Don Bradman Cricket 14 review | Xbox 360 and PS3

Don Bradman Cricket 14 - much better than the first 13 editions

Buy Don Bradman Cricket 14 from Amazon

No, you haven’t missed 13 iterations of this game. That 14’s the year. Quite why the year’s relevant when the game’s named after a guy who died 13 years ago is beyond us, but there you go.

Why Don Bradman?

It’s unusual to name a game after someone other than a current player, but the Don’s name has a bit of clout. His is also the only name you’ll recognise within any of the teams, although there’s a bit of a workaround there. When you start the game, you have the option to download ‘community’ players and teams which have supposedly been created by other users.

The downside of this is that the developers didn’t feel the need to create approximations of known players. One of our favourite aspects of these sorts of games is the chance to play as Shaun Whiston or Kelvin Petersong. Ah well. Maybe someone in the community will create them for us.

Any good?

Yes. Don Bradman Cricket 14 is the best cricket game we’ve played. It’s not perfect, but none of its flaws or bugs are so great that they undermine things and there’s much to enjoy.

We’ve put more info about the mechanics of batting and bowling on other pages to keep this review from getting too long, but suffice to say that both work pretty well – even if the former demands some rather complex manoeuvres with the controller.

Genuinely one of the harder shots to play in this game

The balance between bat and ball

Every cricket game ever has fallen down in this regard. You might be hitting every ball for six, struggling to lay bat on ball or bowling sides out for single figure scores. When the balance is wrong, it takes you out of the moment and at best this makes the game far less absorbing; at worst, it turns it into a joke.

In Don Bradman 14, batting is harder than bowling, but not ludicrously so. It’s possible to make runs, you tend to make them at a fairly plausible rate and we reckon it could become easier should the complex controls ever become second-nature (they aren’t for us). Bowling is a bit easier, but you still have to work for your wickets, trying different things out to see what works in the conditions.

Career mode

We spent most of our review of International Cricket 2010 going on about how there should have been a career mode. Perhaps the developers of Don Bradman Cricket 14 read it, because this game has one and there are two huge, huge advantages of that.

Firstly, you don’t get bored of having to play an innings. Real batsmen play one innings and that demands rather a lot of concentration, so why should gamers have to play as all 11 batsmen?

The second advantage relates to the aforementioned balance between bat and ball. If you’re shit at batting but ace at bowling, you don’t end up successfully defending double digit totals in 50 over games in some unrealistic world where every team’s populated by 11 Curtly Ambroses. No, the scores remain realistic because you only control one player’s contribution. If you’re shit at batting but ace at bowling, your team’s results remain credible and you simply bat at number 11. You also get to face different match situations, which adds even more depth to the game.

If there’s a downside, it’s that poor batting can lead to career mode becoming ‘bowling career mode’. Get a first-baller and you’ll probably want to go and spend some time in the nets having forgotten how to lay bat on ball. That said, it’s funny how tense you’ll feel when you do next come to the crease. It’ll make you think differently about batsmen enduring a poor run of form, we guarantee it.

Worth buying?

Yeah, we’d say so. You can buy it from Amazon or any of the other places where people usually buy these things.

If you’re in two minds, you can read about batting and bowling in more detail via the links below:

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18 Appeals

  1. Shall have to give this a go. Attempted to play the PC demo, but my laptop’s too crap to run it.

  2. Cricket top trumps is about my limit for sophistication in cricket games.

    Unfortunately we CCT enthusiasts are still waiting for the developer/publisher to fix the faulty config.php line of code. Must be a huge job.

    We all wait patiently and (fairly) quietly.

    • I mean, of course, CTT not CCT.

      You wouldn’t want me coding your game, that’s for sure.

  3. Is it worth me upgrading from Ashes 2013?

    • NO! Ashes 2013 was a fine piece of work, in which the level of realism correctly represented the true state of things. In the updated Ashes 2013/2014, some catastrophic coding errors resulted in every match ending the same way. The controls for batting became so difficult to use it was almost impossible to score any runs at all. Bowling was similarly affected, and players in the field appeared to be frozen to the spot most of the time. A patch was issued that was supposed to fix the problem, but all it did was delete several player profiles. This is not expected to help the situation at all.

    • Oh yes. Very good.

  4. This sounds really good. Shame about the boring title and the fact that some of us don’t own an XBox or PS3.

  5. It has been raining. Here’s a thing about it.

    http://learningisfunblog.wordpress.com/2014/05/12/its-just-not-cricket/

    Thanking you.

    • Nice article. Last time I played “Last Six, Ten Needed” in the nets, I left the first ball outside off stump to hit the netting behind me, then ran, saying to the others that they were more than welcome to come and get it if they could be bothered. Because it is a widely known fact that returning a missed ball to the bowlers is the batsman’s job, none of them did. So I ran all ten and won with five balls to spare.

      Happy minus 1/12th wedding anniversary, by the way. Have you been able to shoehorn any cricket-themed activities into the day?

    • Yes, we’re holding a hungover T20 match the day after the wedding, involving several guests who think it’s “like rounders or baseball”. It will either be a glorious success or a catastrophic mess. I know which one my money’s on.

  6. Which platforms can you get it on?

    • King Cricket

      May 13, 2014 at 8:59 am

      We’re going to take that question at face value, even though we suspect it of being a joke that we don’t get: Xbox 360 and PS3 with a PC version to follow.

    • sincere question ftr

  7. Pete (not that other Pete)

    May 14, 2014 at 10:26 am

    “Best cricket game we’ve played” is quite an accolade.

    Just to check – have you played Graham Gooch’s Test Cricket on Amstrad CPC? This is still the pinnacle for me.

    http://www.mobygames.com/game/graham-goochs-test-cricket/screenshots

    • King Cricket

      May 14, 2014 at 11:09 am

      We actually have. See Mildly Amused By Paul Merton’s comment above as well.

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