Return To Home Page
Click Here To Purchase Item from Games Warehouse
July 3 2006
AFL Premiership 2006 - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
20/7/2006SonyIR Gurus1-4$79.95
Click To Enlarge Image
A close mission-based game.
Click To Enlarge Image
Note the cheer squad.
Click To Enlarge Image
More in-game action.

Click To  Enlarge Image
Graphics are similar to last year.
If you've been reading Futuregamez.net for some time now then you'll know how big AFL fans we are. Year upon year we have been salavating at the thought of a great AFL title coming out on the system, and year after year we are left wanting more. As many of you would be aware Sony has recently signed a two year exclusive deal for this the sport to appear on their systems with a PS2 title confirmed for this year (this game, AFL Premiership 2006) and next year for the PS2 and PSP (and who knows if they will also consider PS3!). This deal could have its benefits. The developers can now concentrate on a single platform, and just might, at last, develop a game worthy of the license. We're fortunate enough to have played this years title, and we're going to give you our thoughts.

Click To  Enlarge Image
Lining up for the national anthem.
As one would expect AFL Premiership 2006 includes all the expected game modes such as the Wizard Cup, Premiership Season, Full Season (which includes both the Wizard and Premiership Seasons), and the Finals. A training mode allows players to get themselves ready for a big game by learning all the basic and advanced techniques of AFL while AFL Premiership 2006 also includes a series of pre-set historical moments from each team's recent history where the player must win the match. Finally a career mode allows the user to play multiple seasons, with full draft, trading, and player development.

IR Gurus have spent quite a bit of time improving improving the game modes, and also the gameplay. One example of this is the player and team development. These features have been completely enhanced, allowing you to spot a strong player on the field and nurture their abilities to create an AFL super-star of tomorrow. You can also make those all important post season adjustments to your team by drafting players or by trading your players or draft picks for an existing player from another team. AFL Premiership 2006 finally puts you in the role of an AFL coach as you make the key decisions that will impact the performance of your favourite team.

Click To  Enlarge Image
Adelaide kick in from goal...
In terms of the actual gameplay the title is more fluid then previous years with better animation, and transition between them. Kicking for goal is now much easier as a targeting system comes up showing where you're aiming. The closer you are to goal the wider, and easier, your target. There also now seems to be more realism in the free kicks awarded, you generally know when you've tackled too early or late, or off the ball and it's a welcome change to the very random free kicks in previous games.

Graphically AFL Premiership 2006 could still be sharper. There are some jaggies, and the texturing of the stadiums and crowds could be better but most importantly the animation is solid. Unfortunately there are still some clipping issues with players body parts often passing through those of other players - but that doesn't affect the gameplay, only cosmetics. Menus and presentation are certainly the best yet seen in the series.

Click To  Enlarge Image
Great tackle...
One aspect of this title which seem to have fallen by the wayside is online multi-player gaming. Sadly it appears as if this aspect has been dropped for this years incarnation - perhaps there simply weren't enough players playing it online, or perhaps the revamped game engine couldn't cope with online gameplay, or simply the developers didn't have enough time to include it. Whatever the case it will be missed by the few people that play online. Fortunately the game supports up to 4-players in offline multi-player.

With a release set for late July 20th AFL fans will be pleased that the game is at least coming out part way through the season, and not right at the end - although previous years have also seen the game planned for much earlier releases before last minute delays. From what we have played this certainly looks like the best in the series, but we'll be back with the full verdict in late July. Let's hope that AFL Premiership 2006 finally delivers the goods.
Click To Enlarge Image
One of the replays.
Click To Enlarge Image
Lining up for goal...
Click To Enlarge Image
Tap or punch at the bounce.