International Cricket 2010™, the latest game to join Codemasters’ best-selling cricket portfolio, will be released in the UK on Friday, 18th June 2010 to coincide with the thrilling NatWest Series between England and Australia this summer. The game will be published for the PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system and Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft®. The game will be distributed by Zapak in India.
Produced by Codemasters and developed by Trickstar Games, International Cricket 2010 steps up to the crease with a range of innovations and improvements including ‘Action Cam’, the new camera that takes players right onto the pitch, and ‘Power Stick’ which gives 360° degree batting control to ensure International Cricket 2010 will deliver the most authentic interactive cricket experience ever.
Officially licensed by the England and Wales Cricket Board and Cricket Australia to feature official players, stadia and kits, International Cricket 2010 can be enjoyed in a wide range of game modes including new instant tournaments, full test series and quick-fire Twenty20 matches. Gamers can compete as any of the expanded roster of 16 nations at an improved selection of 21 stadia around the world, including Lord’s, the Home of Cricket. For the latest news and screens, visit www.playcricket2010.com.
Meat of the game
Developers have been spot on when it comes to the core of the game. Even though only two teams are officially licensed (England and Australia), the game features all major Cricketing nations. For the pricey, unlicensed teams, the game uses the time-tested cheeky method. For the unlicensed teams, the players are given names that are just different enough not to violate any rights, but at the same time they are obvious enough to hint at their real-life equivalent. [For instance, Virender Sehwag goes by the name of V. Sevak in the game.]
The skills of players in the game closely match those of their real-life counterparts. In addition to this however, each time a player reaches a certain milestone in the game (like a certain number of boundaries) the game rewards a skills point to that player. This skill point can then be used to upgrade that player’s skill. The various skills of a Cricketer are distributed under three main categories of batting, bowling and fielding. The cumulative skills of all the players in a team determine the overall ability of a team in these three categories and its star rating.
This game also has a good variety of options when it comes to match types. It features 20 over matches, one day international (ODI) and Test Matches. The ODI can be further customized to setup 5, 10, 25 or 50 over matches. Then there are four types of preset tournaments—World 20 Overs, Champions Cup (ODI), 20 Overs Super League and World Trophy (ODI). In addition to this, the game also has the option to create custom tournaments.
On the field
To their credit, the developers have attempted to add every little nuance of the sport into their game. For starters, there are an impressive 21 real-life venues recreated in the game. The game’s physics engine considers factors like wind, humidity, pitch-wear, ball-wear and the altitude of the venue to determine the movement of the ball in the air and along the ground.
Players’ performance is dependent on their skills in the three key areas (balling, batting and fielding), coupled with their current level of confidence. In turn, player’s confidence builds up by good performance on the field. What this boils down to is that typically one would start with safe simple stuff before trying high-risk, high-payout moves. For instance, a batsman can play a few defensive strokes to build-up confidence, before attempting boundaries. This psyche game plays out well when a fresh-on-the-field batsman faces a bowler who has just taken a wicket. In this case, the bowler has a clear upper hand over the batsman in the mental game.
When it comes to actual act of bowling and batting, once again the developers have quite successfully included all the techniques of the sport. Bowling and batting techniques are masterfully mapped to the gamepad without making things too complicated.
Batsmen have three stroke types available: defensive, attacking and loft and the power and direction of the stroke is controlled by the analogue stick. In addition, a batsman can choose to play the stroke on the back-foot, front-foot or step-up ahead of the crease.
For the bowler, there is a wider variety of options and techniques available. A bowler can choose the length of the balling pitch, type and amount of swing or spin to the ball and also choose to aim the ball at the stumps or outside its range. The variety of options available depends on the bowlers’ skills and how much the ball is worn.
Fielding is largely automated with the exception of catching and throwing. When a fielder has an opportunity to catch a ball, the game slows down to bullet time, with a coloured circle around the ball. During this time, the player needs to press a key at the exact moment the circle turns green, in order to successfully make the catch. The length of this window of opportunity depends on the fielder’s catching skills. When throwing the ball back to the pitch, the player only gets to decide on which side of the pitch the ball will be thrown. The speed at which the player can get to the ball and how fast and accurately he can throw the ball are determined by the fielder’s pace and throwing skill. The player has complete control over placement of the fielders on the pitch, within consideration of the game’s rules. All the different field settings are automatically mapped to the D-pad and they can be switched on the fly.
Studio: Trickstar Games
*Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360