2011 Rugby World Cup Game Review – Average at Best

With the Rugby World Cup underway in New Zealand, we decided to review the new 2011 Rugby World Cup Game for xBox 360 and Play Station 3. The game was developed by HB Studios and published by 505 Games. It’s been four years since EA Sports and HB Studios released Rugby 08. However for some reason EA did not join the party this time around.

Official Rugby World Cup 2011 Game Trailer (don’t be fooled)

Has it been worth the wait?


HB Studios certainly won’t win the Webb Ellis Cup for this title. You’d even have to wonder what HB Studios have been doing over the last four years. This game has all the hallmarks of a game quickly developed and rushed out the door in time for the Rugby World Cup. Without EA to splash some cash, Rugby World Cup lacks both the quality and depth of FIFA.

The game has a number of flaws e.g.  it uses the same controls for “punt” and “dive for a try”actions. As you can imagine, this leads to some embarrassing incidents of a player belting the ball into touch rather than diving for the line to score a try. Australia and New Zealand are not officially represented in the game which is disappointing given they’re the two best teams in the World Cup.

Inconsistent artificial intelligence lets the game down during general gameplay. The game lacks depth as you can’t play in any club competitions and it also contains no training mode. Graphics wise the players heads look like boxes ( which isn’t too far off real-life rugby players to be honest ).

Overall, the flaws aside, the gameplay isn’t all that bad and the graphics are pretty solid. We’d have to admit it is fun and accessible to play.

Watch the Gameplay

The Good

  • The fact we have a new rugby game
  • World In Union playing over every menu screen
  • Quick lineouts
  • Grubber kicks
  • Tackling (carry out deft ankle taps or dump players)
  • Placekick shootouts (great for half time banter with friends over)
  • Commentary is surprisingly good
  • Online Gameplay

The Bad

  • Artificial intelligence
  • Not all teams are officially represented
  • Lack of club teams
  • No training camp
  • Small online community

Overall Verdict

Score: 6/10

This is a very average game. If you are going to purchase one game this year we’d recommend waiting for Jonah Lomu Rugby Challenge.

Update: December 11th 

Jonah Lomu Rugby Challenge is a far superior game.


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