When it's the season of leather on willow in the UK, it's often not the weather for it. Enter Codemaster's International Cricket 2010.
Developed by Australian team Trickstar Games (of award-winning Ashes Cricket 2009 fame), International Cricket 2010 enables you to manage and play the part of the English and Australian Test teams. This includes the official players, kits and stadia due to license agreements signed with the the England and Wales Cricket Board and Cricket Australia.
Adding to this incaration of International Cricket is the 'Action Cam'. This comes into play alongside the traditional TV-like camera angels. Rather than long-shots, however, it features 'on the field' views to provide a more 'in the moment' feel.
Also added to the mix is the ‘Power Stick’ feature. This provides players with the ability to control shots with greater precision and speed with a 360° range. This means that not only can shots be lofted or driven, but also swept and even 'dinked' gently to provide that last run of the over, batsmen shift often required to keep the strongest player on strike.
With 16 cricketing nations playing in 21 stadia around the world including Lords and the Melbourne Cricket Ground, and with the weather always playing the way it really should, the ability to manage (bat, bowl and field) your favourite nation to cricketing glory comes in single and multiplayer offline modes. Online multiplayer is also available. It all comes wrapped up in commentary from Aussie King of Spin Shane Warne, and the quintessentially English tones of Jonathan – Aggers – Agnew.
Anyone considering buying this needs to remember one thing: this is NOT a 'new' cricket game. It is a reworked version of last year's Ashes Cricket 2009, a game that was riddled with annoying bugs that practically ruined the game if you played offline. This is a much better version, but still well short of perfect. It is more challenging, the action cam is not just an add-on, it gives the game a different perspective. It is the best cricket game for a long time, although this isn't saying much given some of the lame efforts that have been released in the past few years. It has a much more realistic cricket 'feel' to it. Anyone buying it will be disappointed if they expect a brand new game, but this is hopefully another step in the right direction towards a genuinely class cricket game. Think of this as the cricket equivalent of Pro Evo for football. Even that wasn't perfect to begin with.....