Friday, May 5, has been announced as the official launch date for Wicked Witch's first fully developed AFL videogame foray with AFL Evolution (they've previously handled mobile ports and the like, bit nothing from the ground up). It's a bit later than we all expected, but is still at least early into the 2017 season, and coincides with the Saints hosting the GWS Giants at Etihad Stadium.
Yeah, I get it, I'm a footy nerd
, but hey, it's our indigenous game and is arguably the most unique among team sports the world over. Tru Blu -- the publisher/distributor handling the game's release logistics alongside the AFL also released a few tidbits via press release:
AFL Evolution represents the next evolution in AFL video games and fans will get to experience the game as never before thanks to a completely new gameplay system built from the ground up.
Following a fan poll on AFL.com.au, it was announced that Western Bulldogs Premiership star Marcus Bontempelli, Port Adelaide’s Chad Wingard and Sydney Swan Isaac Heeney would grace the front cover design.
AFL Evolution features over 80 teams from the AFL, VFL, TAC Cup, NAB Under-18s Championships and International Cup, as well as multiple bonus teams such as the Indigenous All Stars.
The Career Mode will enable fans to experience the excitement of the Toyota AFL Premiership Season from both sides of the fence. AFL Evolution takes gamers beyond the field of play allowing them to manage the team via the drafting and trading of players, the salary cap, training, the tribunal and much more.
The Career Mode elevates the experience to another level once fans are ready to take the field. Fans can build a player from the ground up, then work their way up through the ranks from the TAC Cup to the elite level. Alternatively, fans can jump straight into an AFL superstar’s footy boots and enjoy playing on the biggest stages in Australia.
The Player Creator allows fans to create any player imaginable through a vast array of facial features, height, body type, hair, ethnicity, skill attributes and accessories.
In an exciting first for AFL video games, fans can share community-created players, teams and classic line-ups online via the Fan Hub. The Fan Hub is now ready for fans to access and start creating their ideal players and teams via store.steampowered.com/app/435020
Online gameplay enables fans to feel the adrenaline as they go head-to-head in competitive and co-operative online multiplayer.
In the development of AFL Evolution, AFL players participated in photo shoots taking place at all 18 AFL Clubs with no less than 24 cameras used to simultaneously photograph the players in order to create highly detailed likenesses within the game.
Delivering a realistic broadcast-style experience, via multiple camera angles and dramatic replays, AFL Evolution will feature Dennis Cometti and Matthew Richardson calling the action.
AFL Evolution will be available through major video game retailers EB Games and JB Hi Fi, as well as selected stockists of official AFL licensed products.
There's a lot of resistance around this release given the quality of AFL (and even NRL) games of the past, but with a new developer and more love from the AFL, there's also quite a lot of optimism. The PC version will be released a bit later than the Xbox One and PS4 versions, with no specific date yet set.
We should have more on the game in the coming weeks as well, so stay tuned.