It starts promisingly, at least. 505 Games’ tie-in to the Rugby World Cup on PS3 allows you to choose your language of choice at the start, which also, in turn, allows you to pick different commentators. That’s the kind of option we’d like to see in more sporting games, for starters. Up pipes the World In Motion music, too, and you get official-looking logos. Could this, you can’t help but wonder, be the FIFA of the rugby world?
No. Not at all.
Featuring a sport that’s rarely been well-served by videogames, Rugby World Cup 2011 makes some fundamental mistakes that make it really quite hard to warm to. The first you’ll recognise within minutes of starting a match proper.
Appreciating that not every team is presented quite as you’d like them (something the Pro Evolution Soccer franchise has always coped quite well with, to be fair), the problems arise when you try and wrap your head around the controls.
Whereas a game like FIFA utilises quite complex controls, it has the sense to make them accessible, and to make deeper functions available on a take-it-or-leave-it-basis. Rugby World Cup 2011 makes directing your players far more difficult, with shoulder buttons to pass the ball, and individual buttons seemingly spread all over that you need to keep on top of.
Fortunately, though, the difficulty of controls are compensated for by the game’s AI, which makes sprinting for a try really quite straightforward. Breaking through is much easier than you might expect, and it means that the game is very straightforward to beat, even on higher levels.
There are moments where it flows together decently enough, but with a lack of tournament options, and a minimal challenge on offer, Rugby World Cup 2011 has to count as something of a missed opportunity. Expect it to make a quick retreat to the bargain bin in due course.
Company: 505 Games
- You can get quite a flowing game going at times - and it looks quite good.
- Too easy, too sloppy and not enough to it.
A disappointing and failed attempt to break the curse of rugby videogames.