AFL Live 2011 – How It Can Be Awesome
For the love of everything that is pure in the universe, football fans are imploring local Aussie dev Big Ant to make a good football game. Just as the AFL moves into hostile territory with the Gold Coast and Greater Western Sydney teams set to invade, AFL Live 2011 will ring in a new era of Aussie Rules Football video games just as the league expands its reach. AFL games in the past have been anything but good, and with this title having been in development for so long, one can only hope for a decent footy game at the very least. With only a few months until release, not much is known about AFL Live 2011, but we know exactly what it needs to be a good game.
Get The Gameplay Right!
The game of Australian Rules Football is probably the hardest to re-create for a virtual platform. Thirty-six different players on the ground at any one time, all moving differently and all with their own differentiating attributes. Couple that with an insane amount of rules and some rather unique ways to dispose of the ball and you have a tough task for the developer to make a game worth playing. The most important thing here is that AFL Live 2011 doesn’t play like an arcade game. A kicking and handballing system needs to be implemented that not only allows you to aim where the ball is being kicked, but to also control its power. Having an automatic pass button won’t work because this isn’t soccer and AFL is much, much quicker. Furthermore, no AFL team should be blowing out another team by 200+ points, no matter what the difficulty level.
A Deep Franchise Mode
A sports game without some sort of manager mode decreases the title’s worth considerably. Once the gamer has mastered the core gameplay mechanics, the option should be there to experiment in other facets of the sport. AFL Live 2011 should be no different from the FIFA’s and NBA 2K’s of these days and most certainly should have some sort of manager mode. Such a mode should include:
- Accurate salary cap
- AFL trading, drafting and free agency rules
- Full pre-season and national drafts
- Player scouting
- Pre-season competition
- Coach hiring and firing
- Player morale
- Player statistical increase/decrease
- Accurate Simulation
Accurate Stadium Designs
The worst thing a local dev could do is getting the MCG wrong. Stadiums like Etihad Stadium, AAMI Park, the SCG and the GABBA all have very distinctive feels and looks, and it would be great if the visuals complimented any possible good gameplay.
This is probably a hard ask, but having one of Seven, Ten or Fox Sports provide branding for the game will help generate a stronger sense of realism, especially if playing any manager mode that might be included. The NBA 2K franchise’s implementation of ESPN from the early-2000s is a great example of network branding within a game. It makes the match being played feel more relevant.
Bring Back State Of Origin!
The AFL and players might wish its death, but fans want it and love it. The State of Origin used to be an important part of the AFL fixture, before insurance and injury concerns essentially killed off the state versus state competition. It could be implemented a number of ways: either as a separate mode with the All-Australian team broken off into states, or as an All-Star-like feature of any manager mode that might be included.
Plenty of Creative Elements and Unlockables
Just think of the potential a game like this has. How awesome would it be to create your own young gun and guide him through the AFL to stardom? Or perhaps we could create our own team, upload our own logo and art, build our own stadium and enter into our own expansion draft, ala. Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 (minus the expansion draft)? Then there is the potential for unlockables, from new football boots, to Heritage Round guernseys and alternate strips (excluding Collingwood, of course…)
Online leagues are an absolute must-have in AFL Live 2011, especially in this current gaming climate. The option for basic ranked matches obviously needs to be included, but allowing gamers to create their own leagues, public or private, would be just too cool to comprehend. Supercoach implementation would be the icing on the cake – fantasy football on Xbox Live/PSN, anyone?
By Gaetano Prestia
What do you hope to see in AFL Live 2011 when it's released in the coming months?