One month ago, Rockstar shocked the gaming world with news of what many would think of as our least likely title announcement.
Rockstar Games presents Table Tennis.
Today, we show and prove that this is no joke.
The competitive intensity and purity of the Olympic sport, captured with dynamic physics, subtle yet deep gameplay mechanics, and a visual splendor only attainable on a next generation system. We, of course, have been believers since the game's conception - but in recent weeks, Rockstar Games presents Table Tennis has gone on the road, and some of gaming's top journalists have gotten the chance to experience it hands-on..
"You hit the ball, your opponent hits back, you hit it again. But then you get better. Then everyone around you gets better. Soon you are topping 25-hit rallies. You're ripping off more big slams than Shaq and still your opponent won't fall. You hit the focus meter again and again, slamming and slamming and slamming and then, in a dizzying moment of glory, you slam the ball once more off your opponent's chest. You raise your fist and let out a primal scream of victory -- then you realize you are playing ping pong and compose yourself.
Well, that's what Table Tennis will do to you. There's a... learning curve at work where you get better and better and the game gets more addicting and more addicting. Take this as you will, but the preview build of Table Tennis came closer to replicating the feel of the real-life sport than maybe any sports game in history."
- IGN (Jon Miller)
"So engulfing is the reality of Table Tennis that you simply don't notice the clacking of analog sticks over the staccato pok-pa-pok of the raging Ping-Pong rally. Days after we played, we were still walking around the office making little Ping-Pong noises by clucking our tongues.
Sitting down with Rockstar Games presents Table Tennis becomes an exercise in ultimate zen focus. You have only one obligation: return that ball from whence it came. Rockstar's attempt at reaching a platonic ideal of Ping-Pong results in an incredibly addictive, pure experience. All of your attention focuses on getting that ball back over the tiny net and transforming the smug grin on your opponent's face into a sobbing example of the agony of defeat."
"Rockstar's title is intense, fast, and engaging... Jon Miller and I got into several serious rallies that lasted what seemed like minutes, and each one required our full attention and concentration. I know, I know, it's still table tennis, but Rockstar has made this work. In its own way, it's just as immediate as any fast-paced first-person shooter."
- IGN (Doug Perry)
"...an early shout for Game of the Year 2006... this is as pure a replication of the classic Caravan Park pastime as you're ever likely to find. And it's brilliant... this is a sport that has everything: the blistering pace, the outrageous rallies, that perfect melding of offensive and defensive mentalities... Gameplay is almost hypnotic, sucking you in until you fall bewitched under its spell. To me, to you, back and forth, tick tock, tick tock – BAM! It's nothing less than a revelation... Mark our words: this will be a smash!"
- GamesMaster UK
Look for more hands-on impressions from print and online outlets over the coming weeks...
In the meantime, we welcome you to see it in action, for the first time.
Today's launch of the Rockstar Games presents Table Tennis website features the highly anticipated first official TRAILER in the Videos section. Available in Flash and special HD versions.
The site also features a selection of new screenshots, an overview of some of the player characters, and more. Stay tuned for the launch of the Tradition and Skill Tips sections coming soon.