First-Person Winger: Hockey?

By Alec Meer on July 18th, 2011 at 7:21 pm.

I like to think of the question mark as evoking a sort of 'I say old boy, how would you feel about a nice game of hockey, what?'

Cryptic Sea – they of the remarkable lo-fi flight sim A New Zero – have been in touch about their new game, Hockey? It’s immediately an attention-grabber both because it applies A New Zero’s back-to-raw-basics-then-outwards-again control philosophy/design to ice hockey, and because it takes the very rare step of giving a sports game a first-person perspective.

Watch the below video knowing that a) it’s a beta and b) it was made in a week (as part of a time-out from developing the six-years-in-the-making Golf?). You can see what they’re striving for and, I think, just how much more involving that perspective is than the zoomed-out, multi-man semi-RTS camera of more traditional hockey games.

Interested? You’ll want to go give the open beta a try, then. It’s primarily a multiplayer game (well, it is a multiplayer game, but if you want to go run around an otherwise empty rink on your own, I won’t stop you) and you should know before you go in that it starts off very, very difficult. The controls are designed to recreate the movement and physics of the sport, not to follow familiar videogame rules. You will learn. You’ll suffer first. But you will learn.

Extremely clever stuff. It’s only the nuts and bolts of the game so far, but it’s off to a great start.

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38 Comments »

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  1. LionsPhil says:

    Hmm. Does this bare any relation to long-ago weird thingy “Golf?” that I remember seeing in the back of an issue of PC GAMER? (Not on the It’s All Over page.)

    • Fiatil says:

      It is linked in the post, so yes.

    • LionsPhil says:

      …I’m sure I searched-in-page and scoured the article. I’m blaming a sneaky edit, since clearly I am completely infalliable.

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      shoptroll says:

      Heh, that’s a blast from the past. I remember when it was just an IGF entrant under the guise of “Detective Brand Golf”. I’m a little sad they never finished it, it had such an interesting art style too :\

      Here’s an interview from back in the day: http://archive.gamedev.net/columns/interviews/detectivebrand.asp

    • edit says:

      I wrote a glowing review of that golf game on fun-motion a few years ago in a feeble attempt to encourage its completion. It really did have a lot going for it.

  2. Chakawi says:

    Makes me want to play Stanley Cup and lob the puck from the blue line for easy goals.

  3. iniudan says:

    Has a Canadian, I approve this game.

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      mpk says:

      You have a Canadian? Where do you keep him (or her. I respect that some kidnappers are equal opportunities.)

    • thegooseking says:

      I also have a Canadian.

      And has a Canadian. Technically.

    • Tams80 says:

      Wait; some kidnappers are equal opportunities? For whom?

  4. Premium User Badge

    Gabbo says:

    It looks rough graphically, but damn do I want to give that a shot. A hockey game, on PC? CanadaAmProud.

    • Raiyan 1.0 says:

      When I first saw the screenshot, I was like, “Google SketchUp has a game engine now?’

  5. kalidanthepalidan says:

    I’ve always thought a sports game in first person would be pretty interesting. Though a big publisher would most likely never try it. Great to see someone else has!

  6. Harley Turan says:

    Man, I really, really loved Golf?, but had no idea who was behind it. Golf? was only the nuts and bolts of a game, but was still far more engaging than most other games out there.

  7. Fumarole says:

    First Person Slasher surely would have been a better title – at least the way I play. A little lumber does you good.

  8. Wilson says:

    If anyone remembers International Online Soccer for Half-Life, that was a good FPS sports game. At least, it felt good to me, but I never had the chance to play it with two full teams.

    • LionsPhil says:

      It can’t be as bad as UT200X mod Deathball.

      Too much ball, not enough death!

    • OctaneHugo says:

      There’s also a Source version of IOS. They’re both pretty fun.

      By far the most fun I’ve had in a first-person sports game is an American football server mod for Counter-Strike. I spent tons of time playing a couple of years ago, and every now and then I rejoin and play a bit.

  9. BooleanBob says:

    ‘it takes the very rare step of giving a sports game a first-person perspective’

    Does Grifball count? ‘Cus I love me some Grifball, and it always sort-of kind-of reminded me of a rudimentary Speedball in first person. Also, hammers.

    Betrayal! Betrayal! Betrayal!

  10. Conor says:

    Played this with some fellow RPS’ers and oh my god it is amazingly fun.

  11. Carter says:

    That musics beautiful – shame it immediately crashes on me

  12. Cerzi says:

    Bizarrely it reminds me of that PSN game, supersonic acrobatic rocket-powered battle-cars. Probably because yeah, it’s pretty much the only other first-person sports game I can think of.

  13. OctaneHugo says:

    Played this a couple weeks ago and it’s a lot of fun with 4 or 5 people per team. When trying to prevent a breakaway goal, use the innovative “Stick through the face” method of defense!

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    Petethegoat says:

    Yes, this is very very fun. It’s quite exhilarating when you manage to scoop the puck over someone’s stick (?) and into the goal.

  15. Chibithor says:

    The fact that such a simple game, made in a week can be so much fun is amazing

  16. Barnaby says:

    This looks awesome… and not because I’m Canadian and not because I enjoy hockey!

  17. Wozzle says:

    I’m a Canadian and I hate hockey.

    IS YOUR MIND BEING FUCKED?

  18. LazerBeast says:

    FPS Hockey with a synth/ambient soundtrack? Count me in!

  19. lobstilops says:

    Love this game.

    Not cuz im Canadian :O That is stereotypical! It is just a really nice game. First Person Sports seem so cool. Should have way more publicity then it does, hope this helps it!

  20. Hastur says:

    Anyone else remember the old first-person football (American) game GFL Championship Football? You had to run patterns correctly (right number of steps, slants vs. posts, etc). I’d love to see something like that again.

  21. JM88 says:

    We definitely need more physics-interaction games like these, its genre is way too un-explored in our game industry. Gief moar!

  22. Armand Van Flicknife says:

    Love this game.

    Can keep the puck under control for about 0.007 seconds so far.

  23. indiegamer says:

    Sweet. I have been playing this for a few weeks ever since I saw it here: http://www.diygamer.com/2011/07/cryptic-seas-person-hockey-game/

  24. dogsolitude_uk says:

    I loved Golf?. Played it for hours, and still do when I want to relax.

    I even offered to write some music for it, back when I was musically inclined and *ahem* in between jobs.

    Ah well.

    Gonna boot it up now and catch me a birdy. :)

  25. oh_wayne says:

    I love this game.

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    Spatvark says:

    Graphically, it kinda reminds me of 4D Boxing, an old love of mine, with the clumsy polygons. That had a first person mode too, which was really hard!

    Anyway, this game is awesome. The learning curve is kinda steep, and I’m still not there yet, but even when you’re sucking, it’s a hell of a lot of fun. Can’t wait for an RPS league!

  27. Ateius says:

    Oh wow, first-person hockey. This is … incredibly cool. I want [a finished, slickly-made version of] it.