Starting off this review with a melancholic look at past rugby games seems like a trope at this point. To put it bluntly, there have been some fantastic games, and some really lacklustre ones, and Rugby 20 aims to be something ‘new’, bringing a different approach to what a rugby game is, and the result is a mixed-bag.
With each rugby release, the elephant in the room seems to be around the licenses. It’s a complicated matter, and most disgruntled fans don’t grasp the intricacies of negotiating such official nods of approval, but Rugby 20 does a good job to include as much licensing as possible. All the big name English and European teams are there, and a handful of the international sides are licensed too, barring some big-names.
On top of that, it’s got all the bells and whistles one would want: a career mode, league mode, league licenses, and everything in between, so the gripes are not really aimed at the intention to include content, but rather the shortcomings of the moment-to-moment gameplay on the field – the real action area most developers struggle to recapture.
And unfortunately, that problem is reproduced here. Rugby 20 delivers some great moments of excitement, and some of pure frustration, and they’re often within a few seconds of each other.
The game flows quite fluidly, but the AI’s behaviour and your actions (even when deep-diving into Rugby 20‘s admittedly-ambitious tactical options) seem at odds with one another.
Defenders don’t fully commit to attackers. You may get a great two-on-one scenario on attack, draw in the defender, throw a perfectly-timed pass to your winger or open player, and that original defender will magnetise immediately to the receiving player. It’s a damned if you do, damned if you don’t approach to passing. Now, there are moments where the odd tackle is slipped, you’re forced to throw unrealistically wide passes, or a player just squeaks past, but your hard work of drawing-and-passing seems in vain in Rugby 20, just leaving you throwing the ball back and forth until something happens. And while some players might be OK with that, it doesn’t feel right.
On the upside, the kicking is one of the highlights of the game. In-match kicking is operated on a gauge which can be exceeded, so finding the right spot to kick for distance and accuracy is great. The variety of kick depths and grubber options do provide some fun ping-pong-esque back-and-forth that those rugby purists will love, and can result in the odd cross-kick or grubber-through try, although they do still feel like a gamble.
Some of the gameplay systems seem unnecessarily overcomplicated, but there is some fun to be had with the core gameplay in Rugby 20. The grander ideas are admirable and exciting, but the basic fundamentals need a little more tweaking in order for the bigger ideas to take shape. Perhaps a try-before-you-buy approach is best here.
Playstation Plus Line-up for South Africa Revealed
Playstation brings out the big guns for the launch of its revamped PS Plus service.
Sony’s Playstation Plus subscription service is undergoing a huge revamp, with the online membership aiming to tackle the more comprehensive library offered by Xbox’s extremely-successful GamePass service.
Instead of getting access to a handful of games each month (which then are replaced with other games), as was the case with Playstation Plus before, the new service will have a larger catalogue of games, with everything from PS2, PS3, PS4, and PS5 games available to play.
The following selection games will be available for Playstation Plus Extra and Premium/Deluxe plans (you can check out the anticipated pricing tiers here) when the service launches in SA:
Playstation Studios games:
- Alienation | Housemarque, PS4
- Bloodborne | FromSoftware, PS4
- Concrete Genie | Pixelopus, PS4
- Days Gone | Bend Studio, PS4
- Dead Nation Apocalypse Edition | Housemarque, PS4
