Ha! Who says the PlayStation 3 never gets any console exclusives? Sure, 2007 saw the Xbox 360 revelling in the collective glories of BioShock, Mass Effect and Halo 3, but 2008 is a new year of opportunity for Sony’s powerhouse console — which is why heavily muscled tennis ace Rafael Nadal is only available in the PS3 version of Top Spin 3.
Who needs exclusive episodic content in Grand Theft Auto IV? Take that Microsoft.
Seriously though, 2K Sports has this week revealed the all-star roster for its latest racket-swinging bonanza Top Spin 3, which it describes as “the industry’s most realistic and action-packed tennis videogame experience.”
Of course, while the Virtua Tennis series might have something to say about that claim, there’s little denying the glittering clout of Top Spin 3’s line-up of tennis players, which not only covers a wealth of current sporting stars but also plucks some of yesteryear’s best players out of pixelated retirement too.
For example, while pre-pubescent boys can look forward to the near-orgasmic grunts of Russian bombshell Maria Sharapova, trainee psychopaths can fantasise about plunging a knife into the back of the equally grunt-worthy Monica Seles. You get the idea.
“With Top Spin 3, we wanted to give gamers the choice to play with their favorite tennis players, as well as classic legends, an option that no other tennis game is offering,” beamed Chris Snyder, Director of Marketing for 2K Sports. “Boris Becker, Bjorn Borg and Monica Seles have given the game of tennis such great history, and we are excited to have them join the current roster of professionals in the most realistic tennis video game to date.”
Here’s the Top Spin 3 roster in full:
* Mario Ancic
* Tomas Berdych
* James Blake
* Roger Federer
* Tommy Haas
* Justine Henin
* Svetlana Kuznetsova
* Amelie Mauresmo
* Gael Monfils
* Andy Murray
* Rafael Nadal
* David Nalbandian
* Mark Philippoussis
* Andy Roddick
* Maria Sharapova
* Nicole Vaidisova
* Caroline Wozniacki
* Boris Becker
* Bjorn Borg
* Monica Seles
Interestingly, the trio of classic legends will not appear on all console formats, although 2K Sports has not yet revealed which will be lucky enough to receive them.
Set to deliver authentic gameplay, environments and features along with signature player expressions and animations (we wonder whether that will include Nadal constantly pulling the shorts out of his ass crack between points), Top Spin 3 will also include weather changes, enhanced crowd reactions, situation-specific behaviour, and fully revamped audio.
And, if playing as sour-faced Scotsman Andy Murray isn’t blowing up your sporting kilt then Top Spin 3 also offer a new Player Creator tool where unique tennis stars can be born (not literally) via ambitious free-form body sculpting.
Oh, and by the way, we weren’t kidding about Rafael Nadal only appearing on the PlayStation 3.
PAM Development’s Top Spin 3 will send balls flying on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii, and Nintendo DS when it takes to the retail court in the spring of 2008.