The famed tunnel mode is back and better than ever
Let’s flash back for a second or two. 12 years back. Back to a time when the Terminator was elected Governor, the Matrix was reloaded, and if you weren’t huddled in a corner for fear of contracting SARS, you may have noticed a little company named Apple launch iTunes. The year was 2003. Back when big baggy pants were still cool, the Harry Potter series was on its fifth installment, and music games were still in diapers.
But in my completely unbiased opinion, the best thing that came out of 2003 was the musical beatmatch classic Amplitude for PS2, a game far ahead of its time in terms of musical interactivity and gameplay.
If you loved music and had a PS2, you had Amplitude. Being the sequel and bigger, badder brother of FreQuency, it was the music game to test your skills. Due to its eclectic soundtrack, hypnotic visuals, and addicting gameplay, Amplitude ultimately became an underground hit beloved by hardcore PlayStation gamers and music junkies. If you were a PlayStation Magazine subscriber back then, you probably even got hooked on Amplitude after being mesmerized by the demo disc (Remember those?)!
Amplitude inspired many late-night beat-blasting sessions. Whether you played it with your friends in high school, college, or after the daily slog at work, it was a game we all fondly remember with its melding of prismatic visuals tightly synced to the beat of the music. The beatmatch gameplay was so meticulously authored to the music, that it would create a sort of “flow state” unavailable in any other music game. Your fingers became detached from your mind, and all of a sudden you were able to capture these intense musical patterns you thought were impossible! In other words: musical bliss.
We as a studio hold this game very dear to our hearts and as you probably already know, we are psyched to be bringing this game back to the masses on PS4!
That’s right, after feverishly perfecting the game, we have a release date! Amplitude will be available on PS4 via PlayStation Store on January 5th, 2016. Get your fingers ready!
Where most games need to be tuned for minute-to-minute gameplay, we have tweaked Amplitude to the millisecond (literally). We’ve been hard at work making sure this game exceeds the original in terms of intense beatmatch gameplay, art, and audio.
For instance, for those of you that have played before, you know the best way to rack up points is through streaking. We’ve made it easier to streak through better messaging and new controls. Powerups are easier to acquire. We now have audio reactive environments. We’ve composed an intense in-house custom soundtrack. We’ve added Team Play, which allows 1 vs. 2, 1 vs. 3, and 2 vs. 2 matches. In other words, there’s a ton of new stuff that we’ve been creating for you!
Speaking of new things, we are thrilled to unveil that you’ll be able to turn on tunnel gameplay via a new mode we’re lovingly dubbing FreQ Mode! For those who fondly remember FreQuency, the tracks that continuously wrapped around a tunnel made for some trippy gameplay.
In the original Amplitude, we got away from the tunnel design of FreQuency and flattened out the tracks. We did this with the intention of better track recognition, allowing the player to have a better mental map of the music. We felt flattening out the tracks allowed the players to recognize that, in a certain song, the drums were always the leftmost track. This also allowed us to show off more of the world environments. Little did we know this change would divide gamers (and the in-house team) into two camps: those who thought the tunnel was superior and those who preferred the wide highway of tracks.
Even after 12+ years, we are still divided! So, with some slick engineering work, we thought we’d make it an option to play either way. It’s up to you now to decide which mode is more fun!
We are excited to release Amplitude to the public. We really couldn’t do this without our Kickstarter backers and help from PlayStation in bringing unique indie music games to a wide variety of gamers. There’s something in this game for everyone, whether you’re a hardcore gamer or casual, we hope everyone will get hooked on the killer soundtrack, the amazing visuals, and deep gameplay that is Amplitude.
We hope that you have as much fun playing Amplitude as we’ve had (re)creating it!