'RLL 4' fails to do justice to 'greatest game of all'

'Rugby League Live 4'. Photo: Supplied
'Rugby League Live 4'. Photo: Supplied

You can basically liken a rugby league video game to a real-­life team like the Warriors.

There will be glimpses of potential and some genuinely thrilling moments, but ultimately everything falls a bit flat.

Still, true Warriors fans learn to appreciate the good stuff and can always dream of better times in the future.

Cover. Photo: Supplied
Cover. Photo: Supplied
So it is with Rugby League Live 4, the fourth (funnily enough) attempt by Australian developer Big Ant and publisher Tru Bu to do justice to ‘‘the greatest game of all’’.

Like the Warriors most seasons, the game comes crammed with excitement and some shiny new things.

RLL4 packs in all the teams, all the competitions (NRL, Super League, State of Origin, internationals and even the Nines) and all the players.

As every gamer knows, a small Australian company cannot possibly hope to emulate the sort of detail EA Sports, for example, produces in titles such as Fifa or Madden, but Big Ant — last seen delivering the broken but absorbing Don Bradman Cricket 17 — gives it a heck of a crack.

Player likenesses are quite stunning, easily the best I’ve seen in any game outside the EA stable.

There is also massive potential for editing, creating and downloading players and teams, so it will be a cinch for fans to keep the game current for years to come.

Gameplay presentation is fairly smooth, and the dulcet tones of Andrew Voss and loads of statistics help create a sense of authenticity.

A much chunkier career mode is introduced and, while I have barely scratched the surface, it seems to offer plenty in the way of options and depth.

The gameplay itself is not so accessible. Pure league fans will probably feel RLL4 is a decent representation of their beloved game; casual fans like me can get turned off by its limitations and sharp difficulty curve.

Sometimes, to be honest, the game is just not that much fun. It can feel like a chore, a grind, and not provide enough ‘‘wow moments’’.

I’m still not really convinced rugby league (or rugby union, for that matter) actually translates well to a video game. But Rugby League Live 4 is a decent attempt.

 

Rugby League Live 4:

For: PS4, Xbox One, PC

From: Tru Blu

Rating: (G) ⭐⭐⭐

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