Codemasters has a limited licence
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.
Stumped for choice
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
Available on Xbox 360 (tested) and PS3
Not quite yet.
"These elements, carried over from Ashes 2009, provide a precise system that replicates the almost infinitesimal variations required to outfox batsmen."
No, they don't. It's a good game, but it still hasn't fixed the basic problem of Computer Cricket which is the player bowling to a computer batsman.
Even if it can provide such a system, and it's not far off, I agree, what is missing is the sequence of events AI between the bowler and batsman. Even with quick bowling it is not simply an issue of trying to bowl the best delivery possible ; it is the sequence that undoes the batsman - knowing when to bowl a googly because the batsman has been "trained" not to expect it, for example. Things like the sixth sense a spin bowler gets that a batsman is going to charge him are also missing. Is it the right time to bowl a slower ball or is he picking it ? All these kind of things without which it just doesn't work.
To be fair, these things are just about impossible to simulate. What cricket games do is work out an appropriate shot for the given delivery and scale the success of that delivery by the batsman's ability and confidence. That's why in some games the batsman can always be got out playing the same delivery to the same shot ; not only does the batsman never learn, but the rest of his team don't either, because they don't think.
What this means in practice in that bowling at a computer batsman is quite a dull experience. Ashes 2009 hasn't solved this and I doubt the 2010 version will either. No-one else has.
I love the captions!
The comments, not so keen on.
You can't beat Brian Lara...
Not the biggest fan of cricket, however now and again I'll dust down the original Brian Lara from my games collection. Not fussed about how realistic it is, as long as I can slog one of mates into the crowd is enough entertainment for me.
Nice review, despite the poor caption comments
Reg, can you *please* fire whoever wrote those captions? Or at least demote them to under-tea-monkey status? They were truly, truly horrible.