was the game that brought pinball back into the minds of gamers. The game was one of Microsoft's unexpected hits back in April 2007 and the follow-up, Pinball FX2 (Xbox 360)
, continues to garner new pinball fans with every new table. Game Informer were able to sit down with Zen Studios and discuss the future of the game and the franchise itself. What will be happening next in the Pinball FX
In the immediate future there is a new DLC table pack in development. The "Avengers Chronicles Pack" will include four tables taken from Marvel's extensive catalogue. These tables will be different to those released before them though; there will be storylines to add variety to the gameplay. Instead of the tables basing themselves on comic book characters, the tables are based on comic book events and, as such, each features a number of Marvel heroes and villains. The tables have been chosen using fan feedback as an influence: The Infinity Gauntlet, World War Hulk, Fear Itself and a table based on the upcoming The Avengers
The tables will likely be popular with fans of the comic books; for instance, the World War Hulk table has a ramp based on an obscure edition of The Punisher
. The table also has a reference to Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds
, a reference that Zen Studios expects only diehard fans to recognise. The Infinity Gauntlet has 129 voiceover lines with dialogue that is quoted straight from the comics.
As usual, Zen Studios has been happy to replace realism with whatever mechanic they felt would add more fun to the game. Fear Itself has a secondary outlane with player-controlled magnets. These magnets will allow players to send the ball in consecutive loops in order to gain a bigger score. The Infinity Gauntlet is where their imaginations have really run riot though. Each of the Infinity Gems will create a different effect on the table's gameplay. The Soul Gem will send players through a wormhole into a new playable area. Here, a mini-game begins where players have to save mana. The mind Gem will cause the flippers to default to the up position, meaning that the only way to lower them is to hold the triggers down. The final example was the Reality Gem. This gem starts a multi-ball mode with a twist - the entire table is flipped upside down.
What are Zen Studios' plans for DLC after this table pack? Well, tables based on Doctor Strange and Civil War are also in development to be released after the "Avengers Chronicles Pack". PopCap Games
fans will be pleased to know that a deal has just been struck between the two companies to produce a pinball table based on one of their popular games. No more details were forthcoming, but my bet would be on either Plants vs. Zombies
. Finally, there are two other major deals based on "huge entertainment franchises" that promise to create further DLC.
Zen Studios are certainly not planning to withdraw support from this game anytime soon. As well as their extensive DLC plans, they are also working on ports of the game for PC
and Windows Phone
. Despite this, Pinball FX 3
is currently in the works too. The game is over a year away from being finished, but a few details were revealed. The tutorials and table guides will be improved. Tournaments will have new structures and there will be a deeper level of social interactivity. There will also be a new meta-game progression system; the aim of this is to give players an incentive to continue playing after an awful first ball score. Let's be honest, we've all quit after an awful first ball, right? Pinball FX 3
will also have an import system similar to that of Pinball FX 2
- all previously purchased content will be imported to the new game to prevent fracturing the game's user base.
The "Avengers Chronicles Pack" is due to be released in May. Although a price wasn't confirmed, I'd expect the pack to cost 800 MSP like all of those before it. For more information on this pack, including a step by step guide to the creation of the World War Hulk table, check out the Game Informer article for yourself. We'll bring you more information on the rest of the content when we get it!