Cricket fans have been starved of video games over the years with any sort of regular franchise not forthcoming. Call it a general lack of interest or the exorbitant costs of licensing a video game, but there has been a shortage of developers stepping forward to produce cricket games. That was, however, until Big Ant Studios stepped forward to give the world Cricket 22 which the company goes on to call the official game of the Ashes. So, the burning question is, is it any good?
To ensure the highly anticipated #Cricket22 game gets to fans by 2nd December, Big Ant Studios are proud to announce that Pat Cummins, vice-captain of the Australian men’s cricket team, will be on the Cricket 22 digital cover alongside Australian women’s team captain Meg Lanning. pic.twitter.com/NCCcvqNC5r
— Big Ant Studios (@BigAntStudios) November 23, 2021
It’s fair to say that this game has divided options. At least, the latest reviews on the various gaming or technology sites can’t seem to settle on a universal opinion. So let’s cut through the bluster to find a balanced verdict.
What the game does well
There can be no two ways about it, this is a seriously enjoyable cricket game. Big Ant Studios have put the onus on giving fans something that they will relish playing. We’re big fans of comprehensive tech tutorials and their tutorial system that gets you up to date with the controls as much as it does the laws of cricket. In this sense, it’s easy for gamers that aren’t necessarily cricket fans to enjoy this game. Even if you have sticky buttons, cricket novices will be up and away in no time.
With that said, there is a host of features for the cricket traditionalists to sink their teeth into with this game, offering fans the chance to play the official Ashes series. This is where, once again, you have to take your hat off as the battle between bat and ball in this fiercely contested series between England and Australia is incredibly intense. Tellingly, the hostile atmosphere in the stands, which is such a key part of any Ashes Series in real life, is evident in the game. This is a series that the Alinta Energy Australians have dominated in the recent past. The latest cricket odds, as of the 25th of August, illustrate this: with the Aussies at evens to retain the Ashes in 2023, their positive past performances are clearly expected to continue. You can see this historical superiority in the game and you do feel that you are up against it if you are playing as England. On top of the Ashes, fans can also play the popular T20 Big Bash League in Australia, The Hundred in England, and both the T20 and 50 over World Cups.
Given the size of the company, getting the official license for so many tournaments is impressive. Of course, the noticeable absentee from this list is the IPL for one obvious reason: the price. You only need to look at the Indian television numbers for the tournament to get a better idea of how much it would cost with the IPL averaging around 380 million viewers every year. For now, footing that bill for a relatively small studio would be out of the question.
5⃣0⃣ FOR DE VILLIERS!
What a way it get there – that is humungous! A 35th IPL fifty for AB de Villiers from just 23 balls.
— Sky Sports Cricket (@SkyCricket) September 28, 2020
Another commendable feature of Cricket 22 is that the developers are flying the flag for the women’s game by including licensed players and teams. This is, without a doubt, a massive step forward for the women’s game and Big Ant Studios deserve a significant amount of credit for playing their part in the battle for equality.
As much as Big Ant Studios have tried, they haven’t quite mastered the life-like features of the players. At least, if you consider the job that EA Sports have done with the FIFA series and the resemblance of the players in the game to how they look in real life, you would have to conclude that Big Ant Studios are quite far behind in perfecting the features of the players in Cricket 22.
💥 Scored a banger?
🥳 Which new celebration are you using?
— EA SPORTS FIFA (@EASPORTSFIFA) August 6, 2022
There is also the odd glitch. This happens in even the best-selling games but they are there and they are frustrating.
This is an honest franchise that will give fans the chance to play a thoroughly enjoyable cricket video game. With the right level of expectations, you will not put this game down.