Afrika • Page 3

Big game.

It's even more gratifying when you get back to base camp and email your photo to the client. In return, you'll receive a rating based on your technique, angle, the subject you photographed and your distance from it, and you'll be paid accordingly. Earnings can be used to purchase new items, such as a bigger hard drive to store your photos on, and of course new cameras. You start out with the basic Tsetse camera (why is it named after a disease-spreading parasite? It's a bit like calling a new car the Vauxhall MRSA) but you can unlock and purchase much fancier ones - with the word SONY stamped on them of course.

True, none of this could be described as thrilling, but every so often you're rewarded for your patience with a set piece. These usually involve photographing one of the big game animals in action - a cheetah taking down a gazelle, for example. Still no blood and gore, contempt456, but the animations are extremely realistic and just as violent as they should be. Relatively exciting, then.

(Besides, I've been on a real safari. There's a lot more waiting around and being still than there is in Afrika, not to mention more mosquitos, dust, sunburn and having to share jeep space with aggressive estate agents from Cape Town. And to be honest, the most interesting thing I saw in four days was a monkey do a wank and eat it.)

The game follows pretty much the same pattern as you progress: new areas, different animals, bigger zoom lenses, and lots, lots more photographs. Also you get to drive the jeep, which handles just fine. It's great to have the freedom of deciding where to go, and thank goodness Dave gets a day off. The cameras get increasingly complex and you can start mucking about with focus, frames per second and all that. But for the most part, it's straightforward stuff.


Oh dear, Robert went to Wetherspoons for lunch again. Or whatever the German equivalent is.

The incentive to keep playing comes with the promise of new animals to discover and the gratification from fulfilling the briefs. That might not be enough for you, contempt456. Afrika isn't about violence, and it's not designed to provide fast-paced thrills or test your reflexes. It offers a more serene, relaxed, even soothing experience, and rewards you for patience and gentleness.

It's not perfect. The visuals are a little disappointing; they're pretty rather than stunning. While the animals look realistic they don't exhibit much individual behaviour, and their actions can be predictable. And, oh all right, hiding behind bushes can get a bit boring.

Still. Afrika is one of the most pleasant, enjoyable and gently engrossing games I've played in a while. It's a shame Sony isn't releasing it here, and it's worth importing. Especially if you're the type of person who can imagine experiencing a special kind of thrill from snapping a monkey up a tree instead of shooting a zombie in the face. Though it's not as much fun as running over a lion, obviously.

7 / 10

Afrika Ellie Gibson Big game. 2008-09-18T14:00:00+01:00 7 10

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