Atari released the first trailer for its upcoming fourth installment of RollerCoaster Tycoon for PC, which is being developed by Area 52 Games. Although the game was released for mobile last year, under the name RollerCoaster Tycoon 4 Mobile, it brought Atari heavy criticism for its overuse of microtransactions. So Atari promised a PC version of the game, but also reassured players that the PC version would be “completely different” from the mobile version.
But the game’s first trailer almost seems to show that was a lie. The graphics shown look slightly worse than those of RollerCoaster Tycoon 3, which was released way back in 2004. So why in the world does a game created more than ten years later look not only no better, but actually worse? Well, the theory is that RollerCoaster Tycoon World is actually completely the same as the mobile version – at least, the graphics are. From the trailer, the graphics look like those of a substandard mobile game, not of a 2015 PC game.
It’s particularly disappointing to see the RollerCoaster Tycoon series produce what looks to be another failure. It may not look like it now, but past RollerCoaster Tycoon games have received a lot of positive reviews. The first three games were well received, with the first and second both scoring more than 8/10 on IGN when they were released. Some attribute the series’ downfall to the departure of developer Chris Sawyer, who worked on the first two games and on the third as a consultant. But the series didn’t hit it lowest point until last year, with the release of the abysmal mobile version.
Although Area 52 Games are behind this latest RollerCoaster Tycoon, it may be unfair to rush to judge them. They may be under-staffed, under-equipped, or stuck with difficult time constraints. Atari have yet to comment on the lackluster graphics shown in the trailer, but they might want to think of an explanation soon. Right now, it just looks like a half-hearted, lazy attempt to milk whatever extra cash they can from a franchise they’ve run into the ground.