Pure Pool (Xbox One)

Pure Pool was released a while ago on the PlayStation 4, but I didn’t have any of the next-gen consoles at the time, so requesting a review code was pointless. Also, my old laptop can’t run the PC version, so a Steam code was out of the question.

Before continuing, I might as well mention Pool Nation. To an extent, Pure Pool is very similar. Pool Nation set the bar quite high in terms of pool games having such high quality graphics and gameplay, but I’m not going to compare them to each other.

Not just because it’s on the Xbox One, but Pure Pool looks spectacular. Very shiny balls and believable physics make it a great experience to play. There’s a lot to play, the main problem is that you play the same modes over and over, just at a slightly higher level.

You can play at certain skill levels, Amateur is for those who are new to the game or just like to play casually as it adds aiming assist, you also get assist on Pro, but it’s a little less helpful. Master provides no aim assist at all and is obviously for the advanced player.

You have a choice of baize colour and design from the start, but there are things to unlock along the way like cues. Options are minimal, you just have the basics like sound control and invert axis, there’s no point in changing other controls, it’s a pool game.

You can’t really fault the game, it has and does what it needs. If I had to complain about something, it would be how the camera doesn’t follow the cue ball properly after a shot, so you can’t really work out your next move until you’re ready to play the next shot. If anything, the camera is the main down point of the game, it’s just not very versatile.

When you’re playing a mode which requires you to pot as many balls within a certain time, the camera can slow you down by taking it’s time to position itself. The ambient sound can be a bit annoying if you’re listening through a headset/earphones and you live with other people. The chat of people in the background can cause you to think someone is talking to you, so I’d suggest turning that sound level down.

One of the things I found interesting were the Accolades, they’re needed to progress through the game. In Angry Birds style, getting more stars opens up new tournaments and there are many accolades to earn. The accolades needed for progression range from just winning a game to snookering your opponent, they’re not necessary (except winning), but each is a star towards unlocking the next tournament.

The balls have a little anti-aliasing problem when close up, you would have thought Pure Pool would have no problem being sharp with the technology it’s running on, but it’s not quite as smooth as it could be. Those are just nuances which don’t detract from something you will enjoy, so despite it’s minor foibles, it is and will most likely be the best pool game on the Xbox One.