E3 2009: Afrika
Players: 1 Player Game | Genre: Adventure
Afrika is a title that intrigued a lot of gamers when Sony first showed it off alongside the unveiling of the PlayStation 3. Since that time, it seemed we, in markets outside of Japan, would have little or no chance to play the title. The chances for release seemed even slimmer since Sony released the title in Japan last summer. Thankfully for gamers outside of Japan, Nantsume has picked up the rights to the title for the North America audience. We had the chance to sit down with Natsume's own Graham Markay to take a closer look at the latest build of Afrika.
Afrika, developed by Rhino Studios, is just as visually appealing as the title was several years ago. You are on an African Safari and must go on various assignments to gather the best shot for your given task. You will be graded on these shots and the animals all are moving about the world so you never know how they will react.
Graham told us that there will be a lot of gameplay included in the US release of Afrika. You will find over a hundred missions to compete in. This doesn't include the ability to wander off on your own and take photos apart from these missions. Players will need to go on missions if they hope to gather enough funds to unlock all of the licensed Sony SLR camera equipment. This will lead to around 60 hours of gameplay.
On assignment, players go out in to the wild and look for animals to shoot. Perhaps that isn't the best way to word it because there is no violence in the title. Shooting only comes from your camera and even if you get cornered by a lion or massive hippo, players will simply faint. This might not be the most realistic way to handle wildlife--but Afrika is about exploring, shooting pictures, and viewing animals in their natural habitat.
Another great feature is that you have full options over your camera. As the assignments take place at any type of day, you can choose to use a full automatic shooting mechanic or turn on full manual modes. This will not only keep the game assessable for players new to the world of SLR cameras--but allow them the chance to learn how to really shoot photos.
In addition to fully licensed camera equipment from Sony, The National Geographic has fully endorsed Afrika and have had a hand in the development process. We were also told there are talks in how Afrika may be packaged at retail. While nothing is official, there could be some type of plush animal or other package available with the title when it is released this August. Natsume is also hoping for a $49.99 price point--making this one of the cheapest PlayStation 3 titles. This is even more true when you consider how much content and gameplay is in here.
We are eagerly looking forward to this PS3 release in August and we invite you to check back for our full review.