just found this on gameplanets website http://www.gameplanet.co.nz/mag.dyn/Previews/4226.html Rugby League 2 hands-on WHEN WE FIRST PLAYED Rugby League 2 at E3 in May, the game didn't really seem fit for media consumption. There were no apparent improvements over the original, so it was something of a relief when we visited NZ distributor GameWizz Digital for an updated hands-on along with various other media, resellers and Warriors captain Steve Price. We'd already heard from developer Sidhe Interactive about a whole lot of improvements and seen an updated game in action. Only a couple of other people actually played Rugby League to at the GameWizz event, so our hands-on experience is probably quite rare. What we played at GameWizz was actually running on PC hardware using a DualShock 2 controller. So it is no surprise that the game looks... unbelieveably good for a console title. At least we can see the potential and it should be expected that this version of the game is very close to the PC build. There are some big improvements in the look of the game over the original. Instantly recognisable faces replace the bland noggins of 2003, now adorned with countless variations of hair style, a feature that carries over to the create-a-player mode. Stadia environs also feature improved detail. There are now more animations and the results, while still somewhat generic in that the ball is still not totally connected to the players' hands at all times and sometimes moves unbound by the players' limbs, allow for a more authentic looking game. While we enjoyed the control system from last time, we have long wished for more flexibility in the passing game, and we are still finding the controls do not allow for passes to be executed as planned. For example, a straggler might get a pass intended for next in line in the backs' formation, leaving him too deep and too isolated to do anything constructive. We'd prefer to see such players automatically missing out on the pass, letting us use the skip pass function elsewhere instead. We'd also like to be able to dictate the trajectory of the pass, such as can be found in decent soccer games. For example, a quick tap of the button might be used for a hand-off to a nearby running, a hold for a lob pass, and a standard press for a standard pass. Without this flexibility the game still allows for some fantastic moments but they tend to come out of opportunities presented rather than allowing for breaks to be truly earned to the degree they might be. One thing we are particularly looking forward to is online play, and this alone is likely to push sales of Rugby League 2 further PC and particularly Xbox, even though Europe will see better hardware soon after the game's release. New features of Rugby League 2 include Multiplayer online play for all platforms, allowing competitive and friendly play over the Internet, player rankings, and statistics. All major teams and competitions including the NRL, SuperLeague, State of Origin, City versus Country, and a range of International Teams. Brand new gameplay features including ball stripping, shoulder barges, diving on and kicking the loose ball, contesting the high ball, pass to playmaker and more. New multi year Franchise Mode, including player contract management, injuries, judiciary, and mid season representative games. Highly realistic, individually modelled likenesses for over 500 players and referees. Lifelike animation, motion captured by Weta Digital, the VFX wizards behind The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy. Includes 4 brand new NZ stadia.