alanwilliamson

Future of online poker with 3D play from PKR

PKR have recently announced and launched their new online poker experience.  The next evolution in online gaming they claim and after the hefty +100MB download, expectations were high.

This is essentially a full blown PC game with all the usually rendering power one would normally dedicate to the likes of Doom.  I am sitting here on a dual processor 3Ghz machine, and PKR managed to keep them at least 50% busy throughout the whole session.  I won't even bother trying it on my poor wee Centrino laptop!  So the question, is it worth it?

When you compare it against the PartyPoker, PokerStars etc then its a completely different ball game.  The focus is more on the experience of the game as oppose to the game itself. At the moment the novelty factor is high, so people are playing with all the different emotions you can do with out any real logical context.

Let us start at the beginning.  After selecting how you want to appear to the rest of the world you sit down at any of the tables you can afford to.  The game player selection is not dissimilar to the likes of TigerWoods where by you can spend some of your hard earned chips on new clothing and jewelery.  Remember this is for real money, so quite who will be ponying up real money for different coloured pixels I am not sure.  But an interesting sideline for the makers to screw more money out of the unsuspecting poker player.

When you sit down at the table you are in a 3d world, with the ability to move around, zoom in and out and pretty much look at the action from any angle.  You can't naturally go around and take a peek at your players cards mind you, but you can view it from his perspective.  You have a vast array of actions and emotions you can express.  You can throw your hands up in despair, or shake your fists in anger, and the list goes in.  In many respects there is too many to choose from and while you have 10 people all at a table groping for their reaction, the game speed goes right down.  A single round of cards can take any where up to 5 minutes; compare this to under a minute on the traditional online tables.  So if you are looking to make a quick buck, then PKR isn't the place for you.

The game play itself is very sweet with some really nice animation and some subtle touches.  For example, your cards aren't always on show to you.  Therefore when you look at them, everyone sees that you are looking at them.  I think this would be a nice feature to take to the traditional online tables.  It's a nice tell of how confident you are.   You know what they say, devil finds work for idle hands, and you have a lot of time between betting rounds until you have to do something.  Therefore you start fiddling and you can play with your chip stack in a variety of different annoying ways (you can buy more tricks to use at the table!).  This is something that just gets annoying after a while, as its another distraction to slow the game right down.

On the whole, I think this will appeal to the casual poker player, the person that never has played before and wants to get into the spirit of things.  Sadly for all the hard work, energy and money poured into this game, I do not believe they will be a threat to the giants of the online poker world.  But it was fun for a while ... now back to the flat 2D world for me!


 

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