PDC World Championship Darts 2008 is a sports video game, published by Oxygen Interactive and developed and designed by Mere Mortals. It was released for the PlayStation 2, PC, and has seen releases for the Wii, Nintendo DS, Xbox 360 and the PlayStation Portable. The game features sixteen professionals from the Professional Darts Corporation, and seven tournaments from the PDC circuit. It is a direct sequel to the previous year's PDC World Championship Darts.
Much like its predecessor, the game attempts to recreate playing real Darts through the functions of the controller and rules set within the game. A variety of new and returning modes are also available for play.
The game almost exactly follows the rules of the classic 501 darts game. Two professionals (one or two controlled by the player) throw darts onto the dartboard to decrease their score to 0, but they must end with a double. The only exception is the World Grand Prix where players must also start with a double. The dartboard's numbers are positioned just as they are in real darts.
Each player throws 3 darts at a time before the next player takes his turn. In standard rules, whoever reaches 0 first has won the leg. Varying amounts of legs comprise sets, a certain amount of which must be gained to win the match. An alternative format is matchplay, where certain amounts of legs must be gained to win the match.
After aiming where they want to throw with the left analogue stick, the player uses the right analogue stick on the DualShock 2 or keyboard to pull back their dart and increase the power behind the throw. In 'Amateur' mode the power can be seen with a blue that fills a power meter; in 'Professional' mode this aid is not present and the power can be seen via the movement of the character's arm. A new difficulty added is 'Master' mode where extra precision is required.
Once the desired amount of power is reached, pushing forward on the analogue stick will throw the dart. Any deviation to the left or right while throwing the dart will also affect the dart's flight. The game also takes into account real-life darts physics, such as under- or over-stacking of darts, flights falling out, and bounce-outs. The former can be used to tactical advantage. These were not present in the first game.
There are numerous modes of play within the game. Aside from a simple Exhibition between one or two players, a single player can also create his own character and begin a career to become the world's best dart player. Another mode allows any of the tournaments in career mode to be played individually. Or, the player can create his or her own tournament with their own preferred format and play that individually or with others.
Sixteen professionals were included the game. This was six more than the previous game joining the original ten. The in-game players are below (listed along with their achievements at the time of production):
- Phil Taylor - 'The Power' - Fourteen-time World Champion and the greatest darts player of all time
- Raymond van Barneveld - 'The Man / Barney' - Five-time World Champion, including 2007, the year the game coincided with. The greatest darts player in The Netherlands
- John Part - 'Darth Maple' - Three-time World Champion (1994, 2003, 2008) and Canada's greatest darts player
- Dennis Priestley - 'The Menace' - Two-time World Champion (1991, 1994)
- Colin Lloyd - 'Jaws' - World Matchplay champion (2005) and World Grand Prix (2004) champion
- Peter Manley - 'One Dart' - Las Vegas Desert Classic champion (2003) and three-time World Championship finalist (1999, 2002, 2006)
- Alan Warriner-Little - 'The Iceman' - World Grand Prix champion (2001)
- Mark Dudbridge - 'Flash' - World Championship finalist (2005)
- Wayne Mardle - 'Hawaii 501' - World Championship semi-finalist (2004, 2005, 2006)
- Adrian Lewis - 'Jackpot' - World Matchplay semi-finalist and Taylor's protege
- Roland Scholten - 'Tripod' - UK Open champion (2004)
- Terry Jenkins - 'The Bull' - Five-time runner-up in various televised competitions over 2006 and 2007
- Kevin Painter - 'The Artist' - World Championship runner-up (2004) and two-time semi-finalist (2003, 2008)
- Ronnie Baxter - 'The Rocket' - Two-time BDO World Championship runner-up (1999, 2000), World Matchplay and Desert Classic runner-up
- Andy Hamilton - 'The Hammer' - Grand Slam of Darts runner-up (2007)
- Andy Jenkins - 'Rocky' - World Championship semi-finalist (2007)
PDC Pro animations - throw styles and walk ons - have been motion-captured and are fully integrated. All new graphic enhancements - player improvements and real-world sets and tournament locations, based on the locations from the PDC calendar. Enhanced audio including calling, commentary, convincing dynamic crowd sounds, and darts atmospherics. Enhanced A.I - player A.I. is calculated using real life averages from major tournaments and also based on actual playing characteristics i.e. stamina, belief, pressure, complacency and accuracy. Improved and in-depth career mode, realistically reflecting a player's progress through the PDC calendar, featuring 7 of the major PDC tournaments each season. All new character editor, supplying a greater range of options to customise your pro. Elements include male and female character models, skin tone, eye colour, nationality, name, hairstyle, hair colour, eye wear, shirt style and colour, throwing angle, level of difficulty and preferred checkout. Also includes options for dart barrel weights and flight designs.