Pinball FX3 is multiplayer-focused and coming soon

Pinball purveyors Zen Studios have announced Pinball FX3 [official site] for Steam and Windows 10. It will apparently “redefine the console and PC digital pinball experience” by making it competitive and community-driven. No pinball player is an island. Take a look at the announcement trailer below.

Along with a bunch of single-player modes and challenges, FX3 will let players create their own tournaments, duke it out in multiplayer matches and try their hand at constantly refreshing score-based objectives.

“Pinball FX3 is a milestone step forward for players on console and PC, and I am excited that many of our new features are suggestions from the community,” says Mel Kirk, VP of publishing. “We remain 100 percent committed to providing our players with an exceptional value, allowing them to bring their collection forward with them as we can all enjoy a host of new features and upgrades together from day one.”

Returning tables have received a graphical update, and three new tables from a new IP partner — to be announced at a later date — will make their way into the game. Conveniently, the majority of purchases made in Pinball FX2 and Zen Pinball 2 will also transfer over to FX3.

The last game received over 30 bits of DLC, ranging from Star Wars packs to tables inspired by Marvel heroes and villains. Here’s what our pinball wizard Adam thought of the Bethesda pack last year:

These aren’t the worst of the Pinball FX2 tables by any means, and prolonged time with DOOM might even show it to be one of the best, but as a bundle of three, they’re…frustrating is the word I’m looking for. Frustrating because the idea of taking a big RPG and making a pinball table that carries over some of its qualities in mechanics as well as art and sound is brilliant. I suspect they’d need to escape the confines of a single table and such a basic ruleset to succeed though – an entire pinball game based around Fallout, with separate tables for factions and areas? Now, that might work.

Zen Studios have yet to announce a release date, but it’s coming soon. You can sign up for the closed beta here.

8 Comments

  1. Gothnak says:

    I love pinball, used to own a Twilight Zone twice in my life so far. Hwoever, i’ve not found a pinball game that replicates the proper feel of the ball since Pinball Dreams & Fantasies on my Amiga.

    All modern games have no weight in the ball, it’s far too light, and they often put in shots that if you miss slightly, the ball drains in the middle, something physical machines steer clear away from.

    Even digital renditions of actual machines play too fast and bouncy. Pinball requires a huge amount of concentration, but when you play well, it is less about crazy reactions, and more about strategy and aim.

    I think my longest game on TZ was around 2 hours, and i got over 4,000,000,000, including finishing the door twice on one ball. With the physics pinging the ball all over the place in digital games, that feat is nigh on impossible.

    • Ztox says:

      Awesome games, although they were surpassed by a later DICE pinball game IMO. That game being Slam Tilt. If you liked Fantasies and Dreams but didn’t play Slam Tilt, I strongly recommend you do. I still have a game every now and then, best pinball game of all time for me.

      Oh, make sure you play the original (in the style of Fantasies and Dreams) and not the 3D version that came out on PC later with the same name.

  2. Stirbelwurm says:

    Now this is something I have been waiting for! This is exactly the kind of thing we have been emulating with the RPS Pinball group.

    I’m really looking forward to what they put together with this game. The fact that you can keep some tables from the second game practically guarantees that I’ll check it out.

    • TechnoJellyfish says:

      The FAQ even claims that “the majority of your previous purchases” will be available to import. That’s good news, I guess.

      Custom, player organized tournaments is probably the feature I missed most in PFX2. We’ll have to wait and see if their implementation is actually any good.

    • purex. says:

      Can’t wait to jump back into that with some real support in-game!

  3. mrentropy5 says:

    Geez, I’m still waiting for the rest of the tables to be able to be played with the VR version.

  4. Thirdrail says:

    Zen’s table packs are way too expensive for how many of the tables in each pack always suck. I have learned the hard way to wait for a 66% to 75% discount before buying anything they offer. I’m sure this new iteration will be the same, as Zen is nothing if not predictable.

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    zigguratvertigo says:

    I quite like Pinball FX2 but I’ve never thought “what’s missing is other people”.