Harmonix is teaming up with Disney to develop Fantasia: Music Evolved, a new motion-driven audio game for Kinect on both Xbox One and Xbox 360. It's not an overt adaptation of the 1940s feature film, but a contemporary, interactive take on Fantasia's evocative melding of music and visual artistry. Nix "Night on Bald Mountain" for Bruno Mars and you're halfway there.
You complete songs in Fantasia: Music Evolved by responding in rhythm to on-screen symbols and willing your feeble sausage arms into various pushes and directional swipes. You can also augment the music and its accompanying input pattern at several points by seamlessly swiping into one of two different possible remixes. In a demo shown to press, I was able to switch to an oddly formal but pleasant orchestral rendition of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody."
Harmonix has also included a strong freestyle component in Fantasia, reflected in abstract but intuitive symbols that allow further augmentation of the current track. Drawing shapes on a sphere with your hand, in one example, can create new instrumentation and layer that on top of the active track.
Once a song is completed, it spills into the level hub and gradually enriches the environment. One such hub, "The Shoal," is an aquatic playground for fish that becomes more dynamic as you complete songs and prod the scenery back to life and sound. The musical progression, so perceivably tied to the gorgeous environments, does conjure memories of Fantasia, even though the two share no characters – save for a certain wizard.
Fantasia: Music Evolved is currently set to debut in 2014. In the meantime, you can enjoy the game's first trailer (above), in which a bunch of gyrating Bieber-mages duel to the max. The track list as announced thus far is right after the break.
Tracks announced for Fantasia: Music Evolved:
• AVICII – "Levels"
• Bruno Mars – "Locked Out Of Heaven"
• Fun. – "Some Nights"
• Kimbra – "Settle Down"
• Queen – "Bohemian Rhapsody"
Microsoft Xbox One