Cricket 2002
Genre Sport -> Sport
Today's Rank 22025
Homepage
USA
Date N/A
Publisher N/A
UK
Date 2005-08-23
Publisher Electronic Arts
Cricket 2002 represents Electronics Arts' latest attempt to turn every possible sport into a lucrative franchise. As you'd expect there's a highly polished front end, with all the key international teams and stadia to choose from and various all-star squads to unlock as you progress though the game, and unlike in previous versions, you can now play a Test match or series rather than just one-day competitions. Gameplay-wise, we've been here before. As in Brian Lara Cricket/Cricket 2000, you pre-select your shot from a number of options or set the length, line and speed of your delivery. You can now micromanage your fielders or let the computer AI set the (supposedly) best field for you. Variations in pitch and weather conditions are meant to ensure a different experience whether you use your spin or pace bowlers. Unfortunately, you never feel that you're actually in control of the proceedings. You can get your opponent out with an absolute shocker of a ball or, conversely, toil away for hours with your best bowlers to no effect. You can line up an excellent shot just to see the ball pop tamely into the hands of a fielder and, even worse, be given out when the ball is nowhere near him. You can also be judged LBW when the ball has pitched nowhere near you. It's all very random, and not even extensive net sessions help; it's much better to play against a human opponent, which at least makes the game a contest dependent on skill rather than luck. Graphically, too, Cricket 2002 is wanting. Cricketers may or may not be the most photogenic of sportsmen, but this bunch look like they've shuffled in from the latest Resident Evil epic. Some of the player animation, particularly the fielding, is jerky and incomplete and the crowd is disappointingly two dimensional. Given these caveats, can this game be recommended to cricket fans? Actually, in the absence of an update to the seminal Brian Lara Cricket, probably yes--if only because there are no other options available. If you can get beyond the peculiar umpiring and the disappointing graphics there's a playable arcade romp here, particularly in the multiplayer mode. However, if you're looking for an accurate simulation of this noble sport then you'll be disappointed because, in this sense, it just isn’t cricket.--Michael Bartley
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