Ashes Cricket 2009 – Preview

Ah, the crack of leather on willow.  The polite ripple of applause as a glorious cover drive is struck through the, erm…covers.  Old-timers might remember those heady days of test cricket, but now it’s all about 20/20.  Fast and furious stuff.  So, it’s a little strange that the latest cricket game to hit the 360, PS3 and PC tomorrow (Friday 13th August), is named after an admittedly iconic Test Series.  Not really, but calling it Kevin Pietersen’s Cricket may have alienated a few South African buyers…

Codemaster’s previous cricket game, Brian Lara’s Cricket, was an adequate attempt at conveying cricket in the virtual world.  At times its biggest drawback was perhaps that even the longer version of the game (Test matches) were a little arcadey and scoring at high run rates was just a little too easy.  Has it been fixed in Ashes Cricket 2009?  Only time will tell.  For now, here are pics and other bits of information to keep you guessing.

The Ashes, the most exciting and thrilling confrontation in international cricket, will be brought to game screens this July as Codemasters today announced it will publish Ashes Cricket 2009 as the official game of this summer’s tournament for the PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system, Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft® and PC; a Nintendo Wii version will be released later in the year.

Providing gamers with the most authentic Ashes experience possible without having to don their whites, Ashes Cricket 2009 is fully licensed by the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board), the MCC (Marylebone Cricket Club, the world’s most famous cricket club and owner of the Ashes urn) and Cricket Australia, providing the game with all the official players, kit, stadia – including Lords and The Brit Oval – and equipment from this year’s npower Ashes Series.

Coming from the home of video game cricket, Ashes Cricket 2009 is set to build on the heritage that Codemasters has enjoyed with its best-selling Brian Lara series and will continue to lead the field with great batting, bowling and fielding gameplay and authenticity that made the series a huge hit with cricket fans the world over. Produced by Codemasters, the game is currently being developed by Transmission Games (Brian Lara 2007 Pressure Play (PSP)).

Delivering all the exciting, athletic, skilful and technical elements of the sport, the game’s comprehensive ‘Ashes’ mode will feature all five Tests played out at carefully detailed recreations of each authentic venue. In addition, gamers will also be able to play Test matches, One Day Internationals, 20 over games and a series of challenge modes. The high definition current generation versions will feature full online multiplayer as well as support for local multiplayer games.

“The Ashes is set to be the sporting event of the summer and it’s great to be producing the official game of the Series,” commented Jamie Firth, Producer, Codemasters. “In partnering with the development team at Transmission Games, Ashes Cricket 2009 is a cricket title with an unprecedented heritage that comes from two companies that know and love the sport. The Brian Lara titles became the number one cricket gaming brand for over ten years and it’s a reputation that we fully intend to continue with Ashes Cricket 2009.”

John Perera, ECB Commercial Director said, “The Ashes is one of the iconic challenges in world sport. With cricket set to dominate the sporting calendar this summer we’re delighted to be able to give cricket fans the chance to follow in the footsteps of their heroes and try and win back the Ashes for England.”

“Cricket as a sport lends itself extremely well to this type of treatment and we are pleased that with Codemasters technical expertise we will be providing gamers with the next best thing to be playing out in the middle. We are sure it will be a great success.”

Prepare to step up to the crease and help England win back the trophy in Ashes Cricket 2009, coming this summer for Xbox 360, PLAYSTATION®3 and PC.