by William Thompson
reviewed on PC
Summer means one thing: cricket season!
Anyone who knows me, knows I love cricket. I guess it's part of the psyche of being an Aussie. You grow up playing the game in the summer months in between trips to the beach (where you play beach cricket) whilst the winter months are spent watching the national team play in England, India or the Caribbean on television. Then there are the PC and video games to play when there is no cricket on TV or it is raining outside.
There have been many such games developed, each trying to reproduce the nuances of cricket in digital form. And each has had something that could be improved on. The batting controls, bowling variations, fielding placements, commentary, crowd interactions and graphics are some of the things that have let down many of the cricket games on the market. Does Cricket Revolution share these shortcomings? Or does it rectify the problems?
Setting up the team
Prior to playing your match, talent points need to be allocated (or use the default allocation) for the players who will be representing your chosen nation. Each team has 160 points to be allocated amongst the players, with a maximum of 20 for each individual. Once all the points have been allocated, the opportunity to make players specialists can be granted. A player with more than 7 points in a particular talent area (batting, bowling, and fielding) can become a specialist. Batting specialists can be Aggressive, Balance or Defensive. Bowling specialist can have access to one or two (if 10 points have been allocated to the bowling talent) special deliveries. Fielding specialists can have improved catching or speed in the field.
One thing to note with Cricket Revolution is that there appears to be no licensing agreement with international teams, so you’ll immediately notice that your favourite national team doesn’t have your favourite (or current) players. The manual mentions that names and appearances can be changed, but within the editor, the major nations such as Australia, England and India cannot be edited for some reason – which is slightly disappointing. If you want to play for Holland, Finland or even Malta, then you can go right ahead and alter all the players you want. However, the major cricketing nation names have been fixed with the help of the community forum.
After setting up your team (which can also be done after selecting the match type), you get to choose the match mode you would like to play. Firstly, there is training – which I highly recommend, even for experienced video game cricketers. This mode gives you pointers on successful batting and bowling techniques and lets you hone your skills for the real stuff.
In Cricket Revolution, there are three single player modes. Exhibition lets you play a single match with a choice of 10, 20 or 50 overs per side (no test matches). Tournament enables the gamer to take part in a knockout competition, requiring your team to win in order to make it to the next phase of the tournament and hopefully on to winning the championship. League is probably my favourite. There are actually three leagues to play with the lower levels being completed before moving up to next level. You play against each team in the competition and the team with the best record at the end of the season is crowned the champion. You don’t need to win every game, although doing so will ensure victory.
Huge range of batting shots, combined with relatively intuitive controls make batting realistic.
The bowling marker makes it difficult to bowl exactly where you’d like. No commentary. Batting placement doesn’t seem to work as intended.