Launching in January 2020, there’s currently a beta version of Rugby 20 playable to anyone who pre-orders the game. And with some hard hitting-tackles and a fluid passing style, it could be a rugby game worth waiting for.
I’ve been playing the Rugby 20 beta for over a week now, and it’s clear that Bigben Interactive’s latest rugby game could well set the new standard for Rugby games. While there are a few issues that I talked about in my preview, there are a lot of positive elements that are worth getting excited for. There’s a much higher focus on great tactical formations and set plays, and the opportunity to play rugby the way you want.
Despite a few technical flaws (that we hope get remedied before the release in early January), Rugby 20 is showing a lot of potential. Here are the five reasons to be most excited about Rugby 20.
1Tackling feels tough and precise
Arguably the most engaging part of any rugby match is a solid tackle. Rugby 20 allows players to experience this in a spectacular way. Timing is very important in this, as a late challenge can lead to a penalty, and an early one will mean that it’s not successful. Tackling is the most important part of ensuring the gameplay in Rugby 20 feels fluid.
When a tackle is timed perfectly in Rugby 20, you really feel it. The vibration on the controller reverberates the perfect amount, and matches the grunt from the opposing player brilliantly. The animation relates to these so well too. Tackling is by far the most satisfying part of Rugby 20.
2Passing is fluid
With the use of the shoulder buttons, Rugby 20 allows for passing to be quick and precise. It doesn’t make it easy to get past the opponent’s defensive lineup, which means a quick passing strategy is vital. By holding down the shoulder buttons the player can pass further, and each pass and move feels significant.
Whenever you need to make a pass in Rugby 20, a player is always there to receive. The support play from the AI is fantastic, and helps ensure that the build up play is perfectly suited to breaking down the opponent’s defensive line. Passing has never felt more fluid in a rugby game.
So much of rugby is down to set plays and formations. Rugby 20 includes a huge amount of options for each different type of set piece, and the range of tactical approaches can be tweaked for hours at a time. It’s a highly impressive range of options, and something that ensures players can approach a game of rugby in the way that they want.
There’s also the addition of being able to tweak and change tactics in game. This means the game doesn’t have to be paused, and that formations can change on the fly when needed. It allows for tactics to be implemented perfectly during a match.
4A variety of leagues
The Rugby 20 beta sadly only includes 20 national teams and one competition. But the full release of Rugby 20 will include leagues such as the Top 14, Pro D2, Gallagher Premiership and Pro 14. Each team in these leagues will also be included, with a variety of different national and domestic teams in the final game.
Rugby 20 also includes real players too, and each will represent both their domestic and national team. This will make Rugby 20 the most authentic rugby experience available, and ensure that the fan fan service fans have wanted for years will finally be met.
5A range of modes
The Rugby 20 beta only includes exhibition matches, training, online play and a simple tournament mode. But there’ll be at least two extra modes come the game’s full launch: Card Management and Solo. Little is known about these modes right now, but the names do provide some hints.
Could Card Management be similar to the Ultimate Team concept we see in the FIFA series? Based on how successful that mode has been, it could certainly be an option. Solo mode seems to imply that there will be the option to just control one player. Seeing as rugby is such a team sport, this could be a really interesting game mode. Perhaps there could even be a story element attached, akin to FIFA’s ‘The Journey’.