As one can imagine there's no storyline to this game. It's cricket and as such it's the variety of game modes that will hold the most interest. On that front the developers have covered all bases with 20 Over matches, ODI (One Day International), Test Matches and most importantly a range of Tournaments which includes World 20 Overs, Champions Cup, 20 Overs Super League, World Trophy and Custom Tournament. The game includes 16 national teams (although only England and Australia are licensed) as well as 21 stadiums from around the globe - indeed these stadiums look the part and are instantly recognisable.
Beyond those game modes International Cricket 2010 includes Tutorials for batting, bowling and fielding, each of which is pretty critical for newcomers to the video game incarnation of the sport. It would have been nice to include a rule book so newcomers could learn the sports numerous intricacies. Finally Customisation allows you to edit players names, appearance, kit back, and skills
No matter which form of the game you select, the gameplay is the same. You'll either be on the batting team, in which case you'll always control the batsmen facing the bowler, or the fielding team, where you control the bowler.
Batting in the game is very entertaining indeed. After hitting triangle to start the bowlers run-up (or waiting for a few seconds) you will see the bowlers targeting marker on the ground to give you an idea what to expect. you can then use the right analogue stick to move your batsman left or right on the crease, use the left analogue stick to set the direction for your shot, hold L1 or L2 to modify from a normal to front foot or back foot shot with more accuracy, and finally press square for a defensive shot, X for a normal attacking shot, or circle for a lofted powerful shot.
Sadly the fielding in this game is quite basic indeed as the players automatically chase down balls. All you'll ever need to do is select the end to throw the ball to, and during the catching opportunities you have a very small window of opportunity to hit the X button to make the catch.
Rounding this package out the developers have included online gameplay and while we've struggled to find opponents, the games we did play were quite entertaining indeed although we did have the occasional dropout. If you've got a mate or two with the game, expect some late nights indeed.
So let's talk about the visuals, and there are certainly some positives and negatives. Starting with the negatives there are two main areas which needed some more work and refining in our books. First of all the players themselves, while having a general look of the real athletes, aren't the most detailed or accurate representations of their real-life counterparts - certainly not up to some other games. Another issue we have is with the crowds which look so bland and generic. Surely if you're at a game featuring Australia and Sri Lanka the crowds would be predominantly Green/Gold or Blue in colour to match the team uniforms.
Sonically International Cricket 2010 is a bit of a mixed bag. The game include "normal" cricket sounds, the crack of leather on the bat, players shouting out and some crowd chants, but overall the sound is a little dull. Commentary includes the legendary Shane Warne, but as with many sports games it does become a bit, no, make that very repetitive, and worse is that comments will be repeated a couple of times or don't actually match the on-screen action. Now there's nothing terrible here, but the commentary isn't up to the standards set in some of the big sports brands such as FIFA or Madden NFL.
As a cricket fan I was quite impressed by International Cricket 2010, very impressed in fact. There is the occasional annoyance of disappointment but this is probably as good a representation of the sport as we have ever seen in a video game. Definitely recommended for fans of the sport.
Review By: Dave Warner