WSC Real 08: World Snooker Championship

All right, this might sound like an obvious idea, but WSC Real 08 is taking a first-person approach to snooker. As appealing as that sounds, it doesn’t mean taking the safety off a semi-automatic when a mobile goes off. No, you’ll be directly behind the cue when you take shots and you’ll be able to wander around the table to size up your next shot and take in your surroundings. Unfortunately you won’t be allowed to jog the elbow of your opponent. Damn it.

It’s one of many small but important changes Blade has made to last year’s game designed to put you right in the waistcoat of a professional snookerer. As well as some lovingly recreated venues, including the likes of the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield and the Shanghai Grand Stage, there’s a similar amount of thoughtfulness on display in your own den-like area. DVDs featuring your likeness, the obligatory trophies and a pinboard with newspaper clippings featuring your exploits will all start to appear as you achieve success.

Above: Image from the PS3 version

As you play the game, your playing style will be tracked so that you get your own set of statistics and attributes to compare with those of the pros. If you take a Ronnie O’Sullivan approach and rocket your shots in with nonchalant aplomb, you’ll be duly recorded as an exciting player who doesn’t fanny about. If you’re more bookish about your shot selection then your stats will reflect this too (newspaper clippings will nickname you according to your style - there are 96 terms included).

Unfortunately Blade isn’t sure whether it’ll be using this system in an online mode. It’d be a shame if it didn’t make it - it’d be cool to see what sort of thing other players are good and bad at. Actually playing may yet prove to be overly complicated, at least from this build, as there are all sorts of things to consider before striking the cue ball: the cue ball angle, the target ball angle, what shots will be on afterwards - it’s confusing, but that’s the sort of stuff that goes through a real player’s mind. Given time to acclimatise, we’re sure this won’t prove much of a barrier. Definitely sim territory, but it could be all the better for it.

May 6, 2008

Simon was once a freelance games journalist with bylines at publications including GamesRadar. He is now a content designer at DWP Digital - aka the Department for Work and Pensions.