PAX Prime 2015
Roller Coaster Tycoon World Preview - Let the Park Doors Open!

Trisha Hershberger | 25 Sep 2015 14:45
PAX Prime 2015 - RSS 2.0

Gorgeous graphics, free-form construction, and built-in modding support make Roller Coaster Tycoon World a welcome newcomer to the RCT series.

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As a fan of city-builders, simulation, and management games in general, my heart skipped a beat when I found out that there was a new Roller Coaster Tycoon title coming out. For the first time in over a decade, aspiring park aficionados will be able to design the ultimate theme-park, construct coasters, manage finances, and, of course, slaughter millions of park attendees!

The first thing you'll notice about the new Roller Coaster Tycoon World which is now under development by Nvizzio and being published by Atari, is the look. The pseudo-realism of the franchise is kept intact, with beautiful detail in the rides, textures and landscaping, all while maintaining a playful tone. The detail is just gorgeous, intended for - and displayed at PAX on - a 4k screen. Lighting, shadows, reflective surfaces are all fully realized and add to the realism of the game. By zooming in on your park attendees, which are slightly reminiscent of inhabitants of The Sims franchise, you will see how they are feeling through their actions and animations, rather than a thought bubble or mood icon.

When it comes to park construction, Roller Coaster Tycoon World manages to offer players more freedom and customization, without over complicating things. The grid is gone! Players are no longer limited to 90 and 45 degree angles for either path construction or land modification and the interface is very intuitive. Finally, park designers can theme different sections of their parks and it actually matters! Park-goers drawn to the macabre, will spend more money and time in a spooky-themed section of the park. In my 30 minutes with the game, I built a circular walkway with benches along the edges, leaving me plenty of time for plop down a few rides - of which 30 will be available at launch. If the pre-built rides, shops, and scenery choices aren't for you, that's ok because Roller Coaster Tycoon World offers incredible customization and modding support. You can use any 3D editing program that works with Unity to create something awesome, upload it to the Steam Workshop, and voila! Steam Workshop support is built right into the game, so it's easy to use for newbies or pros. I added a giant Tie Fighter to my park and it was out-of-this-world.

Ok, let's talk coasters, Roller Coaster Tycoon World features a new 3D track editor that's spline-based. You simply select a starting point and an ending point for each section of track, which is then divided into it's own sub-segments. Those sub-segments can be raised, lowered, stretched, twisted, and pulled, until each section is exactly as you want it. This comes in handy when you need to adjust a certain section of the coaster, after the new and improved ride physics have launched a car full of patrons to their doom. They just poof out of existence, by the way. No MA rating here. As you adjust each section, there is a color guide to inform you what the likelihood of success will be and you no longer need to erase entire sections to fix one area. Balancing speed, chains, boosters, etc. is the key to building a great coaster, but whereas this process used to take hours or days, it can now be completed in minutes.

While there were no shops to manage in the demo at PAX, I was told that employee management will now be simpler. You will only have to manage a building for each type of employee - set its budget and park placement - and the rest is taken care of for you. I must admit, as a fan of overly complicated simulation games, this could be a negative for me, but that remains to be seen. I hear the "claw" is still involved somehow, so there's that.

There will be three game modes at launch - Sandbox, Campaign, and Scenario - with build in sharing and social media features. It's a classic title updated for modern times and it's set to launch later this year. For more information, or to sign up for the newsletter, click here.

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