While Cricket 24 may play a lot like Cricket 22, it sets itself apart as the most licensed cricket games to date. 300 photogrammetry player give the familiar game a fresh authentic feel. Despite the new feel, the game is still plagued by glitches that belong in a Playstation 1 game. With all the places the game can improve, it's carried along by community support and regular patches from Big Ant Studios.
Despite the exciting campaign for the Proteas men’s team in the Cricket World Cup, they couldn’t jump that semi-final hurdle. It may feel difficult to get excited about cricket but Cricket 24 lets you take winning a World Cup into your own hands. Betting on having similar features as past cricket games is as safe as betting on Australia winning a World Cup (men’s or women’s). Cricket 24 does however promise to be the most authentic cricket gaming experience to date.
Look the part on the grand-ish stage
The major draw for most major sporting games is its licensing. Cricket 24 is by far the most licensed cricket game to date. It boasts over 300 photogrammetry player and bat models from the largest men’s and women’s teams around the world. You can also play in some of the world’s biggest cricketing tournaments such as The Hundred and BBL. It’s difficult to deny that Cricket 24 is the closest we’ve come to the real thing since the Electronic Arts titles of the 2000s.
Where Cricket 22 struggled with lighting, shadows, and shiny accents are accurately lit in the latest iteration.
Unfortunately, the photogrammetry models don’t go beyond the licensed competitions and teams. So while the likes of Aiden Markram can be found in his IPL franchise on the Sunrisers Hyderabad team sheet, you’re still stuck with AI-generated Yusuf Vogel in South Africa’s World Cup squad. Speaking of the IPL, while Cricket 24 has eight of the ten IPL teams available, the tournament itself isn’t licensed. There are also over 300 players on the world cricket so while some players may have their likeness in the game, some designs aren’t the most accurate.
There is hope though. Cricket 24’s community is your best chance of getting as close as possible to what you expect the premiere cricket game to be. It takes a significant amount of downloading but you can all your favourite teams and their kits to give you an authentic cricket experience. Downloads can also be a little tricky to get right. Some teams will have the official World Cup kit, for example, but they might not have the licensed players.
As handy as the community may be at providing more realistic teams, it isn’t the only way it’s done. Developer Big Ant Studios regularly releases patches to update their games. Among other additions, more player likenesses such as Dane van Niekerk of the Oval Invincibles were added to the latest one. As undercooked as Cricket 24 may seem out of the box, it certainly has the potential to be the premium cricket game you’d expect it to be.
Cricket 24 brings back the same game gameplay experience from its predecessor, Cricket 22. The arcade controls make the game accessible and enjoyable for anyone who started watching cricket at either of this year’s World Cup tournaments. Much like the game in reality, batting is the more fun of the two disciplines. The colour-coded delivery point makes the ball easy to understand which helps you choose from a gratifying selection of shots. Orthodox shots are crisp with a few more added to Cricket 22’s range of strokes on the leg side.
Bowling may not be as regularly gratifying but when you strike, it is satisfying. Pace bowling took the longest to get the hang of with a wider array of shots to bowl. We started finding success the more crafty we got with aftertouch. Spin was simpler to pick up, with fewer variations per bowler and the ability to add flight, bounce, and drift to your standard delivery. Pro controls previously seen in Cricket 22 and Cricket 19 are also options you can choose from so players of those games will have no issue adjusting to the new game
Fielding still has a lot of room for improvement which is nothing new for cricket games. On one end of the spectrum, manual fielding is difficult to pick up. The other side of the spectrum has engaging mini-games for catching and running out your opponent, but they’re sometimes overpowered. If you pick an end and get the ball out fast enough, you’re almost guaranteed a direct hit even if the fielder is throwing the ball in the opposite direction.
Cricket 24 definitely takes strides forward in the visual department but it’s also stuck in the past in some places. Where Cricket 22 struggled with lighting, shadows, and shiny accents are accurately lit in the latest iteration. The game is still plagued by glitches that you’d expect from a game made twenty years ago. Little issues, like cameras looking inside players during replays, feel insignificant but the braindead fielding AI is absolutely infuriating. Then there are balls that hover around like a nervous bee on its first nectar outing. The misfiring commentary from (the legendary) Adam Gilchrist also contributes to the experience of being in a simulation from the early 2000’s.
Cricket 24 does however promise to be the most authentic cricket gaming experience to date.
All other game modes are carbon copies of Cricket 22. The career mode gives you a similar trajectory from club cricket player to international star. You create a custom player, by introducing them to your coach and selecting attributes and playing style. On your way to the top, you play training minigames to improve your player’s rating and manage fatigue for stamina. The Hundreddraft is the closest we’ll get to the now scrapped ‘Pro team’ move we were promised in the initial announcement. It seems like Big Ant Studios has focused its efforts on securing licensing for this game and may look to add to the gameplay in the game’s next iteration.
Does Cricket 24 lift the trophy?
Players of Cricket 24 will have a strong sense of deja vu from Cricket 22. Gameplay is identical in the two games and easy to pick up for beginners. Batting has a slightly bolstered and gratifying selection of shots but bowling could be more rewarding. The marathon career experience can feel repetitive and is difficult to justify if you’ve been through the Cricket 22 career mode. The licensed tournaments are the major highlight, giving you the opportunity to play with your favorite players and teams. The experience is however unfortunately plagued by glitches from the Playstation 1 era and AI fielding on par with u/10 cricket.
With a R1049 price tag (PS5/PS4/XBSX/XB1) Cricket 24 is a few hundred rands away from the latest football game. The patchy nature of the game’s main attraction (its licensing) makes the price seem steep straight out of the box. With that said, Australia’s men’s team showed that you don’t need to start well to win the tournament.