Activision’s unbelievable success created from their Tony Hawk series has given them the inspiration to extend their line of extreme sports titles to a gaggle of different genres, branching off into surfing, wakeboarding, BMXing, and even snowboarding. Treyarch and Activision are rigorously at work in hopes to bring the fun play and intuitive controls from the Tony Hawk games; however, Kelly Slater will naturally be different given that surfing holds many dissimilarities to the sport of skating, and this is where the cookie may crumble.
Comprising the game’s surfer line-up are 9 pro riders: Kelly Slater, Nathan Fletcher, Lisa Anderson, Tom Carrol, Bruce Irons, Tom Curren, Kalani Robb, Rob Machado, and Donavon Frankenreiter. Like Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, each rider has strengths and weaknesses corresponding to their real-life rider portrayals.
Kelly Slater’s Pro Surfer is filled to the brim with different locales. Some of the most popular beach spots in the world have all been intricately recreated to produce a more authentic feel. Beaches from Antarctica, Australia, North America, South Africa, Spain, Tahiti, and Hawaii are all selectable, and to add interest, there are secret spots in the different levels that are played out in a fantasy manner.
The complexly motioned water physics and gameplay facets that make up a surfing game is quite unique, and for the developer, quite the task. Though, Treyarch is fairly confident with what they’ve accomplished thus far. One of their main goals is to get the wave physics and motions as smooth and genuine as humanly possible. In addition, they’ve stacked the game with gameplay modes. Career, Special Events, and Surf Trip sounds like an adequate amount of variation in play. There will also be tons of tricks that players can execute while soaring atop the immense waves, and licensed accessories such as boards, suits, and clothes will also be available.
There’s no doubt that the hugely popular Tony Hawk series has spawned a large amount of similar games in the different extreme sports genres. Kelly Slater looks to be the answer to surfing fans’ needs for the time-being. Look for more as the game is set to release this July.
4/18/2002 Joseph Comunale