Ever since the glory days of Virtual Pool back in 1995, attempts to recreate a flawless pool game has been a decidedly hit or miss affair. Hit or miss…get it? Hit or miss…. (groan….Ed).
Ahem…well, for anyone who doesn’t remember Virtual Pool, back in the days it was touted as the most realistic pool game ever. Bar none. Infact its developers, Celeris, were so confident that their game was nothing less than top drawer, they even offered to refund anyone who failed to improve their real-world pool abilities after playing the virtual game.
So, how does a claim like that compare to new pool bad boy, Pure Pool on the Xbox One? Well, we’ve got to admit Pure Pool is pretty damned good. For the record, we’ve played almost every single pool game released since (and including) Virtual Pool. And Pure Pool has to rank among the best of them.
In the words of Pure Pool developers, VooFoo Studios, Pure Pool attempts to recreate a living, breathing, bustling Pool Hall from the convenience of your living room. And the game does just that. Too often we’ve played a pool game that, on first impressions, looked as though it might just be the defining game in the genre. Too often our hopes were cruelly dashed by poor physics, lacklustre career modes and decidedly questionable multi-player options.
Pure Pool excels in all of these categories. The in-game ball physics are among the best we’ve ever seen. Shots faithfully represent what would happen in the real world. And every time you pot a ball, or miss one for that matter, you feel that you were responsible and not the game itself. Excellent. Pure Pool’s career mode has also learnt a lot from its predecessors. Unlike many games that immediately pit you against competitors who ae tougher than a bear armed with a flick knife, Pure Pool has a gentle learning curve that adjusts the skill of your opponents as yours grows. In practice this means the games are sometimes unpredictable, often challenging but always fair.
Pure Pool also boasts some of the best graphics we’ve seen in a pool game ever. Think Fifa 15 but in a pool room. Honestly, the first time we booted this game up we had to fight the impulse to lick the screen. The graphics are that sweet.
But hold on, we’ve forgotten to mention the one thing about Pure Pool that we’ve never seen before. Drum roll please. Ladeeeze and Germs, say hello to the future of online gaming. Without further ado I (get on with it! Ed)…Sorry, got a little carried away there. As I was saying, one of the most fascinating aspects of Pure Pool has to be its revolutionary DNA profiling. No, this has nothing to do with the NSA. Rather Pure Pool’s DNA profiling means that, as you play, the game creates an AI interpretation of you, your friends and your foes – which you can still play against, even when they’re not online. How cool is that? And if you fancy yourself as a bit of pool hustler you can even download the DNA profiles of everyone at VooFoo Studios and play against them.
~ BTE SPECIAL PROMOTION~
The only minor niggle we had about the game was that it was perhaps the atmosphere of the game was a little too laid back. The pool room is barely populated and no-one really takes any notice of you as you play. Relaxed and laid back is great. But we would have liked a little more crowd participation and perhaps a bit more bustle to recreate the feel of a lively club or bar. But this minor gripe does little to detract from what is otherwise an excellent game.
Here at The Sussex Newspaper we love innovation. And Pure Pool is just that. Pure Pool is a pool game that challenges the rules, sets it own standards and raises the bar for everyone else to be judged by. Highly recommended and well worth the price of a download. Go play.
8 out of 10
~ BTE SPECIAL PROMOTION ~