Cricket can be a polarising sport, with some wondering how people risk hours in scorching heats to watch people hit balls, whereas others marvel at the “gentlemen’s game” where the battle of minds between bowler and batsmen makes for some entertaining matches.
Cricket 19 looks to put the player right into the game with a host of options to choose from. With everything from T20 matches to test cricket to domestic leagues and world championships, you are spoilt for choice in what form of cricket you want to play.
Simple and intuitive mechanics
One of the more impressive features of Cricket 19 is how easy the game is to pick up and play. With four shot selections ranging from defensive to aggressive and controlling direction with the analogue stick, batting has never been easier.
Bowling is similarly simple, with a host of bowling selections allowing to choose the type of ball, the direction of spin and speed. Whilst some of the terminologies may be confusing, it isn’t necessary to know it to play the game and enjoy some modicum of success.
How stuck in you want to get into the game is entirely up to you. The field tactics are adjusted automatically based on the bowler and batsmen matchup, however if you want to fine-tune the field layout, you can do that as well.
Overall, Cricket 19 makes getting into the game easy and fun. It makes you feel like a world-class batsman as you begin threading balls through gaps in the field or punishing bad balls by smashing them over the boundary. If you’re a fan of the sport or not, this is a fun game to pick up.
Its shortcomings – you feel the lack of AAA quality
Cricket 19 is absolutely not a AAA game and you begin to notice it quite quickly. The commentary is so obviously scripted and cut and pasted together that you’ll find yourself tuning it out to avoid breaking the immersion. The same stock standard lines are used and there’s no real chemistry between commentators.
The players rarely fit their name. Indian or South African players with names such as Dlala or Ravash are inexplicably still white players. Yet the feature of darker skin tones is available when you play Career mode.
The graphics, whilst not terrible are nothing to write home about either. The attention to detail with bats or faces are rather bland. Of course, you don’t play sports games for their incredible graphics but once again in Cricket 19 you feel the lack of AAA polish.
While the game is so easy to pick up and play, it also means the game becomes fairly one dimensional once you get the hang of it. I managed to amass 150 runs off 46 balls with one player which is ridiculous. Admittedly, increasing the difficulty does address this but this is the price of creating a great pick-up-and-play-game.
There are also limitations on which player names are licensed and which are not. This was obviously down to budget and whilst it’s not a huge factor in enjoying the game, there will be some grumbles from fans that wanted to whizz the ball down the pitch as Dale Steyn.
A multitude of choices
Cricket 19 loves to give you a variety of choices. From the game modes, you have everything from The Ashes to T20 matches, test cricket and even ODIs. Whatever format of cricket you enjoy, Cricket 19 has it. There’s also a World Cup mode for the various formats, where you might actually be able to get South Africa out of the group stages.
The game also features the standard career mode that we all know and love from sports games. I’d suggest this be left to the real fans of the cricket as it can be a slog to go through if you’re not passionate about the sport, especially given that the career mode lasts for 20 years in game.
It has some interesting features such as Perks which allows you to give your player some bespoke advantages. If you want to focus on being a better bowler, you can boost your stats in this regard, or you can focus on being a more aggressive batsmen and assign perks that boost your batting techniques.
Being able to play as both a man or a woman is a great addition to the game. Women’s cricket is often overlooked in the real world, so for a game to provide attention to it is great and should increase its appeal to fans. Cricket is often seen as a boy’s sport so it’s great that the attention to women’s teams is shown here.
There are various teams also represented here, from the heavyweights such as India and Australia to lesser-known cricketing nations such as America. Cricket 19 does well to really represent every aspect of cricket and they should be applauded for that.
Simple and intuitive, but doing interesting things
Whilst the game is very easy to pick up and play, there are certain aspects of the game that only come through the more you play. For one, the AI adjusts quite interestingly depending on your actions, essentially adapting to your style of play.
If you’re an aggressive batsmen that favours boundary shots to the your right, the AI will adjust the field to defend more against that shot, requiring you to adjust your game plan.
When you are bowling, you constantly need to switch between bowling fast and slow, full or short balls. One time I attempted the same ball twice and the AI batsmen promptly smacked me for a boundary.
The AI also adjust between various modes to play in an appropriate style. In test matches, the AI will play a lot slower and be more controlled in batting, but if you play a T20 match, you’ll find they play more aggressively and attack more balls.
Stamina is another feature of the game that is overlooked but affects your play if you’re not careful, particularly during long format cricket such as test matches.
Playing an aggressive batsmen is great for increasing your run rate and posting a competitive score, however aggressive shots affect your stamina more than more controlled shots. What this is means is you’ll slowly notice your shots aren’t making the boundaries as easily as before and the risk of being caught increases.
Another interesting feature in Cricket 19 is the Scenario mode, that allows you to recreate memorable moments from real life matches. There are a host of settings you can adjust from the day of the test or the exact runs require and how many balls remain.
It’s a fun mode that makes for great replayability but is definitely a mode that would be better suited for real fans of the sport. Sitting down and recreating real life matches can be tedious if you just want to sit down and play.
But once again, this is a game that has something for everyone whilst allowing diehard fans to really get stuck into the game. And the community engagement in this mode will definitely bring longevity to the game.
Cricket 19 is an ambitious game that does it best to provide a ton of entertainment to different audiences. There are times its lack of AAA expertise is exposed but overall this is a solid game with plenty to do.
Last Updated: June 10, 2019