Rugby World Cup 2011 Review (PS3)
HB Studios is getting back to their roots with Rugby World Cup 2011. During the last four years HB Studios has been working on EA Sports’ FIFA titles, but have they brought that quality work back into their own rugby game?
The best part of starting a new series from scratch is that you are working with a clean slate. No longer must old antiquated control schemes be carried along just for continuity.
One of the shining aspects of Rugby World Cup 2011 is the simplicity and accessibility of its control scheme. Using the left stick to control your player and left and right buttons (L1 and R1 on PS3) to pass to your teammates is really all the offensive controls you need to pick up and be fairly proficient at this game.
Unlike how many EA Sports games have been trending recently, RWC2011 features a sprint button. Surprisingly, it's one fo the downfalls of the game. Giving the ball to a player with the speed of South Africa’s Bryan Habana can almost always lead to a score try when using sprint.
After scoring, a try conversion (similar to the NFL’s extra point) takes place. If you are an avid Madden or NCAA player, the kick gauge will look very familiar to you. The only difference being that this one is much more difficult to time. Even after numerous games it was very had to get the handle of the timing, when it starts to become natural in EA Sports’ games after only small number of uses.
RWC2011 has an extremely authentic look and feel. After watching a few games on television, you will notice that many of the logos and overlays are similar if not exact. But, this leads to the main issue with this game.
While this game does have the license to Rugby World Cup and its logo, the majority of this game is lacking licensing. This will almost automatically turn fans off, since only ten of the twenty teams featured in this game are actually licensed and have real rosters. Also, only three of the fourteen stadiums are licensed.
This is upsetting because two of the best teams in rugby, New Zealand and Australia, have sold the rights to their likeness to Rugby World Cup 2011’s direct competitor, Rugby Challenge.
There are four game modes to RWC2011, International Test, your usual exhibition mode; Place-Kick Shootout, essentially a penalty shootout; Warm-Up Tour, a mini tournament; Full Tournament, the full on Rugby World Cup experience.
Another shallow section is the online play. I’ve tried multiple times to find another person to play with, but it looks like no one else bought the game. The lack of popularity in the sport probably affects this.
There is not much to this game, maybe that is because it is the first of its run or maybe it is because it is a special game similar to what was done with2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa. Only time sequels can answer that, but for this game, it seems a little shallow in its selection of modes.
It's a good first outing, but with the lack of licensing and depth of modes, the niche audience that would be inclined to purchase this game is already being cut down. Hopefully this game does well and warrants follow up titles because they are on the right track, but it is going to take some time to polish all the corners.
Learning Curve: Rugby is a simple game, get in the end and score.
Control Scheme: You can learn what you need from the loading screen.
Authenticity: On the field looks as if you were watch a game on TV.
Availability: Released on Xbox and PS3, but hard to find on PS3 in North America.
Rosters and Stadiums: Lack of complete licensing really hurts this game.
+ Solid graphics, Fluid gameplay, Accesible control scheme
- Incomplete team licenses, Finicky kick gauge, Easily to game the system
Rugby World Cup 2011 is a solid game that will easily satisfy the rugby bone in you body as long as you are not a die hard fan of one of the unlicensed teams. If you are just looking to have some rugby fun, RWC2011 is definitely worth a try.
Score: 5 (Average)
What does a 5 mean? 5.0 - 5.5 (Average) -- This is the quintessential average game. There are good spots, there are bad spots. You might love this game, then you might hate it. In the end, you'll just feel like it could have been so much more. Rent these for sure if you are a fan, and you might even buy the game if you can overlook the many flaws.