There are plenty of billiard games been brought to the PlayStation store since its release, however, this is the first game to be fully licensed, and that makes for a fantastic experience, playing in the likes of the Crucible in Sheffield, or Alexandra Palace in London. The players faces have been face-scanned, which is a nice feature, but that could do with a bit of work, sometimes it felt like playing an old version of Grand Theft Auto on the PS3.
Having said that, the gameplay is very good, there isn’t many modes you can play, but it’s Snooker, how many different modes and features do we need. The shots are performed in 3 steps, you start off with an overhead view, getting the cue ball, and the ball you are trying to pot in a rough direction where you want it, you then fine tune where you want the ball to go, which can be difficult for longer shots, as you have to try and figure out if the shot line is in line with the pocket, and the 3rd step, is a flick of the right analogue stick, the higher the difficulty, the more accurate you have to be. When the shot is played, a cinematic scene will be played, just like when you are watching the real thing, so that’s a nice touch.
You can apply top, back and side spin, and the more or less power you apply, determines where the cue ball will go – be careful with that, many times I forgot to check where the cue ball was going, and ended up having a foul shot. When starting off, it would have been nice to have more aiming aids, but the more I played it, the better it was to understand.
In terms of content, there isn’t much. You have a career mode, where you can choose either one of the top 128 professional players, or play as a rising star, and as you play though the snooker calendar, you try to maintain or even better your rank. Another option is local multiplayer, which is a quick match, you can change the amount of red on the table, or turn on a shot counter, but these are really the only options available. Online multiplayer you play alongside real-world snooker tournaments, so you can compete for the Snooker World title as it takes place live.
One of the biggest downsides to the game is the commentary. Its proved by Eurosports panel, and is more often than not incorrect in what you (or the opposition) are trying to do. This after time can get quite annoying, however, it must be said, the broadcast style presentation when taking the shot is photorealistics – the players can seem a bit same, they all have the same stance. Going forward, it would be nice to see a crowd added into the background, to add to the authenticity of the game.
Snooker 19 is a good game however, and being a fairly niche sport, it has been executed very well, and fans of the sport will enjoy it. Its retailing at a budget price point, but would be nice to see more modes added as a development point.
- Photorealistic broadcast-style cinematics
- Online Multiplayer plays alongside real-word snooker tournaments
- Career mode you can play as a Pro or a Rising Star
- Players face-scanning could be better
- Commentary needs a real overhaul
- More modes could do with being added