Previews

Amplitude Impressions — Harmonix brings new life to a classic

Amplitude can be considered a cult classic among rhythm fans, a crazy game involving shooting down notes and gems to clear tracks of music and slowly piece together a song as it progresses. After a failed Kickstarter, Sony saw fit to give them a well-deserved second shot at releasing their new Amplitude title on PS4, and the results are truly amazing.

The game plays just like it used to, with easy beats and notes giving way to many tracks full of complex sequences. Completing phrases to clear the tracks, and gem phrases to earn power-ups, is crucial to keeping the track from falling apart. With only four buttons and the left stick or d-pad for controls, it’s easy for newcomers to pick up and play Amplitude.

The concept for the game is quite interesting. Doctors, attempting to find a way to induce synesthesia, accidentally put a patient into a coma. The game is representative of you delving into her subconscious to wake her up, and the synesthesia elements are portrayed in both the colors of the tracks, and the titles and lyrics of each song.

Sometimes it's easier to get the drums and bass playing before moving to more difficult tracks.

Sometimes it’s easier to get the drums and bass playing before moving to more difficult tracks.

PR and Communications lead Nick Chester said that the game’s soundtrack is like a concept album. Harmonix is working inhouse with composers and musicians to create an original soundtrack for the game.

Singleplayer was fantastic, but Harmonix also showed off a build of their multiplayer portion as well. Up to four players compete for score and are open to move to any track they want while playing the song. Tracks are first come, first serve; other players can play them, but if they weren’t the first onto the track, they won’t get points for clearing it. To combat this, power-ups can be used to disrupt other players or outright steal from them.

Completing gem phrases still give power-ups, but several new ones appear in multiplayer, including the time-slowing Sedate, the confusion-inducing Disrupt, and a power-up that forces all players out of a track, Eject, making the user the new king supreme of that track. Multiply serves the same purpose of boosting your score, and Clear allows you to steal the points for clearing a track, even mid-phrase.

The game starts out easy, but the difficulty quickly ramps up as you scale up the level of play.

The game starts out easy, but the difficulty quickly ramps up as you scale up the level of play.

Amplitude is back, and wow, is it fun. Throughout most of my time at Playstation Experience, I was trying to find time to squeak in another round of multiplayer. The game is fun for anyone to pick up and play, and the higher difficulties will pose a great challenge to those rhythm buffs who like to 100 percent every track.

Look f0r Amplitude in 2015, coming to both the PS3 and PS4.

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