After eagerly watching the trailers just a day before its release, I initially decided against purchasing the game. However, my love for cricket and my admiration for BigAnt Studios’ previous cricket games, especially since Don Bradman 14, compelled me to buy it on Day One. Regrettably, many of my concerns were validated, and I foresee waiting for numerous patches and bug fixes over the next 2-4 months. Here are my detailed observations from the 2 hours I played:
While the game’s current state might not justify its full price tag, I’m optimistic that the majority of the bugs will be addressed in the coming months, making it worth the investment.
- Graphics are polished and look stunning in 4K.
- Shots feel smoother and more complete.
- Players appear leaner, with licensed players, especially from IPL teams, closely resembling their real-life counterparts.
- Pull shots are more fluid. At times, batsmen use a soft touch for balls too close to the body, ensuring the ball stays grounded.
- Backfoot defence is solid, with batsmen getting right behind the ball.
- Fielders are now quicker and more proactive. This is a marked improvement from Cricket 22 where they seemed to merely jog.
- Fielders no longer give up on chasing the ball, a recurring issue in Cricket 22.
- The short cover fielder is less threatening. Even slightly early shots don’t pop up to this fielder as they did in Cricket 22.
- Front-foot defence is exaggerated. Batsmen lean into the ball in a textbook manner for both pace and spin, which might not always be realistic.
- Players often overlap, with runners sometimes phasing through bowlers.
- Frequent glitches with runners can lead to undeserved run-outs. At times the runner in place of completing the run, turned around went half way and then turned again to complete the run.
- The timing meter seems inaccurate, often contradicting the actual shot timing.
- Square-cuts are challenging to execute, often resulting in unintended square-drives.
- The ball marker on the pitch has an odd black mark, possibly a graphical error.
- Player highlights often mismatch, showing shots from different players.
- Fielders exhibit strange behaviors, like unnecessary throws and odd shimmies.
- The roster for team India in nets practice lacks recognizable names.
- Gameplay on ‘Hard’ difficulty feels easier compared to Cricket 22.
The commentary in Cricket 24 is, unfortunately, its weakest link:
- No new commentators have been added. While the trailer featured Gilchrist, he was conspicuously absent in the test matches I played.
- Commentary lines are recycled from Cricket 22, leading to repetitive and often inaccurate remarks.
- Commentators frequently misidentify shots and outcomes, detracting from the immersion.
Overall, Cricket 24 feels eerily similar to its predecessor, Cricket 22. Many elements, from scoreboards to camera angles, seem to be directly copied over. I hope most of these issues are addressed promptly for a more enjoyable gameplay experience. For those considering taking time off to play this game on Day One, I’d advise waiting a few months for a smoother experience.
Recommendation: Wait for patches before diving in.