- Death Stranding and Death Stranding Director’s Cut | Kojima Productions, PS4/PS5
- Demon’s Souls | Bluepoint Games, PS5
- Destruction AllStars | Lucid Games, PS5
- Everybody’s Golf | Japan Studio, PS4
- Ghost Of Tsushima Director’s Cut | Sucker Punch, PS4/ PS5
- God of War | Santa Monica Studio, PS4
- Gravity Rush 2 | Japan Studio, PS4
- Gravity Rush Remastered | Japan Studio, PS4
- Horizon Zero Dawn | Guerrilla, PS4
- Infamous First Light | Sucker Punch, PS4
- Infamous Second Son | Sucker Punch, PS4
- Knack | Japan Studio, PS4
- LittleBigPlanet 3 | Sumo Digital, PS4
- LocoRoco Remastered | Japan Studio, PS4
- LocoRoco 2 Remastered | Japan Studio, PS4
- Marvel’s Spider-Man | Insomniac Games, PS4
- Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales | Insomniac Games, PS4/PS5
- Matterfall |Housemarque, PS4
- MediEvil | Other Ocean, PS4
- Patapon Remastered | Japan Studio, PS4
- Patapon 2 Remastered | Japan Studio, PS4
- Resogun | Housemarque, PS4
- Returnal | Housemarque, PS5
- Shadow of the Colossus | Japan Studio, PS4
- Tearaway Unfolded |Media Molecule, PS4
- The Last Guardian | Japan Studio, PS4
- The Last of Us Remastered | Naughty Dog, PS4
- The Last of Us: Left Behind | Naughty Dog, PS4
- Until Dawn | Supermassive Games, PS4
- Uncharted The Nathan Drake Collection |Naughty Dog, PS4
- Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End | Naughty Dog, PS4
- Uncharted: The Lost Legacy | Naughty Dog, PS4
- WipEout Omega Collection | Clever Beans & Creative Vault Studios, PS4
Third Party games:
- Ashen | Annapurna Interactive,PS4
- Assassin’s Creed Valhalla*** | Ubisoft, PS4/PS5
- Batman: Arkham Knight | WB Games, PS4
- Celeste | Maddy Makes Games, PS4
- Cities: Skylines | Paradox Interactive, PS4
- Control: Ultimate Edition | 505 Games, PS4/PS5
- Dead Cells| Motion Twin, PS4
- Far Cry 3 Remaster*** | Ubisoft, PS4
- Far Cry 4*** | Ubisoft, PS4
- Final Fantasy XV Royal Edition | Square Enix Co. LTD, PS4
- For Honor*** | Ubisoft, PS4
- Hollow Knight | Team Cherry, PS4
- Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy | Square Enix Co. LTD., PS4/PS5
- Mortal Kombat 11 | WB Games, PS4/PS5
- Narutoshippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 | Bandai Namco Entertainment Inc., PS4
- NBA 2K22 | 2K Games, PS4/PS5
- Outer Wilds | Annapurna Interactive, PS4
- Red Dead Redemption 2 | Rockstar Games, PS4
- Resident Evil | Capcom Co., Ltd, PS4
- Soulcalibur VI | Bandai Namco Entertainment Inc., PS4
- South Park: The Fractured but Whole*** | Ubisoft, PS4
- The Artful Escape | Annapurna Interactive, PS4/PS5
- The Crew 2*** | Ubisoft, PS4
- Tom Clancy’s The Division*** | Ubisoft, PS4
Classic Games Catalog
Available on the PlayStation Plus Premium**/Deluxe Plan
PlayStation Plus Premium/Deluxe members will have a selection of popular classic games to play, with some titles that will show improved frame rates and higher-quality resolution compared to their original launch versions. For select original PlayStation and PSP classic games, members will also enjoy a new user interface with menus that allow you to save your game at any time, or even rewind the game if you want a do-over.
Also, players who have previously purchased the digital version of select games from the original PlayStation and PSP generation will not have to make a separate purchase or sign up to PlayStation Plus to play these titles on PS4 or PS5. When these titles are released for PS4 and PS5, players can head to PlayStation Store and download a version for the consoles at no extra cost if they already own the digital version of the title. Some of the titles will also be available for individual purchase.
Additionally, some remastered classics from previous console generations will be added to the PlayStation Plus Premium/Deluxe plan. Below is an early look at a selection of games that will be available.
