International Cricket 2010 Review
- Posted June 18th, 2010 at 21:32 EDT by Steven Williamson
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A technically sound game of cricket that offers some welcome new features over Ashes 2009.
- How the Power Stick gives you complete 360 control
- The changes to the bowling mechanic. Makes conceding no balls less likely
- The fact the action cam makes things a little more immersive
- The lack of licensed stadiums
- Trying to find a game online
With the World Cup currently in full swing and E3, the gaming industry’s major event of the year, taking place this week, the release of Codemaster’s International Cricket 2010 may have got lost somewhat among the soccer-mad media frenzy or the buzz about PlayStation Move and how 3D gaming is apparently set to take the industry by storm. If you are a serious cricket fan, however, then there is plenty of reason to sit up and take notice of this week of this latest simulation of the “gentleman’s” game.
Cricket fanatics may disagree but, in our humble opinion, unless you’re watching “sixes” and “fours” being scored on a regular basis, or embroiled in the faster-paced One Day Internationals or Twenty20 games, cricket isn’t a sport that has the ability to regularly get the adrenaline pumping. Translate that slow-paced sport into a videogame and it's no wonder we find it hard to get totally immersed in its plodding gameplay.
You could say that, in terms of more mainstream videogames, International Cricket 2010 is more like a slow-paced JRPG than a high-octane action adventure, but it is a game full of strategic layers, where composure wins the day over impatience. Anyone who knows cricket will be well aware of this, so as long as you’re not expecting all the whistles and bells of an EA produced sport’s game or a robust, feature-heavy multiplayer mode where it's easy to find someone else online who actually wants to play, then you shouldn’t be too disappointed.
In fact, International Cricket 2010 is as close a simulation to a game of cricket that you’ll have ever played on console, offering a technically sound experience on the pitch that does very well to capture those "exciting" moments. Australian developer, Tricksar Games, who is largely made up of team that bought us the Brian Lara series and last year’s Ashes Cricket 2009, has tweaked and refined the latter, but has improved things commendably this year to deliver as "action-packed" a cricket game as you could possibly expect.
The first batch of good news is that there's a wider variety of animations to enjoy, such as players diving in various ways to catch a ball or raising their bat in the air when they reach a milestone in the match. The character models are also more refined and you’ll get to see and play as all of your favourites cricketers who look sharper, animate better and move around the crease and the pitch more realistically than ever.
Indeed presentation as a whole is excellent, with a smooth menu system and fully customisable HUD that effectively lends a hand in helping you to line up your shots, or switch between deliveries intuitively. The stadiums are decent too (though still not the official ones) and a good atmosphere is generated from the crowds that builds throughout the game and increases during potential match-winning moments. David "Bumble" Lloyd brings his years of experience to the matches in the commentary box, and his familiar voice helps to add an air of authenticity to the action.
On the pitch, it's clear that TrickStar Games has tried to improve things over Ashes 2009 by adding some new features and tweaking the gameplay. It's the same game engine as Ashes 2009, so the pace of the games run identically and anyone who played that last year will be able to get to grips with the largely similar control scheme with little effort. It's a testament that matches, when played on any difficulty above "Normal," mimic the real sport well and no matter how tempting it is, you won't just get away with slogging the ball on every shot; a blend of defensive and attacking play is the only way that you'll be able to win.
This is largely due to some tough A.I. who change the way they bowl to counteract your style of play and who will read your own bowling techniques fairly easily if you don't switch your styles. Ultimately, this means that you have to change the way you play depending on how the opposition plays against you: International Cricket 2010 offers a tactical game of cricket that imitates this aspect of the sport very well.
New this year ... (continued on next page) ----
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