Developed by Rhino Studios and published by Sony Computer Entertainment (in Japan) and Natsume (in the United States). Afrika is a single-player, photography simulation game set in an unknown country of Africa.
First revealed at Sony's E3 2006 press conference (essentially as a tech demo), the game prominently focused on utilizing the PS3 hardware to its full potential to create an extensively life-like experience. The long-awaited game was first released in Japan and Asia in August 2008, followed by North America in October 2009. The game's reception has been, internationally, largely positive.
In Afrika, players control either Eric, a journalist from France or Anna, or a Zoologist from the USA. Players have been hired to explore the Manyanga Conservation Area, which is an unspecified region of Africa. While surveying the land, throughout the game, players are given tasks via email at the base camp. As the game progresses, the requests become more detailed, forcing players to capture the animals performing a specific action: for example; an elephant spraying water, a cheetah taking down a gazelle, etc...
At the beginning of the game, players are generally limited to using binoculars and the camera, while an NPC guide, James, controls the jeep between locations (a Suzuki Jimny 1300). However, players are able to stop and/or exit the jeep to get close ups of the animals. Soon, players get to have full control of the jeep, and the other character tags along in the back, surveying the land as players continue their quests for those perfect shots.
Occasionally the other character will drive, so players can capture a moment while on the move.
It's not limited to just daytime, as players will later gain the ability to go on a Safari at night. When evening comes and players are back at the Base Camp, exiting will prompt which location players would like to visit. Players can then quick-jump there and control of the jeep goes back to on-rails and AI controlled; players are only allowed to walk a certain distance away from the jeep, before being called back.
Players cannot die ingame. If players are attacked by an animal they lose all of the photos in their camera.
Taking pictures makes use of the PS3 Sixaxis control scheme. Allowing players to zoom, focus, and tilt the camera in order to achieve just the right shot. These elements play a significant factor when choosing to sell the photos, as the game rates them based on these specifications, and pays accordingly. Cash earned from selling photos can be used to purchase new supplies or camera upgrades, which in turn gives players the chance to take better and better photos.
Various unlockables of real-life footage and photos are featured in the game.
|Jeep Controls||On Foot Controls|
|Right Stick - Move around |
Left Stick - Steer Vehicle
L2 - Stop Vehicle
R2 - Accelerate Vehicle
R1 - Binoculars
Circle - Talk (Use to get a tip on what to do next.)
Triangle - Field Menu Options
Square - Use Camera
X - Exit Vehicle
Start - Change view
Select - GPS
|Right Stick - Look around |
Left Stick - Move
L3 - Make a Whistling noise
R1 - Binoculars
Triangle - Field Menu Options
Square - Use Camera
Directional Buttons - Crouch / Peer Left, Right / Stand
Start - Toggle 1st Person / 3rd Person view
Select - GPS
When in Camera Mode, aim with the left stick and Zoom with the right. Fully pressing either R1 or circle will take the picture, pressing the button half way, or L1 will lock the current focus until tripping the shutter. Tilt the controller sideways to take a vertically oriented shot. Pressing triangle will let players play with the camera's options, depending on its configuration, such as changing the Aperture, Shutter Speed, and Color Settings.
The player's headquarters; at the end of the day everything that players need to do business-wise can only be done here.
- Bed - Of course, at the end of a busy day, sleep is definitely in order. Depending on the mission, players will use it to sleep until night time.
- Map - A map of every area, also taking note of specific locations from each area (eg. Umbrella Tree, Awali Oasis, Mt. Hakuna Matata...)
- Bookshelf - On this bookshelf is a Diary that keeps track of specific moments in the game, a book with detailed instructions on how to use the cameras, and magazines/books that feature the player's photography.
- Tools - A look at all the items players have bought and received, can also be done on the field menu.
- Camera - Customize camera options, can also be done on the field menu.
- Picture Frame - Available from the store. Buying it puts it up on the wall in the background. Players can place photos they've taken and put them in the frame.
- Friend - Either Eric or Anna sits in the tent with and shares information and advice on playing the game.
- Laptop PC - All the player's work is done on the laptop.
- Players can check emails, receive tasks and information, send out photos to get paid. Emails with Red Exclamation Points are missions that can only be taken one at a time.
- The Photo Gallery is where players can store up to 200 of their photos.
- The Shopping option, is an online store to buy new equipment when it becomes available.
- The Field Guide is detailed information on every animal players have encountered, as long as they've taken a picture and sent it in. It has pictures, a detailed 3D model of the animal (from adult to infant), background information, and animal to human size comparison among other things.
