I have not seen any beta copies of International Cricket Captain 2 so this preview is just based on the press pack I have received.
Looking at the list of new features included in ICC 2 and the Wish List generated by the original ICC it is clear that the development team have listened to the requests and implemented a large number of them. As the new features list only details the major changes it could well be that a lot of the minor requests have been included as well. Certainly the option to play a stand alone World Cup captaining any country is very welcome. Another major enhancement and much requested is the built in player editor although it currently suggests you can only change names and pictures.
The 5 screenshots currently available show the graphics have been tweaked with the menu and info screens looking prettier and also cleaner. They show that the interface now makes use of property sheets rather than cramming all the information on one screen. The new highlights screen confirm that coloured uniforms have been included. They also show a fielder in the process of diving and 3 fielders appealing differently. These added graphical animations should enhance the highlights and make them more realistic. The animations in ICC were nice but there were not so many of them so they could get repetitive. I personally thought the fielders appealing look silly after a while.
The management features have improved with pre-season friendlies now available to allow you to gauge how good your new players are without throwing them in at the deep end. Likewise when touring abroad you can build up your form playing local domestic teams prior to the international games. Support for the new domestic structure starting next season is included which makes your first season more important now. In game options for batting and bowling have been improved and changes in typical pitches throughout the summer will mean different tactics will be required as the season progresses. Personally I am not so sure about the football style transfers that have been added that allow players to change clubs mid seasons as 'it is just not cricket'. On the plus side it is limited to stop all the best players moving to the same club.
ICC 2 looks like seeing the product mature dramatically and hopefully can be akin to the changes between the first Championship Manager and Championship Manager 2 where the game really came of age.
There is no confirmed release date but I can testify that the team are working flat out to get the game finished. I for one am certainly looking forward to its release and think it offers much more than the first game which seeing it was the first of its type was still a very good effort. The evolution of the game is good news for all fans of cricket management games and all the new features should make it an essential purchase for owners of ICC and also introduce many new fans to the game.
International Cricket Captain 2 is due to be released in the UK on Friday, 23 July.
Saturday, 16 March 2013.