Footy fans got their first taste of the latest AFL video game to come, with a very early version shown at the MCG this week.
Attendees of the Footy Festival, in Yarra Park outside the stadium, will be able to play a version of the game produced by Big Ant Studios.
While far from a finished product, players will be able to hit the net as Sydney’s Lance Franklin or Geelong’s Patrick Dangerfield, to get a feel for what appear to be new penalty shootout mechanics.
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Gameplay videos that surfaced online on Wednesday show a counter where the player has to press a button to determine how powerful a kick they want, then while running, press a button to ensure the correct timing of the kick.
Player movement feels more realistic with Franklin and Dangerfield having different set kick routines and animations – especially in the case of Franklin as he curls to the side before the kick.
An Xbox Series X logo was visible above one of the TVs showing the game, suggesting that it should be released on the most modern platforms (Microsoft’s machine and Sony’s PlayStation 5), although that doesn’t is not confirmed.
The last licensed AFL game, AFL Evolution 2, was released in April 2020 to moderate praise at best – Foxfooty.com.au rated it 6.75 out of 10 – but it was produced by a different developer, Wicked Witch Software.
Big Ant Studios was behind the popular game AFL Live released in 2011 and more recently Cricket 22 and the AO Tennis series.
Big Ant founder and CEO Ross Symons hinted his company was working on the game in February with a video that included the Hunters & Collectors song Holy Grail.