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Amped 2 announced

Bigger, better, trickier, online

Microsoft has announced a sequel to in-house snowboarding sim Amped, which will take the series online and expand upon the 'realistic' dynamic used in the first game.

MS Game Studios wants to make it clear that Amped 2 is more than just a simple sequel, with a wealth of online options (as many as eight players per run, downloadable level content, the facility to swap replay files and worldwide leaderboards are promised), enhanced visuals (bigger landscapes, more incidental detail, and even the odd vehicle tearing around in your wake), several control options (including one described by the developer as "Tony Hawk"), a reworked tricks system, and a deepened career mode. MS is also promising more mountains, but so far only Laax in Switzerland and Mt. Buller in Australia have been confirmed.

The career mode will expand on things which didn't quite reach their full potential in the first game. Notably, we'll have more sponsorship and media challenges, with THPS-style stills photographers out on the course. You'll have to pull off specific tricks in front of them, grind through hoops to beat sequence shot challenges and even ride like a demon for the demo reel recording.

According to a Q&A at GameSpot, Amped 2 has been in development since six months before the first game shipped, so it's coming along nicely. We're not sure exactly when it'll hit the slopes, but we'd expect it to be this year.

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