"International Cricket 2010" for XBox and PS3: A visual sixer for cricket fans

Its global release sandwiched between FIFA football and Wimbledon tennis, might seem like bad timing to launch this year’s first major cricket simulation game; but “International Cricket 2010” has at least three neat visual and graphic enhancements that lift it above anything hitherto available to fans of the genre . This will likely ensure that it will be snapped up by owners of XBox 360 and PlayStation3, its two current platforms.

Produced by Codemasters and developed by Trickster Games – the Anglo-Australian combo behind last year’s “Ashes Cricket 2009” as well as the popular Brian Lara series – IC 2010 can be tweaked to play any standard format from test cricket to Twenty20.

The biggest technical leap is the new ‘Action Cam’, a new point of view which allows the game player to sit on the shoulder of the batsman or the bowler, so to speak, providing a highly immersive experience. Another innovation is ‘Power stick’, which allows full 360 degree control over the way the bat moves and lets you ‘live’ the batsman’s experience. Add to that the new realism of the stumps as they fly apart to a fast ball – and IC2010 goes where few cricket simulation games have gone before.

Since the game is officially licensed by the cricket boards of Australia and England, players from these teams sport their real names. But copyright problems probably forced the creators to invest Indian players with names like Sumit Ten Hukkar and Ravul Drabu. The good news is you can change these names if you so choose, as well as the appearance and attributes of all players… you can even put yourself into the game, if batting alongside Tendulkar is your dream. Games can be played between any of the 16 international teams and in any of 21 actual stadia. Commentary is provided among others by Shane Warne and David “Bumble” Lloyd -- which is unlikely to get too many Indian users too excited.

International Cricket 2010 has been brought to India by Zapak and while it is just getting into the retail shops, can also be ordered online at http://shop.zapak.com/  at a small discount over the Rs 1999 MRP in India.   Anand Parthasarathy July 6 2010

This  review also appears in the current ( July 11) issue of The Week magazine ( www.the-week.com )