It’s been a while since the last rugby game was released, and although fans and gamers alike still stick to Rugby 08, Rugby World Cup 2011 and/or Rugby Challenge, they all have their fair share of flaws.
We’re all hoping for an announcement of a new rugby game, however there are a few things on everyone’s wishlist. Here is what we would love to see in Rugby 2014/Rugby 14.
Obviously not every player in the game can be specifically modeled and animated, but hopefully we’ll see the most distinguishable players feature their identifiable appearance, along with their running and kicking style, such as Habana’s hunched-over sprinting or Morne Steyn’s relaxed kicking form.
One thing that definitely needs some attention is the tackling animations. What we’ve seen so far in previous rugby games is not bad, but everyone would like to see some nice variation and unpredictability in the animations and movements. The Euphoria engine (Red Dead Redemption, Backbreaker) would do wonders for this, as well as sidestepping.
Momentum plays a big role in the sport of rugby, and this applies to the general play of the game, as well as the fancy footwork and sidesteps from many of the world’s greatest backs (and sometimes forwards). The stepping mechanic needs to be more dynamic and fluid, as opposed to a pre-canned animation that we saw in previous Rugby iterations. Imagine FIFA 13’s momentum and weight, with Madden or Backbreaker’s stepping system.
No more “star” players
A complete removal of the “Star Players” feature would be a welcomed removal in the genre. While there are those moments that will scream for individual brilliance, the team chemistry and tactics will play a greater role than one player’s (often overrated) ability. For example: while Habana is extremely fast, space needs to be created to unleash him. Rugby Challenge focused more on player stats than that of star players, and that aspect worked well for Sidhe’s game.
These are the moments of individual brilliance we refer to in the previous point; as one’s tact and reading of the pass can result in a game changing interception. Interceptions play an important part of today’s game and it would be awesome to see it implemented effectively into the game.
Rugby League Live 2 did implement interceptions well, although they can still be improved upon.
Holding-up of the ball
Many tries can be saved from holding-up the ball over the in-goal area. The ability to possibility tackle an opponent over the try line and then enter a quick button-mashing sequence in order to hold-up the ball, could add a new dimension to the defending (as well as attacking) element of the gameplay.
This mechanic has featured in Rugby League Live 2 and Rugby Challenge, however some more depth in the way you make the last-ditch tackle could add a lot to the defensive role of the player.
Backline moves on-the-fly
Rugby 08 and Rugby World Cup 2011′s set-plays were a huge step in the right direction, but while they were effective, you never seemed to have enough time executing them from general play. A quick move initiation mechanic would be a great leap for the next rugby game.
We’re not talking about the elaborate moves from the set-ppieces (those can function on their own), but the ability to call a move, such as a switch for example, whereby (during play) you could tap the D-pad, allowing for your outside play to cut in and recieve an inside pass. This would add a tremendous amount of diversity and tactics to the way your backline (and forwards) move.
While Rugby Challenge allows any player to chip the ball over the defenders, the weight and depth of your chipping options was incredibly limited.
Rugby League Live 2’s chip-kick is one of the best in the genre, and future rugby games could take a note out of its book.
Bounce of the ball
Strangely, Rugby 05 has more realistic ball physics than newer rugby games. In most games, the ball seems to always bounce like a soccer ball – straight and predictable. We all know this is not the case in regards to a rugby ball.
Hopefully we’ll see a better weight and physics to the ball, whereby a lucky (or unlucky) bounce of the ball could result in a try, or tactical kicking being negatively or positively affected by the bounce.
If you want to get your voice heard, check out the Facebook petition for Rugby 14. “Like” and follow the page updates to see the progress of the campaign.
What would you like to see in the a future rugby game? Anything in particular you hope is added or removed?