After a disappointing Rugby 15 game, Bigben Interactive and HB Studios are back in this World Cup year with the official game for the event. With the return of their rival, Jonah Lomu Rugby Challenge 3, will they raise the bar by giving us a quality title?
You may not keep the suspense for very long, if you have already played Rugby 15, you will practically find the same game. Yes, because the World Cup license requires, we will only find 20 teams eligible for the tournament, but unfortunately not all of them are in fact: only half of the teams in the game are subject to an official license. Thus, the big absentees are New Zealand, the world champions, Australia, South Africa, Argentina and frankly England, the host country of the 2015 edition.. Yes, just that. Note however that all the other participants are in the six countries (France, Ireland, Wales, Scotland and Italy), just to save appearances. To overcome these shortcomings, the game offers, as in Rugby 15, a player editor that allows you to modify name, nationality, height, weight, location(s), preferred foot, as well as stats. However, there is nothing to modify the physique, which is a pity.
The World Cup is good, but other than that?
So what does the HB title give us apart from competing in the World Cup? The friendly match, training and cup placement also opens our arms. Friendly Match mode doesn’t bother any code, so there’s no need to dig into it. The training mode is fully complete and allows you to get your hands on the playing areas that are not necessarily obvious to the rookies…running and penalties for example. In the meantime, the cup creation mode allows us to create our own rivals. This can be based on the World Cup model, the tournament between nations (with or without qualifiers), or just the qualifiers.
If you love the gameplay offered in Rugby 15, you will not be disappointed. In fact, the proposal in this new section is identical! The right stick is still used for many actions (skills, aiming for passes, controlling kicks, trying to get lucky), in short, too many actions for a single key. There is still no classic LB/RB to pass left or right, it always happens with RT. Want to manage your enemy? impossible, There are no keys dedicated to the enemy, the game takes care of it. However, not everything should be discarded. The kick system put in place is still there for our greatest pleasure. Regarding the keys, the recipe still does not take. The first stark detail: flights are slow. It’s impossible to outsmart the defense in a quick walk of the ball, the game deliberately slows you down through its win-win system in rows. With that said, there is a positive point: the possibility of changing its defensive and offensive line to adapt it to the strategy one would like to adopt. Outside, pick and go or kick, everything is planned to try to destabilize the opponent, or adapt to his attack. Nothing has really changed, the AI remains true to itself, i.e. mediocrity. Despite the impression of improvement, players still often follow the ball carrier in all of his movements, or worse, watch the ball carrier pass in front of them without acting, allowing him to break through or even score an attempt.
When we talk about AI, we also think about the difficulty of the game, I only tried medium and hard difficulty modes, and the results were very disappointing. Medium mode is similar to easy modewe get the ball back on the opponent’s rows with alarming ease, I’m not even talking about the scratches that it is impossible to lose just by ordering with the built-in joystick. Frustrated, I run the same match in hard mode, hoping to see a noticeable difference. What a surprise to me when I saw myself cross with the same ease, scratching the leather in the hole with great ease. The only difference: negotiating scratches, dings, and dings is more difficult. Not enough group to present a real challenge. Unfortunately the negative points are tied together like hits in rehearsal: random ball physics, post-contact passing is very easy and efficient, physical engine struggles as soon as contact occurs between players… No lesson has been learned from 15 day rugby this aspect.
And the rest?
The rest is not much better. Let’s talk about graphics, It’s like Rugby 06, a game that was released… in 2006, almost a decade ago. With such graphics, the similarity of the players inevitably does not follow, but in fact it does. Dulin is as tall as Dussautoir, and Bastarad is as slender as Fickou. From the point of view of respect for the rules, it is worth Bertrand Guillemin. Direct touches in his 22m are played at the kick level, not forward whistling, in short, it’s a party. The icing on the cake, we can get a red card for a simple hook by hand in a game, at the end of the third or fourth, even when we’re playing as a striker 5m from the goal line. It is considered an error and will eventually be disallowed.
do you want more ? During the World Cup mode, no fatigue management is offered, and what’s worse, No movie scene is provided to deliver the trophy to us when the latter is raised. At this point, we’re telling ourselves we can’t add a negative point, however, HB was able to do so thanks to the comments of Eric Bale and Thomas Lombard. Their interventions are often far from reality, and often even inaccurate. Because of the licensing issue, it’s not uncommon to hear “one of the centers” in place of a player’s name. However, let’s finish on a “positive” point: the total absence of scenes and slow motion for Rugby 15. In the end, after the disappointing Rugby 15, Bigben Interactive, through HB Studios, introduced a game that didn’t get much attention. Simple copy/paste done. We can’t help but regret that there is such a lack of seriousness in rugby simulationHopefully, one day we will see a video game produced with seriousness and respect for fans of the oval ball, a system that still has a lot of followers.
- The official World Cup license…
- The ability to create your own competitions
- Well-thought-out kick system
- …. with only 10 licensed teams, of which England and New Zealand are not part of!
- holding ancient graphics
- Ruck stages are too slow and too easy
- Strawberry AI and unrelated difficulty modes
- Questionable application of the rules
The official game of Rugby World Cup 2015 is like Knockout in an illegal way. At first, you think you can control it, then you realize you can’t do it, and you take a lot of pressure, and you end up making everything fall apart in an ugly and hideous way, to the point of making a yellow card inevitable. Despite the very upbeat rhetoric from the editors, the 2015 Rugby World Cup was a failure, both in terms of graphics and gameplay. The shortcomings are so gross that the HB Studios title deserves nothing more or less than a red card, even if the referee is called Craig Joubert.
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