- Players can also Save their game from here. Players are only allowed one slot (that the autosave also uses), and Afrika save files are 387MB in size so the process takes some time.
- Exit - Return to the safari.
If players are far off from base camp and they bought a tent, it is possible camp in the current area for the night. Options are limited to 'Tent', 'Friend' and 'Photos', but the convenience of camping eliminates back and forth traveling, and the chance to take photos early in the morning. Which is a plus for some missions that require a morning shot, or some animals will only be available at this time.
Cameras and Items
Types of Cameras
- TSETSE TYPE F - A camera with basic features intended for amateurs. The camera players begin with.
- Sony Alpha 100 - An easy-to-use camera utilizing Super Steady-shot Image Stabilization and Advanced Auto-focus.
- Sony Alpha 350 - The successor of the Alpha 100, this camera is equipped with the latest in digital technology.
- Sony Alpha 700 - A versatile camera with superb image quality intended for professional use.
- DT 18-70mm F3.5-5.6 - This standard zoom lens mimics the human eye's field of vision for a true perspective. Not intended for long-distance shots.
- 24-105mm F3.5-4.5 - A 4.3x zoom lens well suited for snap shots. Equipped with improved long-distance capabilities.
- DT 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 - A versatile 11.1x telephoto lens capable of an easy transition between close-up and wide-angle shots.
- 75-300mm F4.5-5.6 - A telephoto lens well suited for zooming in from a distance.
- DT 16-105mm F3.5-5.6 - A wide-angle lens best suited for landscape shots. Also suited for dynamic close-ups.
- DT 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 - A truly versatile lens capable of capturing superior long-distance shots. Also allows for a quick transition between a variety of distances.
- DT 55-200mm F4-5.6 - A telephoto lens equipped with advanced long-distance capabilities. Unsuited for landscape shots.
- 300mm F2.8 G - A must-have telephoto lens among professionals. Advanced skill is necessary as no zoom function is equipped.
Other equipment used on Safari
- Binoculars - With 7 X 50 view. A must for any Safari!
- GPS Map - Map tool which uses GPS technology to track the player's location.
- Tent - A compact, lightweight dome tent for setting up camp. Useful when players are far from home base and still need to be out to get that perfect shot.
- Photo Storage 50 - A memory stick for the player's camera, it stores 50 photos.
- Photo Storage 100 - Stores 100 photos.
- Vertical Grip - Prevents camera shake for vertical shots. For use, only with the Alpha 700.
- Trap cam set - Shoot photos from a distance using infrared remote. Custom for TSETSE cameras. (Trap cam can only be used on specific locations.)
- RC cam set - Attach a TSETSE camera to an RC car for remote controlled photography. (Again, can only be used at specific times.)
- Night Safari Set - Includes jeep spotlight and LED headlights for night safaris.
- Gun Mic Set - Gun mic and recorder for audio recording.
- Transmitter Retrieval Set - Radio wave tracker and remote for Crtittercam retrieval.
- Crittercam - Self-shooting attachable animal camera for the Crittercam project.
Players can buy a different paint job for their jeep, giving them the colors red, white, green, blue, and beige.
- Start Safari: Explore the Wilderness of Afrika. The core part of the game where players choose a character and venture around various locations, taking pictures of the wildlife.
- Photo Gallery: A picture viewer of photos that the player has taken in the game. From here, players can also export any picture they have taken, for direct access, on the PS3's cross media bar. The maximum number of photos players can keep in-game at a time is 200.
- Big Game Trophy: Replay the more exciting experiences from the Safari with this option, good for when players want to relive moments.
Geo Afrika mode
- Afrika field guide: Read about any of the animals that have been discovered in Safari mode.
- National Geographic Library: View photos and videos from National Geographic's Archives. These are progressly unlocked throughout the game.
- Afrika viewer: View the habitats of Afrika. A mode with an idle camera looking out to the environment. Different cameras around the area are only available once players have found that landmark. Even time of day and background music is changeable in this mode. This mode can be used for referencing when and where animals will be, and what they'll be doing.
"Midnight Mode" in the options, lets players run the game with more vibrant sounds at 5.1 surround.
- Disk Space Required: 2,334MB
- Supported HD video output: 480p, 720p
- Trophy Support: Yes
- The Soundtrack for the game was composed by Wataru Hokoyama. The music was awarded Best Original Video Game Score by The 2008 Hollywood Music Awards.