Rugby 2022 is out now on PlayStation and Xbox consoles and brings plenty of head-clashing action to the safety of your sofa.
Express.co.uk has been playing this title for the past week and, like a 0-0 draw we’ve been left pleased but a little frustrated.
This game isn’t terrible and there’s plenty for rugby fans to get their studs stuck into.
Before you do anything it’s worth taking time to run through the training sessions as these really help you to get to grips with the controls.
Once you’ve mastered the mauls, cracked the kicking and are ruling the rucks it’s time to take to the pitch and try and hammer the competition.
If you like rugby it’s really good fun and there are lots of options to make things easier or as hard as playing the All Blacks with your shoelaces tied together.
You can also change tactics throughout the game and there are plenty of ways to improve your skills the more you play with it easy to master fast passing before you’re tackled and test out try-scoring off-loads.
Along with quick games, there’s a career mode that lets you take a team through the ranks and onto the ultimate glory and there are cup and league competitions to take on and win.
You can also play online against other gamers and there are missions and awards to win the more you play.
Adding to the atmosphere are some solid crowd effects and there’s expert commentary from Nick Mullins and Ben Kay.
So that’s all the good stuff but there are some things that really don’t make Rugby 2022 worth the £45 asking price.
The graphics are pretty rough around the edges and this title certainly doesn’t make use of the power found inside the new Xbox Series X and PS5.
If you’re expecting the slick experience found on games such as FIFA you’re going to be sorely disappointed.
Then there’s the issue with the teams….
Publisher Nacon has managed to secure the licenses to a number of high profile teams including the All Blacks, Australia and Wales.
That means the players look they do in real life and you’ll see all the big star names lining up on the pitch in their official kits.
However, if you pick to play as England you won’t see any sign of Owen Farrell, Kyle Sinckler or Maro Itoje as this team isn’t included.
You can pick England from the list of options but when you run out of the dressing room the squad sheet is made up of random names and there’s no sign of the English Rose stamped proudly on the shirts.
England isn’t the only team that doesn’t want to feature in this game with World Cup winners South Africa also absent.
Things get even worse for anyone who loves club rugby as the entire English Premiership isn’t included which is an almighty shame.
Again, you can pick to play as teams such as Bath or Harlequins but all the kits, avatars and names are, once again, made up.
Another shame is the stadiums as there’s no way to play under the lights of Twickenham or raise the roof or the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.
These omissions are not red card offences but definitely deserve 10 minutes in the sin-bin.
If you love the game of rugby and want to test out your skills on a console Rugby 2022 is pretty good.
The gameplay is fun, it’s action-packed and there are enough options for beginners and pros to enjoy a full 80-minutes on the pitch.
If it was a little cheaper we’d be able to give it a bigger recommendation but we’re not convinced that the very average graphics and missing teams such as England and South Africa warrant its hefty £45 price.