International Cricket 2010: review

  • Format: PS3 (version reviewed), 360
  • Unleashed: Out Now
  • Publisher: Codemasters
  • Developer: Trickstar Games
  • Players: 1 (+Online Multiplayer)
  • Site: http://www.playcricket2010.com

This reviewer, being Scottish, has a distinct lack of knowledge on the sport of cricket. As a matter of fact I always thought a Googly was an internet search engine! Playing football has always been our favourite pastime up here, although as a nation we’re not that good at it either! The FIFA and PES series of games battle it out every year, and give you the chance to fill Rooney’s boots, and let’s face it he was posted missing during the World Cup. Now Codemasters bring you International Cricket 2010. The question is: Is there any point in playing a cricket game, when you can play the real sport for less money and probably have a lot more fun as well?

When you first load up the game, you are hit with the Kasabian tune Fast Fuse, all very EA Trax, and some nicely presented menus, which have obviously taken some inspiration from the EA sports stable of games. From the menu you can go through a tutorial, which we immediately started with. This is pretty comprehensive and goes through all the batting and bowling options available, as well as fielding. Each tutorial is unlocked as you perform the relevant moves requested.

The player models lack detail, and are characterless.

When you are batting, the bowler lets you know where he is aiming with a helpful green circle projected onto the pitch. You then need to assess where to hit your shot by using the right stick to point to where you want the ball to go. You can choose your stance from front foot or back and also a wide variety of shots, both defensive and attacking. It’s then all about your timing when you try to hit the ball. It takes a while to get used to, but once you do you’ll be whacking the ball out of the park.

Bowling is again all about timing, with you subtly moving the aforesaid green circle until you get the message ‘good length’ or ‘stumps/LBW’ which you need to hold in place to perform a decent pitch. There is also another meter that lets you know the moment to release the ball. Too early and you’ll be short of the target, too late and you’ll bowl a no ball. There is also slow bowling to get a handle of, which has a lot to do with the spin of the ball and aiming your shot accordingly.

Fielding is very simple to do, but is quite infuriating as you need to time your button press according to a circle that appears on screen, which changes from red to amber and then green. This is quite hard to do as the transition between each colour is so fast, that you regularly get butter fingers. It’s less about watching the ball and more about QTE which is a tad disappointing.

The 3rd person camera angle makes it hard to judge your timing

Once you’ve mastered the tutorials you can choose a game mode to play. There are a few options available here, from One Day International Matches, 20 Overs, Test Matches, and Tournaments (Round Robin) which are selected from around the world, as well as the ability to create your own tournaments. There is a choice of 16 International teams to choose from and 21 stadia recreated from the most famous cricketing grounds in the world. The One Day Internationals and Test matches are extremely slow to play and require a lot of patience and time, which most gamers probably don’t have. So a game of 20 Overs is perhaps what most people will play, as it’s quick moving and a more attack minded game.

There is an online mode in International Cricket 2010 as well, but we struggled to find a match; so we’d suggest you find a friend with similar cricketing interests to play against, and who has the patience to play a few overs.

Compared to the well realised menus, the in-game graphics are really disappointing, with almost PS2 level textures and the cricketers’ faces all look really basic, like something you’d create in an EA sports title – with no real sense of expression or character. Also the animation is pretty stilted with quite obvious changes between moves, and no real fluidity. The new action camera angle doesn’t help things, as it can be quite hard to gauge your timing. There are also only a few teams that are licenced (England and Australia), with the rest getting the age old PES style close approximations, although there is an editor supplied to make the necessary corrections if you so wish. The pace of the game is quite slow as well, which has as much to do with the subject matter as the game itself.

The 21 stadia are all authentically replicated.

All-in-all it’s not a bad game, and has given us a good insight into cricket, and all its intricacies. Perhaps the addition of Move or Kinect control might give you a better connection to the sport than simply pushing the buttons, like the Tiger Woods games have achieved on Wii. But we reckon in the meantime, you’re better off going outside, while the weather permits, and playing the real thing.


6/10

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Written by Kevin M

I’ve been addicted to gaming since my parents bought an Atari console way back in the 70’s. I progressed to the iconic Speccy, Amiga, and all the Playstation platforms. Having seen games evolve from single pixel bat and ball, to HD constructed environments, gaming has changed much from my early years. Having defeated the rock hard R-Type on the Speccy, the biggest challenge I’ve faced so far is putting up with the hordes of American teens spouting abuse in the current generation of consoles, noob indeed!

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