Before Rock Band and Guitar Hero we had FreQuency and Amplitude. Hours upon hours of my younger years were spent perfecting songs in FreQuency. That game in my mind reflects upon a magical time in which I didn’t really know who made the games I played or what the average review score for it was. FreQuency just had a cool looking box art. Those were simpler times. I unfortunately never got to play its sequel Amplitude, but nonetheless I look back on FreQuency quite fondly.
Amplitude on PS4 is pretty much exactly what I expected going in. It is very much the same game that I played all those years ago. I don’t think that’s a bad thing, so much as it’s very clear this is a game dedicated to a group of fans who, like myself, have long waited for these games to return. Each song is set up with a multi-track highway of notes that coincide with different instruments. Instead of choosing one instrument to play (Rock Band, Guitar Hero) you’ll actually switch lanes on a regular basis. Each track features a left, middle, and right note that you’ll need to hit in order to play that section correctly and keep your multiplier building. There’s a pseudo-remix vibe to playing Amplitude in which the song is built dependent upon your play style. You choose when the lyrics come in, you choose when to play drums, etc. In that respect it’s a little different from other rhythm games and presents a really fun way to just play music.
Once again Amplitude elicits many of the same emotions I felt when playing FreQuency some 14 years ago. Completing songs on higher difficulty levels as I somehow manage to hit some of the crazier string of notes is still just exciting. There’s also the ability to play in FreQ Mode (which positions each track around a tunnel) for people like me who want even more of a nostalgia rush.
Amplitude’s campaign takes you on a ride through a 15 track concept album specifically created for this game. These 15 tracks tell the story of someone receiving treatment through the Amplitude OS. The narrative is very vague, but there seems to be implications that this person is in a coma and successfully completing songs is some form of therapy. I guess it’s an interesting concept, but in execution the story (what little there is of it) falls flat and feels unnecessary.
Quickplay mode features 15 additional songs that can be unlocked simply by completing songs. It’s in these songs that the game’s track-list gets a little bit of diversity. You’ll recognize songs from Skullgirls, Transistor, and Insomniac Games just to name a few. I like most of the songs on the track-list, but a lack of genre variety has left me wanting a little more. Even after one week of play I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be wanting to keep coming back to this one.
A copy of this game was provided for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here.
What I Like:
- Same great game that I remember from FreQuency
- Cool to see tracks from other indie games included
- FreQ Mode
What I Dislike:
- Track-list lacks variety
- The 'story'?