RWC Game England1

The rugby world cup is coming! It’s close enough for you to smell the combination of the middle classes, beer and good natured banter. For those that don’t have the physique of brick out-house that want to get in on the action, the official rugby world cup game seems like a good outlet for all that kicking, malling, and take downs.

2011 Rugby World Cup Game

The rugby world cup is coming! It’s close enough for you to smell the combination of the middle classes, beer and good natured banter. For those that don’t have the physique of brick out-house that want to get in on the action, the official rugby world cup game seems like a good outlet for all that kicking, malling, and take downs.

This time last week, a cross-section of sports bloggers, gaming bloggers and yours truly got together at the legendary Cabbage Patch pub, a stone’s throw from Twickenham, to have a first play of the official 2011 Rugby World Cup Game. Hutch from therugbyblog, Nick of rugbymedia.co.uk, Tom from SinBin Rugby, Gareth from Rugby Spectator, as well as representatives from thunderbolt games and the averagegamer (no relation) turned up to give the game a once-over, talk to the developers, and play a tournament to see who would come out on top.

It was all done in a rather official manner, with teams being drawn from a hat before a similar draw selected who would play whom in the group stages. We were the penultimate team to be drawn from the hat, and lo and behold, we got Wales. Not too shabby, but hardly the likes of some of the greats on the world stage that my competitors had been handed (and the colour red scares me…). The group wasn’t the greatest either. Fortunately, sheer ignorance of the current world rugby stage, and a better understanding of the fundamentals of both rugby and gaming played right into our hands.

Rugby WC Game Wales2

Before we began playing, Matt, a developer from HB studios, was at hand to introduce his baby that has been in development for near a decade. After outlining some of its key features, we ate a hasty dinner before getting the game underway. Of the first round of games, we were up last, and it gave us time to take in the game, and some of its more general points before getting a real hands-on experience.

Firstly, it struck me as a very well designed game simply from the graphics point of view. This is the first rugby game on the latest generation of consoles, and the time spent developing its aesthetic features has clearly paid off. One of the players event commented that, for someone just passing by, the game could quite easily have looked like it was a live game – not a video game. High praise indeed, and although perhaps a little over the top, it’s not far off. A great deal of effort has gone in to recreating the licensed team details, the kits and the stadiums to ensure a very realistic looking experience is to be had. Speaking of licenses, we can’t say what teams have been announced yet and what will be – it’s looking likely that the vast majority of the best teams in the world will be included in the game, their exact details mimicked in the virtual world. And between us, if they’re not, the editor is so comprehensive you could easily create your own imitations. And what about kits and details updated after the release of the game? Matt said that the game will have unlock codes for these items, so keep your ear to the ground still.

Rugby World Cup 2011 Game Ireland

As the tournament progressed, it became clear that those with a better understanding of the game were coming out on top of those who weren’t big gamers. This may be a sensible strategy to attract those disillusioned fans who have forgotten that rugby games even existed, and want to get them involved again. We only made it as far as the semi-final, where we lost to England (no better team to lose to, of course). But it was still good to get that far and get playing the game.

After talking with Matt from HB for quite some time, it became clear that there were certain elements that the developers are extremely proud of and what these to be the points the game is judged on:

  • Ease of picking the game up and simply playing it
  • The fluidity of the game
  • The realistic appearances of the players, kits, and stadiums
  • The new online feature for challenging your friends
  • How comprehensive the editor is within the game
  • New in-game controls, particularly the kicking aspect of the game

Where do we stand?

Picking up and playing the game is easy if you know a thing or two about rugby or a thing or two about gaming. Put those two together and you won’t have trouble being fairly mediocre, although excelling at one or both will obviously put you ahead of the pack. It looks good, great even, and it felt intuitive, with our games finishing without realising how much time had passed.

If I had to voice any concerns, it’d be that lineouts seem rather rushed, with more handed to AI than to the human, that breakdowns aren’t as tactical as I’d have liked, and that there aren’t any tutorials for new players to be able to get to grips with the game.

Something that was a concern but isn’t anymore is the sound… We played without commentary, but a recent release has stated that there will be commentary from three teams, and it looks like they’ve bagged a real winner here as it seems this is going to be the closest we can expect a game to coming to echo the real Rugby World Cup!

Stuart Barnes & Miles Harrison
Philippe Sella & Eric Bayle
Greg Clark & Sean Fitzpatrick

I’ll certainly shell out for the game. I’ve waited too long for a rugby game. Would I expect others to do so? Most definitely. Take my word for it. In fact, go and try the demo and see for yourself, it has literally just been released… 02/08/2011 for Xbox Live, and 03/08/2011 for PlayStation Network. Then come back and tell us what you think.

The game is launching on 26th August 2011. To keep abreast of news and developments, check the official Facebook or Twitter pages.

Rugby World Cup Game - ScotlandRugby World Cup 2011 Game New Zealand>Rugby World Cup 2011 Game FranceRugby World Cup 2011 Logo

Comments

comments


Tickled your fancy?




Subscribe

Latest Posts