To coincide with rugby's North meets South test matches (New Zealand All Blacks v; British Lions and South Africa Springboks v. France), Cyanide has decided to make its Pro Rugby Manager 2 game available on-line. The game includes both championship and national teams from across the rugby playing world so it should give all fans a keen insight into opposition players. Moreover, Pro Rugby Manager's multiplayer capabilities will allow gamers to put their own talents to the test across the Internet.
Pro Rugby Manager 2 was released on CD-ROM in early 2005 and so the game's database is fully up to date. As the name suggests, Pro Rugby Manager 2 is a rugby management game, but with both 2D and 3D match modes Pro Rugby Manager will more than satisfy those gamers who are looking for a rich visual experience.
The management side puts the gamer in charge of a rugby club (more than 120 available from England, France, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Italy, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Japan .....) where he makes decisions on finances, facilities (training pitch, gym, ..), player and staff contracts, treatment of injuries, etc..... Players are defined by 13 attributes (kicking, tackling, awareness, etc,....) which can be honed by training programmes that are suited to a given playing style (a "kicking" fly-half as opposed to a "passing" fly-half, for example). Should the current squad not be up to scratch, the manager can dispatch scouts around the world to seek new talent.
Matches can be played in 2D (bird's eye view) or full 3D modes. The 2D option satisfies those gamers who are more interested in managing than playing as well as providing a less resource-draining environment for reduced PC configurations (see system requirements below). 2D matches do not allow control of individual players, but they do enable choice of global attacking and defensive strategies as well as decisions on such things as jumpers at line-outs or tactics on penalties (tap-kick; kick for touch, kick for 3 points). Watching a match "from above" gives a whole new insight into the game and many rugby players admit to preferring this mode of play.
Despite the quality of the 2D game, the full richness of Pro Rugby Manager 2 can only be experienced by a 3D match. 40 real-life stadiums have been rendered to reproduce every nook and cranny so that the fans will feel at home. Photo-realistic player modelling and motion capture imaging ensure that player movements reproduce TV-like reality. Individual players can be controlled in real-time, allowing the setting-up of a maul or the destabilising of the opposition with a switch pass. It is also possible to apply a collective attacking strategy such as attacking from the base of the scrum or through the centre. Individual and collective attacking commands are mirrored by such defensive commands as harry an opponent; defend deep or even commit an infringement. All matches are affected by weather conditions, which vary from the clement sunny day to winter ice and snow.
Minimum system requirements are Windows 98/ME/2000/XP; 500MHz processor, 192Mb of RAM and 16Mb DirectX (Ver. 9.0 or above) compatible video card. To experience full 3D matches an 800 MHz processor and a 32 MB GeForce or Radeon video card are required.
Pro Rugby Manager 2 is available for download on : www.cyanide-studio.com/?rub=store Price is 29.99 Euros.