In honour of today's announcement of Climax Studios' Surf World Series, coming to the Xbox One, PC and PS4 next year, I decided to explore the history of surfing video games, starting with the nine listed on Wikipedia. This won't take long.
I suppose they will be adding Surf World Series to the list soon enough, but it won't help much. There just isn't much surfing in video games.
Of the nine games listed on Wikipedia that aren't 2011's SpongeBob Surf & Skate Road Trip or the game of the movie Surf's Up, the most recent title is Kelly Slater's Pro Surfer, released in 2002. That's a whole lot of years between series surfing titles. There seem to be plenty of surfing titles for mobile platforms, but eh.
I imagine making a surfing game is quite difficult, what with all of that water. Fluid dynamics is hard enough to realistically simulate without having someone trying to ride on top of the water like a maniac.
You have to include a mechanic for the player to maintain balance. You need to simulate waves. You need to really, really enjoy the colours blue and white. No wonder we hardly ever get one of these.
But if any studio can do it, it's Climax Studios, the studio that gave us Sudeki for the original Xbox and those 2.5D Assassin's Creed games. Surf World Series is an arcade style surfing game, which is an exciting way to not have to worry so much about physics. Here's what to expect:
- Ride monster waves from around the world at five legendary surfing destinations, including the sun-drenched beaches of Hawaii and the rugged coastlines of Portugal
- Become masters of the waves, learning increasingly difficult tricks along the way, from nailing kickflips and cutbacks, to landing massive aerials and navigating treacherous tubes
- Trick their way through 45 single player challenges, or carve up the competition online against 15 other players across three different multiplayer modes
- Rank up and unlock countless customisation options to stamp their own style on their journey to become a surf legend
I'm pretty sure the bottom of the logo is supposed to be a wave and not the dorsal fin of a shark. Who has time to program shark behaviour with all of that other stuff going on?
Surf World Series will be published by Vision Games Publishing for Xbox One, PC and PS4 in 2017.