Dream Theater are set to release a video game. Never, ever doubt me.
Back in December, I made fun of Dream Theater’s announcement of The Astonishing by saying that their artwork and absurd website experience were closer to a crappy video game than a prog rock album. WELP. According to DreamTheater.net (maybe pony up for the .com, you guys):
“Turbo Tape Games and Dream Theater are proud to announce the production of The Astonishing game, based on the concept album by the same name. The game will be released on PC, Mac, iOS and Android, in Q2 2016!”
Mark this down as yet another occasion that I’ve outfoxed the lamestream metal media. Now for my next bold prediction: This game will be terrible. I was unfamiliar with Turbo Tape Games, so I checked out their website and got some additional information. Allow me to select some choice passages from their press release about The Astonishing game.
“The game will share core gameplay mechanics with TTG’s critically acclaimed UHR: Warlords, with several enhancements for this new project.”
Already, this is a red flag. To my cynical eyes, “share core gameplay mechanics” gives me visions of a re-skinned existing property. And if by “critically acclaimed”, you mean “a single good metacritic review from something called ‘148app.com'”, then sure. To be fair, the game has good user-reviews on iTunes.
“Sign up now to be notified immediately as the game is released as a free download. Additional game content will be sold at a friendly price!”
The game is free, but it looks like it will contain paid DLC and/or in-app purchases, which everyone loves. I would shell out $4.99 to download a sullen Mike Portnoy playable character.
“Prepare to step into the dystopian future as described in the concept album The Astonishing. Travel to The Great Northern Empire Of The Americas (G.N.E.A.) where any dedication, investment or interest in the arts has all but been abandoned. The very soul of what was once real music is lost in a digital quagmire of emotionless sonic madness. In this setting a young man from the Endless Isleland, Gabriel, emerges with a voice so profound it moves everyone that listens, transporting them back to a time where true art created by humans was celebrated and consumed as the ultimate nourishment for the soul.”
For fuck’s sake, THAT’S the story behind the album? How insecure with your successful musical career do you have to be to write a 2-hour long concept record about how no one cares about “REAL MUSIC”? Someone please get James LaBrie a medal for penning this brilliant allegory.
I’m not entirely sure why Dream Theater would tap Turbo Tape Games to create a video game for The Astonishing (or why they would make a game in the first place), but perhaps it is because Turbo Tape Games is “the oldest, most established game development company on the shores of Western Norway”. And nothing screams “FUN” like comic sans and competitive cycling.