|Suitable for general audiences|
|Release date:||27 July 2007|
Tough tackling World Cup rugby on PS2
Prepare to dig in deep and fight for World Cup victory with Rugby 08 from EA Sports'
With the Rugby World Cup set to thrill fans everywhere, EA Sports has taken up the challenge once more of bringing rugby's special sporting blend of passionate action, tactics and the odd spot of rough-housing directly to the comforts of your own home.
Getting into a ruck
It's easy to tell Rugby 08 is the officially licensed videogame of the 2007 Rugby World Cup, before you even kick a single oval-shaped ball. The presentation is an immaculate mixture of real life footage and contemporary music to create an authentic and strong pre-match atmosphere for the game.
This only serves to heighten the build-up, once the extensive nature of Rugby 08 sets in. All 20 of the national teams are available for selection, with not only official kits, badges and stadiums accurately recreated, but also the fearsome facial features of key players and any particular traits unique to specific nations. The mighty All Blacks' haka ritual has never looked more terrifyingly authentic.
The realism continues in the gameplay, with the sport's nuances shining through. Passing and scrum pushing are well devised and intuitive, creating a quick and flowing game complimented nicely with fluid animation that highlights the action's intensity and authenticity. A new kicking meter has also been introduced to refine the technique for those all-important conversion and penalty moments without removing any of the tension, while everything else is assisted by an intelligent button layout, designed to gently work you into the game with minimal hassle.
However, despite the ease of play thanks to a well designed control system and numerous training/tutorial modes, there's no loss depth in Rugby 08. Tactics and strategy remain a huge part of winning games, as the artificial intelligence of computer controlled players on both sides constantly searches for weaknesses against rivals, adjusting attack and defence on the fly to maintain momentum. Squad rotation, shrewd on-pitch decisions and unforced errors can affect team morale which in turn can make grinding out victory - or worse, pulling back a score deficit - more difficult.
The world is yours
Fans looking to experience more than just winning the Webb Ellis World Cup won't be disappointed with what else is on offer in the game. A host of club teams are on hand to vary proceedings, as are a number of other competitions, including the European Trophy and the Guinness Premiership. Should you wish to revisit former glories, there's also the World Cup Challenge, which recreates 30 of the biggest moments in the competition's history using modern teams in objective based challenges, rewarding you with exclusive World Cup highlight videos.
Rugby 08 is ideal for any rugby fan. Its high production values are in good company with the deep and intuitive gameplay, while the various modes and features will extend enjoyment long after the glory and heartache of the World Cup passes. Pick it up - it's worth more than just a mere try.