Classic Games Catalog – Original PlayStation and PSP
Playstation Studios games
- Ape Escape | Japan Studio, Original PlayStation
- Hot Shots Golf | Japan Studio, Original PlayStation
- I.Q. Intelligent Qube | Japan Studio, Original PlayStation
- Jumping Flash! | Japan Studio, Original PlayStation
- Syphon Filter | Bend Studio, Original PlayStation
- Super Stardust Portable | Housemarque, PSP
Third Party Partners
- Mr. Driller | Bandai Namco Entertainment Inc., Original PlayStation
- Tekken 2 | Bandai Namco Entertainment Inc., Original PlayStation
- Worms World Party | Team 17, Original PlayStation
- Worms Armageddon | Team17, Original PlayStation
Classic Games Catalog – Remasters
- Ape Escape 2 | Japan Studio, PS4
- Arc The Lad: Twilight of the Spirits | Japan Studio, PS4
- Dark Cloud | Japan Studio, PS4
- Dark Cloud 2 | Japan Studio, PS4
- FantaVision | SIE, PS4
- Hot Shots Tennis | Japan Studio, PS4
- Jak II | Naughty Dog, PS4
- Jak 3| Naughty Dog, PS4
- Jak X: Combat Racing | Naughty Dog, PS4
- Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy | Naughty Dog, PS4
- Rogue Galaxy | Japan Studio, PS4
- Siren | Japan Studio, PS4
- Wild Arms 3 | SIE, PS4
Third Party Partners
- Bioshock Remastered | 2K Games, PS4
- Borderlands The Handsome Collection | 2K Games, PS4
- Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition | Gearbox Publishing, PS4
- Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning | THQ Nordic, PS4
- LEGO Harry Potter Collection | WB Games, PS4
Original PS3 Games (via streaming)
PlayStation Plus Premium** Plan
The new PlayStation Plus will offer PS3 games to stream and play on PS4, PS5 and PC****. These are original, non-remastered versions of PS3 games and are available to PlayStation Plus Premium members where cloud streaming is available. Here is an early look at the selection of original PS3 games available.
- Crash Commando | Creative Vault Studios, PS3
- Demon’s Souls | From Software, PS3
- echochrome | Japan Studio, PS3
- Hot Shots Golf: Out of Bounds | Japan Studio, PS3
- Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational | Japan Studio, PS3
- Ico | Japan Studio, PS3
- Infamous | Sucker Punch, PS3
- Infamous 2 | Sucker Punch, PS3
- Infamous: Festival of Blood | Sucker Punch, PS3
- LocoRoco Cocoreccho! | Japan Studio, PS3
- MotorStorm Apocalypse | Evolution Studios, PS3
- MotorStorm RC | Evolution Studios, PS3
- Puppeteer | Japan Studio, PS3
- rain | Japan Studio, PS3
- Ratchet & Clank: Quest For Booty | Insomniac Games, PS3
- Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time |Insomniac Games, PS3
- Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus | Insomniac Games, PS3
- Resistance 3 | Insomniac Games, PS3
- Super Stardust HD | Housemarque, PS3
- Tokyo Jungle | Japan Studio, PS3
- When Vikings Attack | Clever Beans, PS3
Third Party Partners
- Asura’s Wrath | Capcom Co., Ltd., PS3
- Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 | Konami, PS3
- Devil May Cry HD Collection | Capcom Co., Ltd., PS3
- Enslaved: Odyssey to the West | Bandai Namco Entertainment America Inc., PS3
- F.E.A.R. | WB Games, PS3
- Lost Planet 2 | Capcom Co., Ltd., PS3
- Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 | Koei Tecmo, PS3
- Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare | Rockstar Games, PS3
Sony also confirmed that the new PlayStation Plus offering will launch in a phased regional approach. In the June timeframe, the company will begin with an initial launch in several markets in Asia, followed by North America, Europe and the rest of the world where PlayStation Plus is offered. Sony aims to have most PlayStation Network territories live with the new PlayStation Plus game subscription service by the end of the first half of 2022.
MotoGP 22 Review — Cutting Corners or Perfect Season?
Does the latest entry into the fan-loved MotoGP series deliver a knockout lap?
The MotoGP franchise has seen a steady rise in quality over the years, with MotoGP 21 delivering one of the best games in the series to date thanks to some serious overhauls. However, the franchise did have some growing pains and weird omissions making its leap to the PS5 and Xbox Series X. Thankfully, it’s safe to say that MotoGP 22 has ironed out these kinks for a much more comprehensive (and gorgeous) experience.
MotoGP 21 saw a huge boost in visual fidelity, but MotoGP 22 has rounded off the presentation to represent something even closer to the real-life action. From the moment you boot up the game to your first pull-off from the startling line, it’s clear that MotoGP 22 has seen some polishing up to an admittedly jaw-dropping level. There are a lot of reused assets and cut-scenes from MotoGP 21, but the tweaks to animations, spiffier track details, shinier bikes, and an effective motion blur push MotoGP 22 to photorealistic levels.
