Rugby 15 – Review
Follow Genre: Sports
Developer: HB Studios
Publisher: Bigben Interactive, Plug In Digital
Platform: PC, PS4, PS3, PSVita, One, 360

Rugby 15 – Review

Site Score
4.8
Good: Smooth and fast gameplay, free kick mechanic...
Bad: ...which is flawed at certain moments, no multiplayer, graphics, lack of a decent tutorial
User Score
6.0
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 6.0/10 (2 votes cast)

Sports have always been important for the gaming industry. Every year, we see a new FIFA, new PES, new NBA 2K and so on. However, some sports games don’t immediately appear on the front side of the well-known gaming websites or magazines. The answer might be that some sports are just not popular enough to get some decent attention. Unfortunately, the reason can often be found in the quality of those games. Rugby 15 is the perfect example of that.

Rugby 15 logo

Story

Sports game people so no story here.

Graphics

The first thing you’ll notice when starting a rugby match, is the camera which makes use of a very zoomed out perspective. By all means, this fact on its own can’t be counted as a problem but it soon becomes one if you notice the only reason for this choice of perspective is because the graphics look so incredibly outdated. The players on the field look like they teleported to the future from at least 5 years ago. The crowds in the background aren’t even recognizable enough to make you actually feel like you’re playing in a full stadium. Most of us don’t mind some lesser graphics, as long as the game plays fantastically and that’s perfectly fine, but here, the bad graphics just tend to bother the player as nothing on the screen feels realistic or convincing.

Sound

The commentary in Ruby 15 is decent and doesn’t get on your nerves which is not of insignificant importance. The cheering of the public however, felt a bit loud at certain times even though nothing important was happening on screen. It’s pleasant if a genius thought through action gets some praise but hearing the crowd go wild at every single tackle is a bit too much.

In the menus, there’s strong soundtrack with a steady beat which suits the sport rugby pretty well. On a more negative note, there’re only a couple of songs playing every time. Luckily, it doesn’t really annoy as you won’t be hanging out in the menus all too long.

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Gameplay

Here’s a Golden Tip right from the start: take paper and pen and scribble every combination down which you’ll see in the ‘tutorial screens’. That’s right, there’s no real tutorial, only screens which show you an incredible amount of information on all kinds of passes, throws, moves, … you can do as a player. On a positive note, having such an amount of possible actions makes the gameplay a lot more complex and challenging. On the other hand, no one is going to figure those things out on their own, just by playing the game. Learning from a whole load of static images is nearly impossible plus very annoying. My advice for the developers: put a tutorial in your next game, even if it’s just to explain the basics of rugby. The learning curve for newcomers is just too steep and even die-hard fans of rugby might frown upon the game mechanics because they didn’t get a decent explanation. The game tries to help out sometimes by giving you control reminders when you’re actually playing a match, but this just doesn’t suffice.

If you eventually end up in the game menus, there’s a lot to choose from. You can choose to play a friendly match which is certainly advisable because of the lack of a real tutorial. Besides that, there’s a custom cup mode and the different rugby playing nations and countries to play with. There’s certainly enough content to keep you satisfied for a while. Unfortunately, the game doesn’t feature on online multiplayer mode which is an incredible shame.

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Rugby 15 plays as fast as lightning and that suits this genre of sports perfectly. Passing must be done at a quick pace as it doesn’t take much to get tackled by one of the opponents. Something rather odd in this sports game is the lack of a stamina bar or a sprint button in general. You’d think that, especially for a sport like rugby, running is one of the most important things you should keep in mind. Here, you won’t even have to think about keeping the players fit as apparently, they have an unlimited supply of stamina which is a bit weird and completely unrealistic. It must be said however, Rugby 15 plays smooth and although it might a bit too quick for some, it keeps the player on edge the entire match.

While one of the players is running around with the ball in his hands, it’s just a matter of seconds before he falls down as a rival player tackles him in a swift motion. What follows next is the well-known ‘ruck’. A ruck is best described as a human meat pile as a whole group of players from each team is wrestling with one another for ball possession. The game translates this by letting the gamer twist the right analog stick until the green zone is reached. Once you’re in green, quickly tap the R2 button and tadaa, the ball is yours! Although the game mechanic works pretty well, the contrast between the fast gameplay while running with the ball couldn’t be bigger. That’s not really something negative as it gives the player some time to take a breath.

Rugby15

The last game mechanic I want to shed some light upon is the free kick mechanism. You basically either choose where you’ll shoot the ball from or get a spot assigned to you and then it’s a matter of flicking the right stick on the right time. A bar on the side tells you how much power the kick will have and if it’s below a certain amount, you won’t kick at all. The free kick mechanism feels really logical and pleasant to execute but it often happens that the kick fails although you’ve carefully kept an eye on the power bar. This may cause some frustration if a free kick fails several times in a row.

Conclusion

Rugby 15 does it’s very best to become the FIFA for rugby fans but fails in several core aspects. A lot of game mechanics are good in their essence but lack a decent execution. The graphics are very outdated and won’t please the majority of the gamers out there. Although the game offers a decent amount of content, the lack of multiplayer is nothing to get happy about. All in all, I’d say: wait another year and perhaps al lot of these remarks will be removed and/or corrected. For now, you’re better of skipping this title.

 

 

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Rugby 15 - Review, 6.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

1 Comment

  1. MC_JP
    MC_JP
    February 11, 2015, 11:35 pm

    Fun for 20 minutes. When you got a feel for the game it is quite fun

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