Since 1999, the RollerCoaster Tycoon series has allowed players to live out their dreams of being a theme park mogul. From designing the rides themselves to choosing the color scheme of the park and the rather gross task of cleaning up patches of sick left by poorly park-goers, RollerCoaster Tycoon left few park management stones unturned. With expansions for RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 including Soaked! and Wild!, even water and safari parks could be built from the ground up.
With the series being so popular then, it was good news when the series’ publisher Atari announced RollerCoaster Tycoon World. RollerCoaster Tycoon 3D was released in 2012 but only for Nintendo 3DS and 2014’s RollerCoaster Tycoon 4 Mobile was heavily criticized for its overreliance on microtransactions, its lengthy wait times and the fact that the series’ creator Chris Sawyer was not involved in its development. So the fact that RollerCoaster Tycoon World would be “a completely different game” to the mobile title (according to Atari) was seen as a good thing.
Sadly, despite Atari’s promises and its boasting of features like online multiplayer and co-op park management between four players, the very first gameplay footage of RollerCoaster Tycoon World has left fans feeling massively disappointed. Not only does the game not look like something that’s being released in 2015, they say, but it actually looks worse than than RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 that was released all the way back in 2004.
In the gameplay trailer, viewers don’t actually get much gameplay footage to look at as, perhaps intentionally, it has been sandwiched between pre-rendered footage of someone riding a rollercoaster. Only around 25 seconds of the 1:21 video appears to be actual footage from the game and of that footage, many of the textures appear to be grainy and the character models look unrealistic. As of the time of writing, the official upload of the video has 2,354 dislikes from fans (compared to 594 likes) and the comments on Atari’s Facebook page are also flooded with negative messages with fans.
It’s also being suggested by some that RollerCoaster Tycoon World‘s low res graphics are intentional, in a move by Atari to recapture the spirit of the original RollerCoaster Tycoon games – after all it was core RCT fans who were asking for a new game on PC after last year’s mobile effort. However, this seems unlikely as Atari has made no mention of the game’s visuals in any official mention of the game, instead focusing on the “intuitive 3D track builder, deformable terrain, realistic coaster physics, and the ability to share your park creations”.
Regardless of Atari’s intentions with RollerCoaster Tycoon World‘s graphics, fans are unhappy and Area 52 Games (the development team Atari commissioned to make RCT World) doesn’t have long to turn things around. If they don’t, the game may lose fans to the recently released coaster game ScreamRide (an Xbox exclusive) or Coaster Park Tycoon which is being made by Frontier Developments (who developed RollerCoaster Tycoon 3) and is scheduled for release next year.
RollerCoaster Tycoon World will be released mid-2015 on PC.