Of course, the on-track racing is the real test, and on the Playstation 5, MotoGP 22 runs like a dream. Speeding through the MotoGP 22 season tracks and venues in glorious 4K, 60 frames a second is quite the exhilarating rush, which finally captures the blistering sensation of speed and frenetic energy of the real-life event.
With the series essentially nailing the look and feel of the real-life MotoGP, the latest games are really about refining that and adding new elements to enhance the little moments on and off the track, with the utmost realism being the goal in mind. Some tweaks to the physics stand out this time around, as your bike feels and moves like its own entity, rather than being directly attached to your rider, along with a greater focus on how your tyres and suspension perform on the track.
Real bike-nuts will get a huge kick out of tweaking everything from aerodynamics, electronics, engine power and consumption, chassis, and even petrol management. The great thing is, MotoGP 22 doesn’t just make it an aesthetic distraction of gauges and numbers, because, with each tiny adjustment, you can actually feel the difference on the track.
And you’ll need to refine your bike and approach as racing (like the real thing) can be brutal if mistakes are made, but incredibly rewarding when done right. In this regard, MotoGP 22 prides itself on being a true simulation, requiring an understanding of your acceleration speed, braking capacity, and distance, and a familiarity with the track you’re taking on. Thankfully, a new tutorial mode has been added to help newcomers familiarise themselves with the layered systems that exist in MotoGP 22.
While the action around the apexes is sublime, those who enjoy the culture and management off the track have a lot to indulge in too. The Managerial Career, whereby you have to run and coordinate your team (admittedly, there is a lot to get your head around), still delivers the most comprehensive look behind the curtains of MotoGP that you’ll find anywhere.
Add in the fact that you get all the official rosters and tracks of the 2022 Season, and MotoGP 22 really is a high point of the series. While the improvements are gradual year-on-year, you can’t fault the game itself as a standalone experience, add in the fact that split-screen now makes an appearance, and it’s a reasonable upgrade from last year. All in all, MotoGP 22 has seen enough refinements and interesting add-ons to keep bike-fanatics invested for another year.
MotoGP 22 is available on Xbox Series X|S, PS5, Xbox One PS4, Switch, and PC.
MenStuff reviewed the title on PS5.
Gotham Knights: New Gameplay Released
Check out the new gameplay from the upcoming Batman universe-spinoff, Gotham Knights.
One of the big games that’s still coming our way in 2022 is that of Warner Bros. Games and DC’s Gotham Knights, and we now have some new gameplay showcasing Nightwing and Red Hood.
Narrated by Game Director Geoff Ellenor, the new video debuts an extended look at both playable characters as they bring justice to Gotham City’s criminal element, while also investigating clues around the mysterious Court of Owls. In this gameplay walkthrough, each hero’s distinct fighting style and open-world traversal abilities are on full display, from Nightwing’s unique acrobatic combat and aerial glider to Red Hood’s twin firearm skills and powerful leaping capability.
Gotham Knights features the Batman Family as players step into the roles of Batgirl, Nightwing, Red Hood, and Robin, a new guard of trained DC Super Heroes who must rise up as the protectors of Gotham City in the wake of Batman’s death. From solving mysteries that connect the darkest chapters in the city’s history to defeating notorious villains in epic confrontations, players will confront an array of challenges as they evolve into their own version of the Dark Knight.
Gotham Knights is scheduled to launch worldwide on 25 October on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S.
5 Must-Play Games of May 2022
Check out what games are coming your way in May!
A busy 2022 game release schedule continues, as the month of May sees everything from an adventure featuring a boxing kangaroo to a WWII sniping mission. We’ve rounded up the most-anticipated releases of May 2022 to check out:
Trek to Yomi
Release date: 5 May 2022 (PS5 | Xbox Series X/S | PS4 | Xbox One | PC)
Trek to Yomi is a gorgeous 2D-action adventure game where you travel through Feudal Japan, fighting enemies, scaling rooftops, and slashing your way through the beautiful countryside. It’s a classic revenge tale, that is soaked in some serious black-and-white style, and coming from Shadow Warrior developer Flying Wild Hog, it should deliver the goods, as they’re becoming increasingly proficient in delivering games with satisfying and brutal combat. The best news is that it’s coming to Xbox’s GamePass on launch.
