Until now, Natsume hasn’t published a PlayStation 3 title, but that’s about to change as its upcoming PS3 exclusive, Afrika has gone gold and should be available soon. I remember this photo safari simulation as being one of the earliest PS3 games announced (through some amazing screenshots in Japanese game magazines a while back) and as you can see throughout this post, it still looks pretty darn good.
Anyway, here’s the press release, a bunch of screens and CG renders. Given the success of Natsume’s family-friendly Harvest Moon games as well as the company’s status among gamers of all stripes and a publisher of well-crafted niche games, this one might be a bit of a sleeper hit when it’s released.
Natsume Inc., a worldwide developer and publisher of family-oriented video games, today announced that Afrika for the PLAYSTATION 3 computer entertainment system has gone gold. Natsume’s first title for the PLAYSTATION 3, Afrika is a wildlife photography adventure set in a lush, unexplored region of Africa. The game will be available at an MSRP of $49.99 and is rated E for Everyone by the ESRB.
“We are thrilled about Afrika’s upcoming release in North America. And it’s certainly been a pleasure working with Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios on the project,” said Hiro Maekawa, President and CEO of Natsume. “Afrika is a truly unique gaming experience. Anyone can pick it up and enjoy its beauty, but it has enough depth and challenge to satisfy even the most hardcore players.”
In Afrika, players step into the role of a freelance photographer exploring a brand new African wildlife conservation area. They’ll document the wildlife and photograph incredible sights such as a titanic clash between hippopotamuses, a pride of lions watching over its playful cubs, and a cheetah’s lightning-fast chase as it runs down its prey! All of the game’s animals and environments are rendered in photorealistic detail with animals that move, behave, and interact with each other just like their real-world counterparts. Produced in cooperation with National Geographic, Afrika features a wealth of information about each of its animals, including footage and photographs from the magazine.
The photography in the game is as meticulously modeled as the animals themselves; players will need to learn from the game’s innovative photo grading system and compose their photographs with the eye of a professional photographer if they want to earn top dollar. The money they earn can be used to purchase new licensed lenses, cameras, and safari equipment. If players are good enough, they just might find their photograph on the cover of National Geographic! With more than 70 animals to find, over 100 missions to complete, and endless replayability, Afrika offers the safari experience of a lifetime!