Cricket Heroes – What We Think:
Sports is my second love and cricket is right up there. I have been playing cricket since I was old enough to hold a cricket bat, so when a game comes along saying “Cricket Heroes is the most comprehensive and accurate cricket game available today!” I stand up and take notice.
Developed by Peek/Poke Studios out of South Africa in conjunction with the “forumites” of PlanetCricket for the past 3 years, Cricket Heroes does everything a cricket game should. Batting and bowling, a huge list of game options from the new and exciting T20 game, to tests, and even a career mode. There is also a range of editors that can be used to change game conditions from the amount of turn to swing and to make wickets a batting paradise!
To give you a sense of what the developers have considered and included in the game, some of the promoted features include:
– dynamic weather & pitch conditions
– ball deterioration
– reactive AI
– career mode
– tons of stats tracking & dynamic commentary generation
– realistic simulation
– ultra-modability (the game is packaged with around 10 editors)
To Loft Or Not To Loft
The one problem coming for me – from a sporting background and trying to compare playing to cricket to an accurate cricket game of today – is that split second decisions made on a cricket pitch cannot be remade into a controlled game. I don’t have a controller and I was using my keyboard to play this game. There were just too many keys to make those split decisions, on what shot to use at what time. 4 keys to define whether I wanted to do a back foot shot to a back foot lofted shot to front foot and front foot lofted.
Add that to the 9 keys to place in the direction I wanted to hit said shot, and it quickly becomes too many variables to handle quickly.
Now consider running between wickets and it becomes a highly complicated affair. Especially when I got into the habit of pushing a button to go onto the next ball, realizing it was the run button and getting run out (I didn’t learn too fast and did this several times).
During my first innings I didn’t score a run. I then conceded and went back to training to figure out the control scheme. Most controls are optimized to a handheld controller so it took a fair bit of tinkering to figure that out was required. That said, the training section was very good, you can set individual balls speeds spin and line and lengths.
If You Called a Cricket Match, and No One Came…
I did have some problem when my characters decided to disappear and therefore every ball I bowled was a no-ball. The game is not without its bugs, but otherwise it performs as the developers claimed it would. The one thing was trying to get the timing right; yes, it is a part of cricket and a challenging aspect of the game, but with the laziness relative impassivity of today’s audiences, will they actually stick with it long enough to master it?
The sound effects in the game of high standard and the commentary feature is on the mark. My only issue, is that the commentator’s voice is the same all the way through. We needed some “2-22” banter and more lighthearted banter.
For The Love Of The Game
If you’re a sporting fan and a lover of cricket, yes I would recommend you get this game. That said, you’ll want a gamepad to play it as it makes for a far more intuitive experience; there is a sense of ease with a controller that a keyboard just doesn’t achieve.
The varied game modes should be enough to keep most people interested in this for a while, and if you want a long career, the career mode is fantastic. I know when I play sport games I like creating a player based on myself, playing my way through and gradually getting stronger and faster!
A Sticky Wicket
Cricket games would have be the hardest to judge and accounting for the amount of different variables is a huge task. While this title makes a noble effort, I feel it is daunting to recreate a true cricketing experience.