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International Cricket 2010

Wicked hit or hit wicket?

Codemasters has a limited licence

International Cricket 2010

Getting too close sent him batty

Character models are closer to reality, with actual English and Australian players modelled to a standard close to EA Sports titles. And the game's many stadiums and their environs are well realised. Animation is also excellent, but there are a few glitches in the crowd when studied closely, and the bowler and fielders show occasional stutter during instant replays.

Talking of which, Hawk-Eye makes a welcome return, providing excellent analysis of bowling after each over, and tense moments when close calls are referred to the video umpire.

Commentary is another high point, with David Lloyd joining Shane Warne, Ian Bishop and Jonathan Agnew to provide the best cricketing chat to date, whether commenting on pitch conditions or play, or even making the odd interesting aside.

Apart from county cricket, character progression is perhaps the biggest omission from International Cricket 2010. You can fully customise a character, even down to his playing style, but there's no way to take him through an entire season, as in the EA Sports titles. This probably won't be rectified for a while, as Codemaster's next iteration will likely focus on the 2011 Ashes series.

International Cricket 2010

Stumped for choice

Verdict

Despite the absence of county cricket and character progression, and minor faults aside, International Cricket 2010 is a triumph. An essential purchase for true cricket fans, it should also satisfy gamers who, like me, have only a passing interest in the game.

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International Cricket 2010

International Cricket 2010

International Cricket 2010 bowls out the competition for a Golden Duck.

Available on Xbox 360 (tested) and PS3

Price: £40 RRP