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Games software Reviews
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PlayStation Eye and Eye of Judgment PS3 game

£59 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Sony

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

It's difficult to imagine a weirder way to inaugurate Sony's new all-grown-up sounding PlayStation Eye than with a counter-intuitively sedentary fantasy card game called Eye of Judgment.

On a technical note, where the EyeToy required bright ambient or direct light, the Eye can function as well in naturally-lit daytime interiors as indirect night-time lamplight, although it's crucial that the lighting be even. We tested the game mostly using lamps with average-brightness light bulbs positioned approximately a metre or so to either side of the battle mat. We had to readjust a card to get it to scan properly only once.

It's impossible to tell how competitive the Eye may eventually be with the Wii in terms of motion detection and camera resolution, but its light sensitivity has clearly been improved over the EyeToy's.

Online play works in essence the same as offline. After registering your deck by scanning in your cards, the computer automatically shuffles and draws for both sides to prevent cheating, although you still position your cards on the board itself.

While Sony claims to be devising a "plan of action" to deal with counterfeiting, ie, players willing to use high-quality colour reproduction technology to fool the camera by printing off cards they don't own, it's not clear how this would work. (Though at just a few quid per booster pack, the cost of printing at high-enough resolution on expensive paper may deter would-be thieves).

In any event, the game itself seems cheat-proof thanks to the check-and-balance deck registration system and ironclad process by which turns proceed.

Is the Eye really necessary here? Not at all. Would Eye of Judgment work just as well if you were tapping buttons on a gamepad to manipulate virtual 3D cards? Technically speaking, sure. But like Nintendo, Sony's betting we'll get a kick out of physically shuffling and slapping cards down on a table. In essence, Sony has merely come up with a clever way to pair the familiar physicality of collecting and handling real cards with the offbeat peculiarity of playing a pseudo-robotic computer opponent.

It's therefore tough to identify who is in the audience for since its appeal seems more novelty- than necessity-driven.

Game screenshots on next page >>

Eye of Judgment and PlayStationEye Expert Verdict »

Requires PlayStation 3 (PlayStationEye included): PAL: will play on UK and European Playstation3 only
12+ (PEGI) rating
1-2 players. PlayStationEye specifications: built-in 4 microphone array
chat with up to 6 people at once
ultra fast frame rate of 120 frames per second ensures pristine video quality
engineered to work well in low light conditions
includes free EyeCreate Software download
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

If you're into collectible card games, several hundred pounds for a PlayStation 3 and another £59 for the game and Eye hardware make Eye of Judgment the most expensive card game in history. On the other hand, we can't say we've ever enjoyed a collectible card game as much, if only for the inexplicable satisfaction derived from watching your TV screen respond in elaborate detail to basic physical gestures with fluid animations and flashy explosions and plenty of cheesy, booming fantasy voiceovers.

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