Amplitude, an early game from Guitar Hero, Rock Band, and Dance Central developers Harmonix, is officially making a comeback. The reboot project just got funded on Kickstarter with less than 24 hours to go; as of a week ago, the game had only raised around a third of its $775,000 goal. It will now see release on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 with an estimated arrival date of March 2015; Sony still owns the rights to the franchise, meaning the new entry will be restricted to PlayStation platforms.
"It's basically like having five or six 'Guitar Hero' or 'Rock Band' tracks next to each other."
The original Amplitude was released for the PlayStation 2 in 2003, and built on 2001 title Frequency. Like Guitar Hero, the game involves hitting musical notes scrolling down the screen in time, but it's much more abstracted and focused around electronic music. "I would say that it has a pretty unique combination of beat matching that you would find in something like Rock Band, mixed with a very arcadey, very fast-paced tactical terrain navigation element," said Harmonix creative lead Ryan Lessler, describing the game to Polygon.
"I usually talk to people about the pacing element of Amplitude, because it's basically like having five or six Guitar Hero or Rock Band tracks next to each other, and the ones you choose make a difference. It's just the intensity [that] skyrockets, and I think that intensity is something that I tend to focus on when I explain it to people."
Despite critical acclaim, Amplitude was a sales failure on the PS2, forcing Harmonix to turn to Kickstarter in order to justify the project. "I don't think our struggle to fund Amplitude is evidence that the game doesn't have wide appeal," said Harmonix CEO and co-founder Alex Rigopolous in a Reddit AMA earlier this week. "In our experience, Amplitude has incredibly broad appeal — once people actually play it! The challenge is that it's a hard game for people to get their heads around based on just a description or a screen shot."