Evil Dead: The Game
Release date: 13 May 2022 (PS5 | Xbox Series X/S | PS4 | Xbox One | Switch | PC)
Evil Dead: The Game is a co-op survival horror game in the same vein as Left 4 Dead, Friday the 13th, Dead by Daylight, and other asymmetric cooperative games where you have to work together, hunt down loot, get your arsenal together, and fight like nails in order to make it through. The franchise hero Ash is back, along with his chainsaw, alongside a few other heroes; and rivaling players will also be able to take control of the Kandarian Demon and possess various enemies and manipulate the environment to make it even more difficult for the four-person co-op team.
Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong
Release date: 19 May 2022 (PS5 | Xbox Series X/S | PS4 | Xbox One | Switch | PC)
As a spin-off to the mainline action/RPG Vampire: The Masquerade games, Swansong is a slower, more methodical detective-inspired adventure to enjoy. Not unlike the Sherlock Holmes games, players are immersed by exploring crime scenes, solving puzzles, and having branching dialogue options with numerous characters, which can shape how the game unfolds. Of course, it is a Vampire game, so you’ll have to keep your true identity hidden, all while selecting who you need to pick off for a nibble during each case. Players will have to be careful who they feast on though, as it could change the course of the investigation, which makes for an interesting gameplay dynamic.
Sniper Elite 5
Release date: 26 May 2022 (PS5 | Xbox Series X/S | PS4 | Xbox One | PC)
The much-loved, Nazi testicle-destroying franchise is back, as Sniper Elite 5 delivers another sharpshooting adventure for players to indulge in. The latest instalment in the award-winning series features even deeper sniping mechanics, tactical third-person combat, and an enhanced kill cam. Taking on the role of Karl Fairburne once more, players will have to fight their way across the most immersive maps yet, with many real-world locations captured in stunning detail, and an improved traversal system that lets you explore more of them than ever before.
Kao the Kangaroo
Release date: 27 May 2022 (PS5 | Xbox Series X/S | PS4 | Xbox One | Switch | PC)
If you were craving some old-school 3D platforming, Kao the Kangaroo is a love-letter to the genre and a reboot of the franchise which first saw its initial release back in 2000. Players have to hop and fight through some varied levels, using different elemental powers on Kao’s boxing gloves to solve puzzles and defeat enemies. It looks like a lot of fun and should scratch that 3D platformer itch — we can’t wait to get our hands on it.
3 Great PS4 Exclusives on Sale for Under R400
Grab the best the PS4 has to offer!
Playstation fans have been treated to some superb exclusives in recent years, however, having the bucks to nab them all is admittedly tricky. Thankfully, some of the biggest PS4 releases in recent years have seen a discount, with some of the best games around costing less than a dinner out on the town.
Ghost of Tsushima
Ghost of Tsushima isn’t just visually beautiful, but extremely well structured, paced, and put together. Everything from the intricacies of authenticity in Feudel Japan to the dynamic combat is done with a meticulous level of appreciation and polish, yet the game can also be in-your-face and brutal when it needs to be. Everyone had high expectations for Sucker Punch’s samurai game ever since it was announced, and the studio did one better by completely exceeding them.
The Last of Us: Part II
The Last of Us: Part II will be a no-brainer of a purchase for most PS4 owners; however, the nature of the game is a harder-sell for more casual fans. Even with its brutality and mature elements, The Last of Us Part II is a must-play for every gamer, and an opus to an already-revered story. It may not inject that initial Last of Us novelty magic we first felt when booting up the original game, but it carries the torch excellently to round out a brilliant and harrowing tale of survival.
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Game of the Year Edition
Insomniac’s Spider-Man manages to deliver exactly what you want from a Spidey game: making you feel like the friendly neighbourhood superhero, a ton of fan-service that’ll make players feel like they’re watching the 90s TV series, and diving into Peter Parker’s side of the story, while all looking gorgeous in the process. It’s a must-buy from us, and a legitimate contender to Arkham City as one of the best superhero games to date. The Game of the Year edition comes with the game’s DLC expansions too, making this an incredibly enticing deal.