Full disclosure: I’m a football fan. Granted I’m a fan of pretty much any sport you can find, stick it on the TV and give me a beer and I’ll be perfectly content to sit there all day telling the ref/umpire/commentator that they don’t know what they are doing and that I know best.
But I’m still more of a football fan and only really get into Rugby when the World Cup rolls around so when I first got Rugby World Cup 2015 I was a bit wary as I don’t know the ins and outs of the rules and was worried I’d get lost in the technical detail of what is a pretty complex sport.
I needn’t have worried.
Rugby WC 15 is probably the most simplistic game I’ve played in many years; the left stick makes your little man run, the X button makes him super-man dive at someone and then when in a ruck/maul/scrum all you need to do is push the right stick when they tell you to and when the gauge is green you hit R2 and then use the left stick to run again.
Then repeat ad nauseam.
In my first few games I was getting smashed as I wasn’t sure how the controls all worked and the tutorial, which is seriously just death by powerpoint, tried to make the game seem pretty complex. But once you realise they can’t block your diving superman tackles and that they never get ruled dangerous or illegal the game really does become pretty easy.
I changed the difficulty from easy to hard and the only difference is that you now won’t win every scrum, but it doesn’t matter since your diving tackles often push the opponent back 5-10m so just keep doing that until you get the ball and then score.
As expected in a sports game there are a ton of modes to sink your time into… oh no wait that’s a filthy lie. There is the world cup mode where you take your team to the Webb Ellis trophy, there is a friendly match mode and then there is a practice mode.
Practice mode was my favourite as you can choose to practice taking penalties, scrums, rucks or mauls. The best though was free roam mode which removed everyone from the field and let you run around by yourself, doing nothing. No team mates to practice moves with, nothing. Just you and the ball; I guess they could call it the meditation mode?
The world cup mode is obvious, you pick a team and then try get through the pool and into the knock out rounds and then win. And then the friendly mode is when you and your friend would likely take each other on over a beer, and then get bored.
There is no online multiplayer mode of any sort.
The tutorial mode is simply 6 or 7 screenshots of what you can do in the game. It’s so laughably bad; No set moves for you to practice or perfect, because once again you can just superman tackle everyone, all the time.
World Cup 15 looks terrible. The graphics reminded me of the great PlayStation 2 days and the movements of the players are stiff and lumbering. Somehow, despite this, I got screen stutter and tearing which is a feat in itself when you think of how shoddy the graphics are and the power of the PS4 they were running on.
Realism, immersion, anything?
The stadiums were all generic, the players were a mix of retired players and made up names and I honestly didn’t see much difference between playing with South Africa, New Zealand or Namibia.
99% of all passes go direct to someone – rarely who you were aiming at but someone on your team at least. The kicking mechanic is janky as hell where at times it simply decides not to work at all while other times the guy will kick the ball, but it could just as easily go behind you as in front.
I kept getting called for offsides because the AI players weren’t returned behind the ball after I was tackled, at other times they all just stood around looking for the ball while waiting for the clock to tick down.
But honestly the thing that completely ruined the game for me is the advantage rule. Say I was offside but the opposing team got the ball and started for the tri line. They would have the advantage so if I got the ball off them now it would be pulled back for a penalty.
Nothing wrong with that – however that advantage needs to be removed at some point but when I played it was only removed once, a full 20 game minutes after the original foul was committed.
Now as I said I’m not Rugby expert but I’m pretty sure the opposing team can’t have an advantage on their side for 20 minutes of a half just because my idiot AI player wasn’t moved back behind the ball.
I think what makes this game really bad though is that it is simply a quick skin on an already terrible game that was released last year. In the 8 months since their last title got savaged I can’t see that any effort was put into the game to make it better or to resolve some of those issues. That, to me just smacks of arrogance and a lackadaisical attitude that fans will buy it just because it has the label.
I hope the sales prove them wrong, this title deserves to tank.
Last Updated: September 7, 2015