November 12, 2001

EA Sports Cricket 2002 - Preview

Release Date Publisher Developer Rating Players Price
7/12/2001Electronic ArtsEA Australia1-2$99.95

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Will those Ansett signs remain?
When it comes to major sports being developed by Electronic Arts most people think of Soccer, American football, Ice Hockey, Golf, Basketball, Baseball, Formula One and more recently Boxing. There are two major sports sadly missing from that list, Tennis and Cricket. While tennis has a worldwide audience and would sell by the truckload, Electronic Arts have steered clear for unknown reasons. Cricket, which is a massive sport in Australia, England, India, Pakistan, South Africa and many more nations, is not, so you would think, a priority for Electronic Arts. The gods must be smiling on cricket lovers however as Electronic Arts' new development studio on the Gold Coast in Australia has been hard at work on EA Sports Cricket 2002 for the Playstation 2 for some time now and are just about to complete work on the title.

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The ground textures are pretty good.
The feature list for the game is impressive and allows you to play either One Day Matches, or the 5-day Test Matches. Electronic Arts are promising simple and intuitive controls through the Dual Shock 2 controller which EA state will improve on the best features from previous cricket games. Batting control includes the ability to charge the bowler, and bowling includes spin, seam and pace control. The game also allows you to be fully involved in the selection of batsmen and bowlers, and the placing of fielders. You can also choose to have manual fielding, or simply let the intelligent AI position your fielders for you.

EA Sports Cricket 2002 is packed with features. The game includes the 10 official international teams, 2 minnow teams (Bangladesh and Scotland who are on the verge of inclusion into the Cricket world), and 5 all time squads from the cricketing nations. Naturally, the game includes all the players from around the world thanks to licenses from the ACB, ECB, NZ Cricket and the South African Cricket team among others. The game modes and tournaments are varied and include the World Cup, World Series, Sharjah Trophy, Practice Nets, Exhibition match and Knockout Tournaments.

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Hey.. macarena.
Graphically, EA Sports Cricket 2002 is shaping up quite nicely. The players are extremely detailed with this detail extending to the equipment, such as bats, gloves and pads on each player. 22 accurately modelled stadia, including various pitch types and conditions, detailed weather effects, and night modes for Day/Night matches have also been included in the game. As you can see from surrounding screenshots each stadium is plastered with billboards of real sponsors. It remains to be seen if the Ansett Australia signs make it into the game following recent troubles and the cancelation of their contracts with the ACB. Perhaps these signs will be replaced with Orange, the new official sponsors in Australia. Throughout the game you will encounter TV styled interfaces such as TV overlays for scores and stats as well as a detailed replay feature allowing the player to view the action from numerous camera angles (including of course stump cam and helmet cam).

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Diving catches are always exciting.
This game is also certain to have high standards in the sound department. Not only have Electronic Arts accurately captured the sound of the crowds and players for the game but are also including commentary from the legendary Richie Benaud, Jim Maxwell and Bill Lawry.

Time will tell how well EA Sports Cricket 2002 will stack up next to EA Sports' other games on Playstation 2, and other Cricket games from past years. However, seeing as there hasn't been a decent cricket game on a console, or PC, since Shane Warne's Cricket several years ago I'll take this game no matter what. With EA's usual spit and polish, as well as their stringent QA testing, I'm fairly hopeful that EA Sports Cricket 2002 will be quite impressive. The game is currently expected on the shelves in Australia in early December. Let's hope this holds true so we can all have a very merry Christmas.