Amplitude Hands-on at PAX East 2015


I never really played a lot of Amplitude on PS2 back in the day, mainly because I was kind of bad at it. So, when I heard Harmonix would be showing the game at PAX East, I was fairly excited to see a fresh re-imagining of it in action. If you’ve played the downloadable Rock Band Blitz that hit PS3 and Xbox 360 back in 2012, it’s almost exactly the same thing.

Harmonix was showing off both the single and four-player modes at their booth, and you could also play an experienced developer as a 3v1 kind of thing. The single player functions exactly as an Amplitude successor should, right down to the original button mapping and note progression but with more visual stimulants. It’s been the better part of a decade since I played the game, so controls felt incredibly similar that I could just pick up and play.

There’s no way to fail in multiplayer mode Team Play, you’ll always make it through the song, and all that matters is which side has the higher score at the end. 2v2 option will work well for groups where each team has one skilled player and one casual player, while in 3v1, three lesser players can hold their own against one expert. The players use power-ups offensively, trying to throw off their opponents with Disruptor and Eject. Team Play brings some strategic elements to Amplitude. Lesser gave the example of two-person squads setting up one player as the gem collector and keeping the other on power-up duty. Amplitude’s public showing at PAX East provided plenty of play testing, and served as a reassuring reception for Team Play.

Dan Mintz from Harmonix said the developers were nervous about adding the mode to the game, but got a lot of positive feedback about it during the show in which they were really excited about.