Rugby World Cup 2011 is a decent attempt at bringing the sport back to games consoles and despite being light on features and a bit weak in the graphics department, it actually plays a fine game of Rugby. Hopefully HB Studios have done enough to get another stab at a Rugby game and not just in four years time for the next World Cup, it would be nice to see this base engine built up over the next few years and to see the sport better represented in the gaming world.
This game, like its older versions, focus on the basics of rugby and make it an enjoyable experience for the rugby fan. I'd rather play something realistic and strategy based compared to the likes of Jonah Lomu Rugby which is completely off the basis of rugby.
If your looking for a stable game with controlled variables - buy this one.
I've waited for 5 years for a Rugby Union game on Xbox360. It has the developers who did the original EA titles, but not the $ in development. It lacks polish and the cutting edge of say EA's Madden or FIFA series - but they've gone through 20+ iterations from PS1 and early PC days to now. It's not a huge evolution on Rugby 2006 or 2008, but these guys need the opportunity to build on what they have. If anything given the limited content it should have been released at a lower price point (but maybe the RWC license costs are high). Rather than just the RWC tournament there should have been an opportunity to play a Road to the World Cup and attempt to qualify lower tier nations to the pool stages? Or perhaps included Sevens as well? maybe next time?
Anyway I've had a great time playing with/against my 8 year old son, and it's teaching a lot about the rules and mechanics of the real game. The controls are pretty intuitive after a couple of matches. Like Rugby 2006/8 the players do tend to bunch but hey that's what mini rugby players do as well. I haven't played online as I don't have a Gold account.
In summary it's a passable "simulation" of rugby union, graphics are OK, the atmosphere is good and the player mechanics/animations are passable.
Developers - we need more rugby games.
Slated by others, although i think it has charm. Its a decent game, graphics are not top notch admittedly and could do with some polishing. No licenses. But a decent game i think. Not much playability beyond world cup mode and place kick shoot out, but turnovers and scrums are good. Multiplayer is great! playing against a friend online is challenging and presents more **** than single player AI. its a solid game. but i do suggest waiting for jona lomuh's challenge which is out in a few weeks.
Overall a very disappointing game. I've played all of HB Studios Rugby games (formerly under the EA label) starting in 2004, they have all been more or less the same game with minor improvements. Rugby 2008 was probably the most complete and full featured, including a full multi-season team management mode that you would expect from a modern sports game. Rugby World Cup 2011 is almost exactly the same game when it comes to gameplay (they slightly improved the mechanics for binding players in a ruck), minus nearly all of the features including such basics as a tutorial for beginners. As someone who already has Rugby 2008, there is literally no reason for me to play this game other than to use my Xbox 360 rather than my PS2. I understand that the developers self published the game and had trouble paying for the licensing, but they've taken a 4 year old game and re-released it with LESS features while still asking for full price for it. There is not a lot of choice in Rugby games out there, and I don't expect big new features or state-of-the-art graphics, but at the bare minimum they should at least make some improvement after 4 years rather than taking a step backward.
SummaryRUGBY WORLD CUP 2011 will challenge players to pick from the 20 Rugby World Cup 2011 participating countries, and attempt to lead their team through the pool phase to progress to the Final and the opportunity to lift the prestigious Webb Ellis Cup.