Snooker 19 – Review
Follow Genre: Sports game
Developer: Lab 42
Publisher: Ripstone
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Tested on: PC

Snooker 19 – Review

Site Score
9.0
Good: Great gameplay and physics
Bad: Bad animation of taken shots
User Score
9.3
(3 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 9.3/10 (3 votes cast)

Snooker has always been one of the most popular billiards games in the world. In the past twenty years, there have been made some Snooker videogames, but it has been a long time since the last came out. Now, this year, Lab42 has developed the next game for the cue sport Snooker, and it certainly is an improvement since the last released Snooker games and might the best game yet, but some things could have been done better.

Story

Well, as a sports game, there’s not much of story present in this game. You won’t follow the life of a snooker player or get to create your own player. What you can do is a career mode in which you take control of your favorite snooker player and you can take part in officially licensed tournaments from the Snooker season 2018/2019. You can choose to play as Ronnie O’Sullivan and defend his titles, or try to shock the world as one of the youngest players and become the best snooker player in this season.

Graphics

The graphics of Snooker 19 are great in many ways but also lack something in other areas. The table, the balls and everything around it all looks great. The game also features real licensed venues like the Crucible Arena and the Barnsley Metrodome. Even the name tags and all the advertising is just like in real life. But unfortunately not everything is perfect. Firstly, the real players are designed poorly when playing on the table. Many characters don’t even look a bit like the players they represent. Ronnie O’Sullivan does look a bit like how he’s supposed to look like, but if we look at Liam Highfield, his character is poorly designed. Another bad point of the graphics is the animation of the pool cues and the movements of the balls. It takes a while for a ball to begin to roll after it has been struck by the pool cue. This definitely needs a patch to look more like the real thing. Aside of the few things that need improvement, when your opponent is playing, it’s just like you are watching a game of snooker on Eurosport Channel.

Sound

The sound in Snooker 19 is just like in a live match of Snooker. The strength of each shot isn’t only seen by the ball’s speed, but also by the sound of the cue stick hitting these balls. In terms of voice-acting, the commentary is supplied by actual Eurosport presenters Neal Foulds and David Hendon. The refereeing is done by Brendan Moore. The audience only claps for a potted ball if it was a difficult shot or if a great safety shot has been made. These are some of the best aspects of the game that make it look like it’s a live snooker match.

Gameplay

Snooker 19 is a sports game featuring one of the most popular cue sports, snooker. Snooker 19 is the latest snooker game for PS4, Xbox One and PC and it features all officially licensed tournaments from the season 2018/2019 to take part in, and you can do it as one of the over 128 professional players available in this game.

The game features single-player, multiplayer and online-multiplayer. The single-player mode features Quick Matches, and a career mode that has been split into two modes. You can choose to take on a career as one of the best professional players like John Higgins, or Mark Williams. The other career mode is called Rising Stars, and it allows you to play as a young talent to reach for the top. Multiplayer features an online versus mode in which you’ll be randomly put in a match against someone else. Snooker 19 will also feature in-game tournaments that will be held in the same period of time the real-life tournament will be held.

From the first match on, we immediately noticed that this wasn’t an easy game, just like snooker is one of the hardest in the billiards game types. When you play against one of the best players in the world, you’ll notice it.  The AI will keep on potting balls in a magnificent way, and when they miss you’ll know there’s no great opportunity on the table, like it would be in real life. This all results in slim chances of winning matches against the computer-controller opponents. It will require a lot of practice to make a winning chance against these powerful AI opponents.

The controls are perfectly designed for this game as you can perfectly adjust all variables in a shot. You can adjust the direction of your shot, the angle of your cue stick, the hitting point at the cue ball and the speed. This provides everything you need to make that perfect shot. Even the position of the cue ball affects the way you can hit it, because when another ball is an obstacle in reaching your cue ball, you can only hit it on the places you can reach. All this does require some knowledge of what effects the height, spin angle of your cue and power of your shot will do to each shot.

To help making the game a bit easier, there’s an aiming assist system that has three settings for each level of player. The amateur level will show you a lot of the cue ball and the colored ball’s trajectory. When making more difficult shots with barely hitting a colored ball, the lines will become a cone, requiring more insight of yourself. The Pro aiming assist level will still show you both trajectories, only the colored ball’s trajectory will form into a cone sooner, and the master aiming assist level will only show you the trajectory of your own ball, so you have to determine the direction of the colored ball yourself. If you feel like you’ve mastered the game’s controls, you can choose to turn off the aiming assist and you will need to rely on your own skills only. This also means that you’ll need to aim the camera right down the line of your cue to determine the cue ball’s hitting point. This will give a more realistic experience, but is very hard to do.

Conclusion

The amount of realism in this game is astounding and in some ways, it looks like you are watching a live match. The design of the players could have been better. The controls are something that you need to get used to, but let’s be fair, playing snooker in real life is hard as well and it still seems easier on screen. Even problems snooker players will have to deal with often in matches like having to hit the cue ball over another ball is perfectly worked out in this game, something that has been a flaw in most of the older games. Snooker 19 may be the best Snooker videogame developed to this day and yes, it has its flaws, but these can be overlooked at this point because these don’t affect the gameplay at all. If you like playing snooker and do you want to test your mettle against the best snooker players of the world, then this game is a great title to get, as it won’t disappoint you.

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Rating: 9.3/10 (3 votes cast)
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Snooker 19 - Review, 9.3 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
Nickskuh


Administration is my job but gaming is my passion!

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