AFL Live 2
|a game by||Wicked Witch Software|
|Platforms:||XBox 360, Playstation 3|
|Editor Rating:||5/10, based on 1 review|
|User Rating:||7.1/10 - 7 votes|
|Rate this game:|
|See also:||Sport Games, Sports Management Games, Soccer Video Games, Football Video Games, AFL Live Series|
The terms 'sports video game' and 'niche' don't often go hand-in-hand. Generally, we see the sports genre attract a global audience given their international interest. AFL Live 2 is strictly limited to Australia because no other place in the world plays Australian Rules Football. However, let's not take that away from its popularity. There's definitely a market for this game.
AFL Live 2 aims to offer a complete Aussie Rules experience on your home consoles. It's expanding from its predecessor to span across multiple consoles with new features and bring a whole new level of engagement. While AFL games aren't new, AFL Live 2 is shooting for a more immersive experience here. As one that knows little about the sport, let's see if we can get into it.
Runnin' Around the Field
The biggest positive for AFL Live 2 is that there is next to no competition for this game. Regardless of whether this entry is good, it will sell as one of the only Aussie Rules experiences in video games. Unfortunately, that notion often presents a dangerous precedent for these games as they don't have to be good to be profitable.
Sadly, it's what AFL Live 2 feels like. The sport itself is relatively simple to understand, so even those unaware of Australian Rules Football could get into it. It's mechanically sound, staying faithful to the rules of the game. Still, anyone playing may start to get frustrated at the more complex aspects of the sport. The gameplay doesn't help either by being unintuitive.
Trying to pull off maneuvers and skills that would give you a competitive edge feels like too much of a time investment. The trial and error idea doesn't work if you have no direction. Honestly, controlling players feels like herding headless chickens a lot of the time. Not to mention, the lousy commentary and crowds don't bring the experience alive.
In AFL Live 2's favor, it's a good copy of the Aussie Rules sport with all the fundamentals down to a tee. The game modes enhance the experience a little, but it's hard to enjoy without any direction to what you're doing. A lot of work needs to be done on making the game more accessible, even to seasoned AFL fans.
Shoot and a Miss
The visuals are decent, the animations flow, and the core gameplay is solid. What piles AFL Live 2 into the floor is the accessibility factor. Even if you understood the intricacies and nuances behind the game, you'd probably have difficulty executing them. You'd think things would have been sorted since the first game, Aussie Rules Footy.
AFL Live 2 is a step in the right direction, though. The series is starting to look more like a professional, polished game. There's nothing inherently wrong with gameplay; there just needs to be more of an alluring factor. That can start with a better learning curve of playing the game in a more challenging manner, not just a crapshoot.
Round-Up - Pros & Cons
- Faithful mechanics to the Australian Rules Football sport
- Great representation of players and fields
- Career mode makes gameplay more fun
- Unintuitive gameplay that doesn't make better players
- The crowds and commentary make matches bland
- Not much diversity in game modes