Even rhythm action fans already accustomed to new concepts and ideas were blown away by Frequency's stunning mix of hypnotic, trance-inducing visuals, big-name musical artists and finger-warping gameplay. However, creator Harmonix wasn't content with just messing with our minds and turning us into non-blinking FreQs, and so they've crafted the mighty Amplitude in a bid to make our heads completely explode. As before, your aim is to combine your sense of rhythm, reflexes and digital dexterity to 'capture' individual tracks from a host of popular tunes and create music on the fly. The line-up is even stronger than before, with appearances from legends such as David Bowie, Run DMC and Herbie Hancock as well as popular mainstream bands such as Garbage, Papa Roach, Weezer and Pink. This truly is Frequency taken to whole new echelon, so dim the lights, turn the volume up and prepare to become immersed in a world of audio-visual excellence.
Before you get going, you're going to have to create a FreQ - your virtual identity in Amplitude's world - once again. This time, however, the simplistic two-dimensional creation tool has been replaced with a fully three-dimensional create-a-Freq mode that resembles those seen in certain popular wrestling titles. They're also fully animated, so as you switch between tracks in the middle of a game, your FreQ will begin to play the relevant instrument.
The distinctive presentation of the original has also been given a gorgeous overhaul, from the breathtaking new option and mode selection screens to the new way that levels have now been divided into distinctive 'worlds'. Each of the worlds - Neotropolis, Beat Factory, Metaclouds, Elektro Kore and Blastlands - also feature a 'boss' track, which can range from a funky 2002 remix of Herbie Hancock's classic 'Rockit' to the grinding metal of Slipknot's 'I Am Hated'. High-scorers will also be rewarded with a further bonus track if they accumulate enough points in the preceding four songs. Help is on hand in the form of new collectible power-ups. In addition to the return of the instant track capturing Autoblaster, you can pick up the self-explanatory Score Doubler, go scratch crazy with the Freestyler and capture phases with ease thanks to the awesome Slo-Mo.
You'll be pleased to learn that the excellent four-player mode remains if you prefer to play offline, but those of you with the mighty Network Adaptor will be able to play FreQs from around the world thanks to the new network gaming options. The new Duel mode will sate your desire for rhythmic supremacy. Effectively 'Duelling Banjos' with a futuristic twist, you must lay down a track and then challenge your opponent to repeat it. Play then switches over until only one of you remains.
If the original Frequency offered almost unlimited replayability, then Amplitude removes the 'almost' from the equation. As always, the selection of tunes has been deliberately picked to please a wide range of tastes, so you may well find that it also expands your musical horizons. Play it, experience it - love it.
- Improved FreQ creation mode allows for avatars in full 3D
- Features tracks from David Bowie, Garbage, Papa Roach, Run DMC, Pink and over 20 other artists
- Compete against up to three other players in offline battle action
- Highly intuitive and easy-to-use remix mode