You have surfed the Internet, but have you surfed the breaks at Jeffries Bay and Witch's Rock?
Huge waves, beautiful sunsets, and gorgeous women... ah, the life of a surfer indeed! Tell that to a gamer, and you just might catch a reared heel right where it hurts most. Now you say to yourself, how could someone do such a cruel, inhuman thing? They do it because surfing games suck - all of them. Not a single one has captured the thrill of being a virtual pioneer of monstrous breakers.
However, if you're one of the many staff on hand at development house Angel Studios, you'll beg to differ. You see, Angel Studios and Infogrames have teamed to concoct TransWorld Surf, a promising venture into this forbidden genre.
Thirteen pros including Taj Burrow, Shane Dorian, and Chris Ward will gather in nine real world locations such as Pipeline (Hawaii), and Teahupoo (Tahiti) in Infogrames' surfing effort. Other locations such as France and a secret bonus (read: unlockable) will be included. In total, there should be twenty breaks modeled.
Gameplay will allow you to trick out randomly generated 3D waves, while interacting with the environment in such ways as hitting dolphins, fellow surfers, or wakeboarders, wave runners, coral, and generally anything else you'd find on a hot sunny beach. This interactivity will also play a factor in "The Karma Meter", which rates you based on your evil/good deeds to the environment. Hit other surfers or dolphins, and you'll be rewarded with shark attacks thanks to your bad karma rating. Better keep an eye out!
There are plans for six modes of play, the most notable being the single-player Prosurf mode, which will tend to the bulk of your time. Here you'll tackle goal-based objectives in an effort to nab the #1 ranking. Borrowing a line from Microsoft's Amped: Freestyle Snowboarding, pulling tricks in front of camera personnel will potentially slap your mug on a magazine cover. And for those special moments, there's a fully controllable replay cam to catch the lush visuals (and your performance, of course) in all their glory.
Other single player modes will include Freesurf, which lets you tide the waves at your own pace, as well as a single session mode for those who just want some quick action. Multiplayer fun is to be had too, ya know. TW: Surf will be no slouch on fun with friends, offering competition, multiplayer freesurf, and "king of the waves" modes of play.
Music in TransWorld Surf will come in original and licensed flavors, and Infogrames also has plans to make use of the Xbox's music ripping functions, letting you have some fun in the sun with your own beats. Nothing like riding a twenty foot-high wave while rocking to some Yanni! Or... not. Whatever music you feel you need to help you surf.
The sport of surfing has never really received a worthy replication on a videogame console, but TransWorld Surf definitely seems on track to remedy this unfortunate curse providing it doesn't overdo the "don't hit anything or become shark bait" deal. And that, of course, is totally tubular!!!
William "chick magnet" Pulley
Surfers get chicks galore (knows from experience).
TransWorld Surf Screenshots