Rugby 15 - PlayStation 4

Release Date:

February 24, 2015

Viewing USA:

Also on UK.


Rugby 15 will see players take part in the official Aviva Premiership Rugby, TOP 14, PRO D2 and Pro12 teams in THE best rugby simulation. Experience all the emotions of a real match with the players, jerseys and official statistics of the 2014-2015 season and commentary by Stuart Barnes and Miles Harrison. Whether you are an expert or casual fan of rugby, the controls are adapted to your style of play, so you can make all the moves: sidesteps, hand-offs, pop passes, shoulder charges, grubber kicks, drop goals, tackles.

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  • Developer(s):
    • HB Studios
  • Publisher(s):
    • Maximum Family Games
  • Release Date(s):
    • February 10, 2015
  • Official Site(s):
  • ESRB Rating:
  • Player(s):
  • Player(s) (Co-op):
    • 1-4 (Local)
  • Online Player(s):
    • N/A
  • Remote Play:
    • Supported

Technical Information

  • DualShock Compatible:
    • DualShock 4
  • Required Disc Space:
    • 2GB Minimum
    • 1.5GB Minimum
  • Supported Video Output:
    • 1080p
  • Game Format:
    • Blu-ray Disc
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Rugby 15 on the PlayStation 4 is the first game that features the sport to be released on a console in the last two years. The last game to be put out was Rugby Challenge 2, which received overwhelmingly negative reviews. Rugby 15 was developed by HB Studios and released in conjunction with Big Ben Interactive and Maximum Family Games for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and the last generation of consoles. Releasing a video game is always going to be a risk, no matter the genre or style, but rugby carries with it its own set of problems. The sport is foreign to a large demographic of game purchasers and the sport itself isn't exactly easy to translate due to the nature of the game. We are sad to say that Rugby 15 did nothing to change our minds on the opinion. But to learn if you can live with its numerous problems, continue reading.

A flat experience.

Rugby fans are some of the most passionate fans in the world. They love their sport and routinely put on the cleats in order to play it. The game of rugby itself is physical, exhausting, and violent. Rather than having a clock stoppage between plays, like in football, the game always seems to be moving. Players are constantly getting tackled and the ball is consistently getting moved around. Possession changes are difficult but frequent enough to be interesting and blood isn't uncommon to pour during a match. So all of that exciting violence should translate pretty well, especially with the hardware that the PlayStation 4 is packing. Unfortunately, it just doesn't.

From the opening scrum to the final minutes of the game, the energy that is presented is far from enough. Players appear sluggish, controls feel floaty, and there is never a moment of true impact in the game. The energy remains at a dull lull with very rare moments of genuine excitement. Possession strips happen with the click of a button, even on the hardest difficulty, and scrums don't move no matter how hard your hook your character. In fact, the actual game itself is so unresponsive that I had to make sure I was actually playing.

That's not to say that the developers are completely at fault. As we noted above, Rugby would be a difficult sport to translate effectively. The game has so many different rules and complex positions, and fans are already aloof as it is, that it would be hard to make a natural feeling fit. With that being said, HB Studios should be admired for even attempting to make the translation.

How does the game handle?

We briefly touched on the floaty controls above, but now we'll delve a bit deeper. The controls to the game are easy to use and they are fairly intuitive. Tackling is easy, scrums work via a moving bar with a button pressing algorithm, and it is easy enough to kick the ball around. The problem with the game is that it feels entirely too dependent on what we, the player, are doing. When you play a good football game you will see the plays come to life around you. If you are playing the wide receiver then you will only get the ball every once in awhile. It goes to other people and the game continues. That isn't really the case with Rugby 15. Too often I've stopped mid play only to realize that the rest of the players feel cued up to what I am doing. The immersion and excitement that I should be feeling gets instantly sucked out in these moments.

The tone of immersion break continues down the line of fundamental things. In a sports game, with referees and rules, you expect there to be a certain amount of control on the screen. There are rules to be followed and when players break them there should be consequences. That doesn't really happen here. You can tackle people with impunity as the refs don't seem inclined to ever make a mention of it. Forward passes, a big no-no in Rugby, are also never penalized in the game. This is a fundamental tenant of the sport and one that makes it so fun in real life, but the game just doesn't care.

As you can see by my litany of complaints, Rugby 15 never really finds its mark. When you are playing, and the game is actually moving, it isn't necessarily because you are skilled. The AI is horrible on even the hardest difficulty and the lack of rules breaks any sort of strategy. As long as you are playing it is very hard to shake the thought that this is just a chaotic mess of luck. There's never that moment of sweet connection that other sports games offer. You never take pride in landing the perfect hit, or stripping the ball, or advancing it for a score. It's empty and dull.

But how does the game look?

If the broken mechanics of the game were any indicator, then you know how the graphics are. The game looks technically proficient when you are zoomed in on the players but the whole of the game is simply uninspiring. At a distance players become a messy blob lacking any sort of detail or texture. Colors are super saturated and the stadiums seem designed with the 'bare bones minimum' in mind. The whole thing just looks like nobody actually cared when they were designing it, which is too bad. Much like soccer fans, Rugby fanatics love to be passionate about their game. There was a chance for the developers to really push that fanaticism through the crowd but it is never capitalized in.

A few last thoughts.

Rugby 15 on the PlayStation 4 is the perfect marriage of potential and disaster. Rugby fans deserve a game that they can play and take pride in but '15 is the disaster that they always end up getting stuck with. The game plays sluggishly, looks awful, and quite frankly isn't worth playing, even for free.

Submitted by Cheat Title Rating
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Feb 19, 2015

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Release Date:

February 24, 2015

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