First look: Kelly Slater's Pro Surfer

Activision shows off the PlayStation 2 version of its upcoming surfing game.

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Activision recently stopped by to show us the latest incarnation of Kelly Slater's Pro Surfer on the PlayStation 2. The game is being developed by Treyarch, who stepped in after Interactive Republic Corporation left the project. Players will assume the role of Kelly Slater or any of the eight other surf pros in the game, including Rob Machado, Kalani Robb, Lisa Anderson, Bruce Irons, Tom Curren, Donovan Frakenreiter, Nathan Fletcher, and Tom Carroll. The game will offer 13 beaches to surf at, and they'll be spread out over a wide range of locales such as the US, Europe, Africa, Australia, and the South Pacific. The waves will offer a unique experience every time a player surfs them thanks to a dynamic system that combines a variety of factors to ensure that the waves, the tide, and even the weather are varied. The game will also feature authentic gear from actual surf companies, as well as clips from surfing videos directed by Taylor Steele.

The game will center on a search for the perfect wave and send players around the world in a boat that will serve as their base of operations. The game's structure will be nonlinear, allowing players to find their own way. While progressing through the game, players will be able to participate in optional missions that will allow them to increase their surfer's skill level. In terms of modes, Kelly Slater's Pro Surfer will offer four to choose from: career, free surf, shootout, and head to head. A surf log book will also be available to track individual surfer stats and world records. Playing through these modes will unlock new surfers, boards, events, videos, secret breaks, and secret characters.

While we weren't able to play the game, we saw two levels during the demo: Bells, Australia, and Antarctica. In spite of the early state of the code, the game ran smoothly, and the gameplay seemed to have quite a bit of depth to it, especially since the control scheme seems to mirror the one found in the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater games. Graphically, the game was coming together very nicely. The water effects were well done, and the character animation on the surfer models was coming along as well.

Kelly Slater's Pro Surfer is set to ship for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube, and Game Boy Advance this summer.

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