Sunday 4 October 2015

Rugby World Cup 2015

Any sort of world sporting event drums up great excitement that makes the regular Joe or Jolene Soap want to put on the virtual sporting gear and become one of the greats. Right now, that’s in the manly, bone-crunching game of rugby, but something is amiss: The game associated with it is awful, just awful.

Rugby World Cup 2015, developed by HB Studios and is out now on Xbox One, Pxbox 360, Playstation 4 and PlayStation 3, is perplexing. The last Rugby World Cup game, which came out in 2011, was developed by the same development studio but was much better in every way. While the previous version felt like it wanted to give you options in your approach and how you want to play, switching tactics and formation, the 2015 edition feels like it’s trying to be an arcade game. The result is a dull, repetitive and frustrating experience. 

Gone is the excellent bumpers to pass to the left and right and in its place is an imprecise, frustrating passing system that asks you to aim with the right stick and pass using the trigger. The problem with this is that it will sometimes stick to a player you don’t want and when the opposition is running at you, you don’t have time to adjust.

Every tackle pretty much results in a ruck, one that is riddled with quick-time events and a terrible mini-game. Every time as an attacker you are tackled, you must press a button in time in order to let go of the ball to create the ruck. Once you are in the ruck, a tug-of-war style mini-game always starts. This makes things dull but it also leads to far too many turnovers and it sometimes just feels like a game of luck. Advantage does feel to be with the attacking team, but it's just a ridiculously bad way to handle a thrilling aspect of the game that allows for a lot of strategy. 

The gameplay doesn't feel good whatsoever but the look of the game is probably even more criminal. Animations are clumsy as players move way too fast, but the worst offender that I couldn't help but laugh at are the diving tackles. Should you press the diving tackle button in defence, the player you're controlling will simply lunge at the opposition, going from 5 mph to about 60 as if he's been shot out of a massive human cannon. It looks ridiculous and is overpowered. As soon as the ball is passed back, you can time and spam the dive to the extent that you're always pushing back the offence. They never have a chance to even move at all before the defender is literally on top of him. Nothing feels or looks satisfactory.

It has the official licence meaning you can bring your favourite country to the final and lift the trophy but honestly, you probably won't be able to make it that long. It's hard to believe that four years have passed and the same development studio has managed to create a worse game than the one they made four years ago. There's no saving graces with this one I'm afraid.

Rugby World Cup 2015 should be sent straight to the sin-bin with 1/5 stars.


Jason Redmond

Rugby World Cup 2015 at CeX

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