RWC 2011 Video Game: Final Review

Last Saturday I received a rather exciting special delivery from hb Studios, an exclusive copy of the new Rugby World Cup 2011 video game. Having been a big fan of many previous titles, mainly Rugby 2001 and 2008 which I still play, I was pretty excited about testing the new game out, having had about 10 minutes getting to grips with it at a demo back in July.

The first and most obvious similarity to ’08 is the gameplay. The controls structure used in the previous release remains, but has been tweaked in order to the make the game more competitive at the breakdown with a new rucking system, which also has a very handy “quick-pick” option before the ruck has formed. This is brilliant because it makes the game feel more authentic, as well as speeding up your attack when an opportunity is on.

The other clever addition of a chip kick was something that ’08 sorely lacked, so again this is another major improvement. For those familiar with the previous title, picking up the controls will be quick and easy, whilst for newcomers it will not take long to get to grasps with the game itself.

Inevitably, I had to play a Rugby World Cup to enjoy the game’s full experience. Although there are other modes such as arranging a friendly or warm-up tour, as well as a place kicking shootout, this is what RWC 2011 is all about. Picking an England team with a midfield of Shontayne Hape and Delon Armitage, take note Johnno, the players have a strong resemblance to their real-life counterparts. I attempted to use the whole range of skills available to me, including side-stepping with Chris Ashton, dropping the shoulder with Tom Croft, and breaking off the backs of rucks and scrums with Ben Youngs around the fringes. Oh, and the obvious drop kick with Jonny Wilkinson.

Winning the tournament did bring a degree of satisfaction given some wobbles against New Zealand and Australia, which was encouraging seeing as I was playing on easy. Rugby ’08 got boring very fast when the hard setting just wasn’t hard enough, and it’s evident that the difficulty levels on 2011 have been worked on and taken up a notch. Space does not just appear out of nowhere, you have to work to create the opportunities on the wings or for your kickers to strike.

The only lingering doubt I have over the game is it’s longevity, given you can only play as the 20 World Cup sides, with no club sides available, and that rival title Rugby Challenge is set to feature multiple leagues. However the Online Play will be where this is salvaged, with players able to play against either friends or randomly online as with the FIFA franchise.

Is it worth purchasing? Absolutely. No other game will offer the experience of winning the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

by Ben Coles

21 thoughts on “RWC 2011 Video Game: Final Review

  1. I’m afraid this is the only good review I have read :( I personally will be holding out for Rugby Challenge, as the trailer and gameplay look far superior to RWC 2011. The only down side is the lack of licenced International teams, but as you say, the fact that RC has the rights to all the leagues makes up for it. It also has a huge editing capability, which is something that many ardent rugby fans will appreciate.

    Would you consider a review of Rugby Challenge also?

    1. Thats because it really is exactly like Rugby 08, i am so disappointed in HB i will make it my personal crusade to inform people to buy Rugby Challenge rather!

      If you want a game review then go to a gaming website and NOT a rugby blog!

      1. Agreed; I must admit i didnt expect much from this game at all and have always intended on getting Rugby Challenge but i thought i would give it ago, given there hasnt been a rugby game on our shelves for a number or years, and if anything it just made me angry, the stats are extremely exaggerated and player detail is shocking.
        Stephen Ferris, a well known British and Irish lion is a bald black man with the lowest rating in the Irish pack, despite the fact it is widely accepted that he will play a key role in anything Ireland do at the WC, so why is this not recognised?
        Where are players like manu tuilagi & matt stevens, who any one with a knowledge of rugby would know where going to make the squad for the competition?

        Also what people are failing to point out is the New Zealand and Australia squads, they dont have the actual players due to a licencing issue, but who knows a new zealander called Larry Hunt?! At least Pro Evo made a point of making the names reasonably similar and it gave us all a laugh; even in 08 when the game didnt have the french licence you could work out who you are at the end of the day.

        In summary; my game is going back tomorrow & i wouldnt advise anyone to be heading down to pick it up

    2. Are you kidding me. They limit this to the Twenty World Cup Teams?!? They should be honest and say they limited it to the 19* World Cup Teams. HOW DO YOU HAVE AN ALL BLACKS TEAM WITHOUT RICHIE MCCAW?!? ARE YOU MORONS???????

