Before they made people boogie in living rooms with Dance Central or shred plastic guitars with Rock Band, the people at Harmonix made Amplitude, a fantastic, underappreciated rhythm game for the PS2. Folks have been asking for more Amplitude for a long, long time now. Those fans might be getting their wish.
The catch is that a modern re-make of Amplitude will only come to PS3 and PS4 if enough people get excited about it bringing it back.
In many ways, Amplitude was the game that put Harmonix on the map. A sequel to 2001’s Frequency, its design shows off the basic building blocks that would show up later in Guitar Hero and Rock Band. But Amplitude was an action game played on a gamepad and offered a different sort of challenge when compared to rhythm genre titles that came before and after it.
That’s why Harmonix wants to bring the 11-year-old game back. “It’s got an intensity that the other games don’t have,” said Ryan Lesser, creative lead on the original Amplitude and the man spearheading the re-make. “We think it came out before people were ready.”
I spoke to Lesser last week and he said that the dev team working on the reboot isn’t looking to significantly change the previous version’s mechanics. (There have been spiritual descendants to the Amplitude formula on PlayStation platforms, in the form of Rock Band Unplugged and Rock Band Blitz.) “The focus is going to be on tweaking and refining the gameplay,” he said. The would-be Amplitude 2.0 should have music and gameplay that are married even better than before, Lesser stated.
And what about the music? Lesser says that the majority of the re-imagined game’s songs will be all-new, though some Amplitude tracks will be getting remixes. If you’re hoping that this release might have the original version as part of the package, Lesser said that there’s been discussion around having that as a stretch goal.
Speaking of stretch goals, Lesser said that the thinking at Harmonix was that Amplitude makes a good match for crowdfunding, because it’s an older game with a sustained demand for a re-imagining. “It’s not an unknown property,” he continued. “If anything, we think that the demand for us to revisit [Amplitude] has only gotten stronger.” So, if you’re one of the people who’s been wishing for a new version of Harmonix’s pioneering rhythm action game, head over to the Kickstarter page and do what your heart demands.