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PAX 2016 Klang Preview: Drop the Bass

Klang puts you in control of a musical brawler, and the results are very promising. 

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Klang is a playable dubstep track. A rhythm-based action platformer, it’s a euphoric and dazzling take on a genre that doesn’t typically host this style of game.

It begins on a stage, where our lone hero stands amidst neon lights and structures pumping with music. A large, Zeus-like god is nestled in the background, maniacally spinning a turntable and sporting a large pair of headphones. Silhouettes of a crowd cheer you on as small enemies approach and surround you.

Meanwhile, the music is slowly building, emerging in a gradual crescendo before it releases all tension and drops into its core melody. Both the main creator and the composer bLiNd explained the music and the game were working in tandem to influence the shape of one another. Working loosely, they haven't settled on a set "pattern" for creation; rather, the composer and creator have discussions about what sort of elements need to be in the game, and then work together to influence each other's work. 

Once the song kicks into gear the enemies attack, spurred by the song’s movement and requiring the player’s attention in all directions as they fight back against their onslaught. When timed correctly, every hit is emphasized by pulses and bumps within the track, layering on an added amount of adrenaline. Small warning cones attached to each enemy slowly fill as their danger approaches, and perfectly-timed hits result in satisfying bursts of color and light.

Playing alongside--arguably in--these songs creates a brilliant fusion of sound and action. Hits are emphasized by bursts of neon energy, and the character’s attack animations convey a sense of nimble and fluid movement.

It’s being created by a very small development team, and in an effort to conserve resources, the creator has opened up more difficulty levels or people to tackle once they beat the core game. It’s faster, much more risky, and something not to be reckoned with.

Perhaps Klang’s only hitch is its arguable use of too much of a good thing. Too much visual flair can sometimes make the action challenging to follow, and sometimes obscures important information like the character’s health status or movement. Still, when it works, it works wonderfully, and dubstep never sounded, looked, or played so good.

Contributing Editor

From The Chatty