REVIEW: Rugby 20 – Finally A Decent Rugby Game But There’s Still Work To Be Done

Jason Hennessy

Jason Hennessy

Jason is the editor here at RugbyLAD and a proud Limerick man.
Jason Hennessy

Progress.


Long story short: Worth the price for hardcore enthusiasts, but stay well away if not.


We’ve been begging EA Sports for a long time to have another crack at making a rugby game but unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like they’re interested.

We started a petition that gathered over 10,000 signatures in a matter of days and made direct contact. But our wishes and prayers went unanswered as EA made it clear there were no immediate plans for another EA Rugby.

Enter Bigben Games. These lads have been around a while and brought us Rugby 15 and Rugby 18. Two of the worst rugby games we’ve ever played in our lives. Sorry guys – they were absolutely shite. They weren’t even playable.

But they’ve had another pop, spending two years creating Rugby 20, the latest instalment in their poorly received series – but this edition promised us a much better game with an entirely new engine and improved gameplay and graphics.

They’ve also managed to get a hold of a decent amount of rights. too Every PRO14 team, every Premiership team, the Top 14 and a good amount of international teams. They have all the jerseys, names (some likenesses) etc. Although the player ratings are all over the shop.

So what’s it like? It’s actually not that bad, to be honest. First and foremost it’s very playable. The gameplay is promising, passing is improved as is kicking and general attacking play.

Rucking isn’t complicated and overall the game plays very smoothly. Set-pieces are a bit all over the shop, but once you get the hang of them it’s all good. Kicks at goal, however, are absolutely awful and will need to be addressed if there’s another instalment.

I mean look – it’s nowhere near what we expect from a rugby game in this day and age but it’s still a lot of fun. You can create your own team filled with stars and work your way up through the leagues (it’s no Rugby 08 World League, but it’s not the worst), you can play through a lot of the major competitions and of course, there’s online play.

The overall verdict is if you’re like us and literally gasping to just play a decent rugby game – buy this. You’re gonna get frustrated and you will be disappointed by a number of elements of the game, but it will fill the void. It’s very playable, unlike previous editions.

If you’re not desperate, don’t waste your money.

My advice to the developers is you’re definitely onto something but revisit EA Rugby 08 and bring more elements from that back in. The World League, set-pieces, conversions etc. They were so simple and so perfect.

Rugby 20 isn’t the game we were all hoping for. But it’s certainly progress. We’re on track but there’s so much still to be done.

Our score: 6/10

Rugby 20 is available now for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC, with an RRP of €59.99

Disclaimer: I was provided with a copy of Rugby 20 in exchange for a fair and honest review.