Cricket 14 preview: why Ashes 2013 may soon be bowled out
Still making Ian Bell’s I’ve-just-edged-to-slip-AGAIN face over Ashes Cricket 2013 being delayed? Then you’ll be excited to hear that another willow-waving effort is about to emerge from the dressing room. Step forward Big Ant Studios’ Cricket 14.
Cricket 14 release date
The PS3 release in the studio’s home territory of Australia is “due before Oct 2013″ although the game will also play on UK machines thanks to the console’s lack of region locking.
And here’s the Ishant Sharma-sized biggie: it’s the first console cricket game to feature a full-on career mode.
“You manage/coach (train, hire, fire) the team and also can play the games or simulate them,” Big Ant CEO Ross Symons told PlanetCricket.net. You’ll be able to play unlicensed takes on the World Club, IPL, 20/20 competitions and Champions Trophy, and while you’re unlikely to see English county sides included by default, an exhaustive player creator and the ability to share created teams should enable you to mirror reality with a little bit of tinkering. Just like in the golden days of PS2 PES.
Gameplay details are light, but Symons says FIFA’s “interesting shot modification techniques” have influenced the ball-by-ball flow of the game, so you can’t commit every perfect stroke to muscle memory once you’ve experience a few overs. The play of both batsmen and bowlers is also affected by a number of outside elements: “Stamina, fatigue, injuries, form, previous innings are very influential. Players need to be managed well.”
Atmosphere is an area in which Trickstar’s rival games like Ashes 2009 and International Cricket 2010 have been noticeably lacking – and Symons insists his team’s effort won’t make the same mistake. “[Our game] has dynamic lighting [where] the sun incrementally moves, shadows dynamically change and [has] cloud effects,” he reveals.
“We want you to feel that you are batting in the middle of a cauldron, to feel tingles in your spine when you walk onto the field.” Big words, but from the two screens shown here this already looks like an improvement on Ashes 2013 in graphical terms. So Symons may not be overselling things.
One area he does admit is an issue is commentary, simply because the average match length in a cricket Test is significantly longer than, say, FIFA or a basketball game:
“We will record 40+ hours of commentary. However, the commentary will get boring after a while. I wish I could promise you it wouldn’t, but unfortunately it always will because of the amount of time the game is played.”
It’s reassuring to hear a company CEO talk so honestly about a product’s potential flaws, and Symons repeatedly presses home that this is a product he feels invested in personally as well as professionally. That level of dedication gives us high hopes that Big Ant can spin a winner when the game is released on PS3 sometime in the next 12 months.