Powell Lacrosse 16 Review (PS4)
Casey Powell Lacrosse 16 is the latest edition of lacrosse from studio Crosse Games, which was founded to actually produce games for the sport.
There have been numerous iterations in the series, a crowdfunding attempt and most importantly a couple of legit releases. This newest edition borrows a lot from other sports games, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
For those who are willing to give Lacrosse 16 a try, you might find yourself pleasantly surprised.
A true game of Lacrosse has arrived on the current gen of consoles!
Many of you probably don’t know the first thing about lacrosse. Some of you might be more on my level where you know the very basics of the game, but your knowledge of the sport begins and ends with sticks, balls and nets.
While I personally would have liked a pretty in-depth ‘get to know the game’ function, Powell Lacrosse seems to be a game meant for fans of the sport more than to convert skeptics into fandom.
With that said, Lacrosse 16 is a game that can be picked up and played by anyone -- even complete novices to the sport. The name of the game is simple, advance the ball up the field and shoot it into the net.
"Lacrosse 16 is a game that can be picked up and played by anyone -- even complete novices to the sport."
The controls borrow a lot from EA’s NHL series, and if you are in any way familiar with that game you are going to find yourself right at home here.
While fans of the sport may bristle at my oversimplification, this was a wise move because lacrosse and hockey share a lot of the same ideas and components. The fact that a control scheme was developed that would be perfectly at home in a hockey game sort of proves that.
Player movement is good, with real momentum and motion behind your moves, but there is an awful lot of clipping that occurs at times -- I usually see at least a couple of instances per game, sometimes with players passing through another.
The controls do have some input delay. I would assume the decision behind that was because there are some real physics at work on the field, but sometimes the game can feel slow and unresponsive because of that.
"Lacrosse 16 features functional and well thought out gameplay, with plenty of control options and strategy options..."
The gameplay is wide open as the sport is actually played, with lots of goals being scored and big hits being delivered. You won’t have much of a problem moving the ball up the field, but getting an offense set up to score a goal takes a bit of thought and planning.
AI opponents defend you relatively well, and you won’t see too many egregious miscues on the field by your AI opponents. The AI will have some quirks every now and again, with your own players running in front of shot attempts and things like that, but there’s nothing that keeps the gameplay from being enjoyable here.
Lacrosse 16 features functional and well thought out gameplay, with plenty of control options and strategy options to keep both hardcore and newcomers to the sport satisfied.
There are a few different modes within the game for you to enjoy. Of course there is the standard exhibition mode, which lets you pit any team against another. There are also standard online modes, with quick and custom matches. You can play Competitions, which consist of seasons or tournaments. There is the Lacrosse Academy that lets you create, edit and share just about any item within the game you could imagine.
Where you will probably invest in Lacrosse 16 will be in the game’s career mode. You start the mode with a choice of being a player or a coach. You aren’t going to find anything in this mode that makes you think Big Ant and Crosse Studios are reinventing the wheel, but it's basic and functional.
Lacrosse 16 features serviceable graphics and audio, and surrounding those are an impressively designed user interface.
The game looks and feels more well produced thanks to this fact, as the menus themselves look like a big-box AAA sports production.
The graphics are fine, but the player models don’t have much variation. However, the grass textures, stadiums and even lighting effects are more than good enough that it's nowhere near a detriment to the game.
Replays and celebrations do need a bit of work, especially the latter. They’re pretty repetitive and seem almost out of place with the otherwise realistic and serious nature of the game.
The commentary is surprisingly well done, even though it's also rather basic. However, it's probably better to do a basic commentary package really well rather than try to do something up the ladder and fail miserably.
Here’s the deal, Powell Lacrosse 16 isn’t a bad game. There’s nothing here that truly sticks out as being poorly done. However, I also am not sure it's close to being a great game either. The gameplay itself is solid enough, but does lack the depth and layers from other titles in other sports.
"Casey Powell Lacrosse 16 is a good but not great game that probably should’ve been priced a little cheaper"
The presentation, while acceptable in every way, doesn’t really try to go outside of that realm. The big negative is that all of this comes at a pretty hefty pricetag of $50. Casey Powell Lacrosse 16 is a good but not great game that probably should’ve been priced a little cheaper. Regardless, if you are a fan of the sport you should pick this game up without a doubt. If you want to try something new, you may wait for a sale or a discount, but Powell Lacrosse is certainly a good diversion for the adventurous sports gamer.
Score: 6.5 (Above Average)