Footy fans have gotten their first glimpse of the newest upcoming AFL video game, with a very early build being showcased at the MCG this week.
Attendees at the Footy Festival, in Yarra Park outside the stadium, will be able to play a version of the game being produced by Big Ant Studios.
While nowhere near a completed product, players will be able to kick for goal as either Sydney’s Lance Franklin or Geelong’s Patrick Dangerfield, getting a feel for what look to be new goalkicking mechanics.
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Gameplay videos which emerged online on Wednesday show a meter where the player must press a button to determine how powerful of a kick they want, and then during the run-up tap a button to ensure the correct timing of the kick.
The movement of the players looks more realistic with Franklin and Dangerfield having different set shot routines and animations – particularly in Franklin’s case as he arcs to the side before the kick.
An Xbox Series X logo was visible on top of one of the TVs showing the game, suggesting it should be released on the most modern platforms (Microsoft’s machine and Sony’s PlayStation 5), though this is not confirmed.
The last licensed AFL game, AFL Evolution 2, was released in April 2020 to moderate acclaim at best – Foxfooty.com.au gave it a 6.75 out of 10 – but that was produced by a different developer, Wicked Witch Software.
Big Ant Studios were behind the popular AFL Live game released in 2011, and more recently put out Cricket 22 and the AO Tennis series.
Big Ant founder and CEO Ross Symons hinted his company was working on the game back in February with a video which included the song Holy Grail by Hunters & Collectors.