about the project can be found on the official website, and those interested can keep up with project updates via Twitter or Facebook. Of course, you can also stay tuned to IGM as we follow the game’s continued development.