      Also hate the fact they didn’t include Premiership or Super 12. After first time through the tournament this game was a massive BORE…

  2. Being a rugby fan in North America has its challenges. I wish the demo was available to us here and now that it is released, I have to search hard to locate it so I too can try this title out. Likely I will have to wait until I return from my trip to New Zealand and catch up with the gaming side of what is the Rugby World Cup 2011. I too hope you do a review of the Rugby Challenge title and maybe a then fall into a side by side comparison of the 2 games. Someone eventually will do it, why not you! :)

  3. Having brought the previous rugby games it was a very long 4 year wait for this one. It is a good but it lacks other tournaments such as maybe Tri- Nations and 6 Nations. It does need more Centers for the England team though aka Manu Tuilagi. But Brilliant Game. I really do hope they make one every year now like a Rugby version to FIFA. Play as Premiership Teams include the championship sides. Magners league and super 15. That would be amazing

  4. Thanks for the review Ben, picking mine up soon today to give it a good thrashing. Though what score would you give it out of 10?

  5. Don’t waste yoru money!!! What a complete ripoff!!! I actually think Rugby 08 on my PS 2 looks and plays better!

  6. How much did HB studios pay you to write such a glowing review?? Are you actually a rugby fan?? Would you please please please explain to me how the pick and go feature adds any realism to the game at all. It generally seems to work along the lines of your players stop 2 meters in front of tackled person. They then do nothing, opposition player arrives picks up the ball (‘thank you very much’) before parting your forwards as if he is Moses crossing crossing the red sea!!!!! How can you rate the chip kicks as a major improvement when there are stupid glitches such as when you break the game line your support is programmed to run so deep behind you and the passing is so slow they are immediately snagged when putting in the pass to beat the full-back??? The breakdown isn’t more competitive either it’s a random button mashing fest! The old games were better when you committed players to the ruck! (do you compete for the ball or get your guys to spread out in a defensive line!) You also have no control over your defensive tac-tics. You used to be able to get them to spread out or go deep for the kick. All they do now is either crowd around behing the ruck or stand on the touchline!!!!!!! GRRRRR!! For me I can not understand how you can claim that Rugby 08 got boring very fast when you had several different tournaments to play in, plus a career mode! This has 20 teams you pick to play against each other with only about 10 of these fielding the correct players!! The difficulty is a joke on this game! All that happens is that line-outs become an even more biased game of chance as to whether or not you will retain possession, you suffer turnovers at the most ridiculous of moments, give away random penalties more frequently and most frustratingly they just keep possession. I played Argentina as South Africa, they were just inside my 22 and I pushed them back to their own 22 through some awsome tackling but I never came close to getting a turnover??? What happens then is they smash the ball back into my own 22. Manage to turnover, what I would have presumed to be, a safe ball to the front of my lineout smash the drive and catch before pulling off the most audacious (but also the most ridiculous) set move you will ever see (so good my player were literally running in circles) and scoring under the posts!! DON’T BUY THIS! IT IS A LAZY CON THAT HAS BEEN RUSHED OUT BEFORE RUGBY CHALLENGE TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE MARKET!! IF YOU HAVE ALREADY PURCHASED IT WRITE TO TRADING STANDARDS!!!

    1. Thanks Tom, couldnt have said it better.
      Ben Coles above has lost all credibility as a free human being…

      “Honestly a solid 7.”

      1. I’ll ignore the Rugby Fan question. A 7 is far from perfect. Having played the game more over the weekend, it’s got boring very fast, but that was inevitable given that there are limited options and the gameplay hasn’t changed. The defensive glitches are a nightmare for example.

  7. Im having a blast on it , its a very enjoyable game .
    is it perfect … no , far from it , but the gameplay itself is very solid & heaps of fun , & especially when playing another good player online .

    the only problems are lack of features , clubs & leagues Etc , & they could of done a lot more with the online … simple things like being able to rematch an opponent .

    the AI difficulty is pretty decent , a lot better than 08 ( which i never played ) i hear ,
    medium is a decent challenge , & hard is actually hard this time , so trying to take a team to the RWC on hard is VERY challenging , especially if you dont cheat & you start again if you get beat .

    Rugby games are very hard to make , especially with smaller budgets which is what they have due to it not being as popular as football Etc , so you shouldn’t be so quick to turn your nose up at a Rugby game tht has solid & very fun gameplay tht gives you a great feel of rugby with its flow Etc , even if it is lacking a lot on features .

    im hearing feedback on Rugby challenge from NZ guys & the gameplay has loads of problems , im hearing more & more NZ guys saying RWC has the better gameplay & just feels more like Rugby .

    Im VERY happy with RWC gameplay & will be playing the hell out of it through the RWC , & after the RWC i’ll just stick it in every now & then & batter it for a few days to scratch tht Rugby itch , so i’ll definitely get my £35 worth out of the game.

  8. great game alright, a couple of things i have to pick out that i was disappointed with though, the teams like austrailia and new zealand dont have the official squads on them, and also not being able to play club rugby, but other from them points the game is amazing

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