Is it just me or have computer game graphics been stuck in a bit of a rut recently? You know what I mean: increasingly detailed textures stuck over the same angled surfaces. Happily, titles for next generation games consoles have got things moving again and there is no better example of this than what we saw late last week from Sega’s Virtua Tennis 3.
Coming to both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in the summer of 2007, VT3 provides a breathtaking sneak preview of what we can expect from future titles as developers get increasingly comfortable coding for these new machines. “Photo-realistic” is the phrase Sega is using and I can’t say I disagree too much given that I was half way through typing an email to the company’s friendly (and suitably named) PR rep Alex Friend asking for actual game shots when I realised that was exactly what I’d been sent!
As Matt Woodley, Creative Director of Sega, chipped in: “Virtua Tennis 3 provides a must have in-depth experience - though I'd say the graphics alone are reason to buy and the quality is so sharp and clear you can even see the veins on the players’ necks!”
If the finished game lives up to what we see here I have to admit Woodley won’t be far wrong. As he touched on it doesn’t look to be a brainless beauty either, with one-off exhibition matches backed up by a full career mode enabling players create their own tennis star and travel the world working their way up the rankings, gaining entry to all the major tournaments and taking on actual real life licensed stars from the circuit. Furthermore, a whole host of mini games will be incorporated alongside the main challenge designed to teach new skills, sharpen reactions and raise a smile.
The only downer in all this is the near 12 month wait we’ve got in store. That said, Sega will be showing off live footage from VT3 at this year’s E3 (which kicks off on 10 May) and as ever we’ll be bringing you extensive coverage of all the movers and shakers.
Until then, here’s a few more screenies of VT3 to keep your collective appetites more than a little damp.