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A City Sleeps: A rhythmic, heavenly twist on bullet-hell shooters

Hayden Dingman | Oct. 17, 2014
A City Sleeps is a phoenix, albeit a phoenix that looks nothing like its predecessor. If you missed the story, it goes like this: Harmonix wanted to make a rhythm-based first-person shooter, called Chroma. After running a beta earlier this year, however, Harmonix realized Chroma was maybe too ambitious, maybe too weird, maybe too whatever--regardless, it wasn't going to get made.

My only sticking point is that there are "only three levels."

Now, each level comes with five different difficulties, and each difficulty is an entirely different set-up in terms of enemy placement, patterns, et cetera. You're still experiencing the "same three levels" though in terms of boss battles, backgrounds, and music. Considering how often you're going to be repeating the content, I would've appreciated a bit more diversity.

On the other hand, the game is fifteen dollars. It's not a huge asking price.

Bottom line

A City Sleeps is a shoot-em-up that can appeal even to people who don't normally love bullet-hell games. It certainly roped me in with Harmonix's fantastic-as-usual audio hooks. Could it be expanded? Sure.

But A City Sleeps is a tight, polished experience that's at times overwhelmingly beautiful — even if, like the archetypal femme fatale, this pretty thing is constantly trying to kill you.


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