Big Ant’s Cricket game is back with more licensed content
Rs. 4,299; PS4, PS5, PC, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch
The release of the Cricket 22 had a tepid response and it was mainly due to a long list of bugs and janky AI, but to its credit, Big Ant Studios patched it over the next few months to make it an enjoyable video game for cricket fans. With over 70 hours of game time over the last two years, Cricket 22 is still a good cricket game with strong community support. This year, Big Ant Studios is following up with Cricket 24 and has timed the release with the Cricket World Cup along with Sony backing its support by releasing a special bundle for the PlayStation 5 in India. But does it deliver?
One of the biggest highlights for a sports game is its licensed content and this time around, the developer has done a commendable job securing official licenses for tournaments The Ashes, the KFC BBL and Weber WBBL, The Hundred, the Caribbean Premier League and the Pakistan Super League. The Ashes has been a mainstay for the developer and features a dedicated game mode which isn’t surprising but Big Ant managed to score several IPL teams, including Mumbai Indians, Rajasthan Royals, Gujarat Titans and five more. However, they are not allowed to use the IPL name.
The result of the official licenses is the use of real player names, kits and most importantly, the player semblance to the ones in real life, thanks to the full photogrammetry of over 200 players. Big Ant has confirmed they will continue to add more players’ photogrammetry but in case you can’t find one, there’s the community to the rescue. Similar to Cricket 22, the Cricket 24 community allows users to change the unlicensed roster and teams with the actual ones with better kits and player likeliness, all created by other Cricket 24 players.
There are many game modes to play, including official tournaments but the Career Mode is interesting because you can create a player and live through the struggle of a struggling cricketer. The career mode is detailed and fun but can take a while before you can represent your favourite country or team. One thing we would have liked is the transfer of career progression from Cricket 22 like how MLB The Show does. This would save the trouble of jumping over the same hoops in the career mode in the new game. Batting, bowling or fielding is straightforward with Arcade or Pro control schemes but you may need some time to get used to it.
If Cricket 24 shines through the licenses and the gameplay, the game disappoints with the fielding AI and random bugs. For instance, fielders would slide in every ball to field even if it came directly to them. The batsman hitting the ball and running would reach the non-striker’s end first then the runner. The AI will overthrow or just throw the ball to another fielder allowing you to steal an extra run. Many times, the commentators are out of sync with what’s happening in the match. The bugs are not frustrating but take the fun out of what can be a promising outing at the Lord’s or the Wankhede Stadium.
In its current form, Cricket 24 is purely for the fans who seek licensed content. For Cricket 22 players, there’s little incentive to jump and should wait till the bugs are ironed out.
WE’RE IMPRESSED Official licenses, Community
WE’D IMPROVE Bugs, AI
THE LAST WORD Cricket 24 offers a lot for cricket enthusiasts but that is undermined by the erratic AI and random bugs