TLDR; Early-Access is NOT a viable excuse for a game to be in such a sorry state, particularly when the developers already had a solid platform to build from and was scheduled for release almost a year ago.
Hear me out...
I keep seeing people say things like “it’s still in early access” to excuse the (many) flaws of Rugby Challenge 4.
Normally I would agree... but remember that the game was due a FULL release in late 2019, then May(?) 2020, and now it’s been released in early access...
This worries me for a couple of reasons.
In a game’s developmental life-cycle it will go through many different stages. Normally, as a game is nearing its release date, all that will be left to do is add a little polish, look for bugs and iron out any kinks.
The game was quietly delayed multiple times while being VERY close to release.
This makes me wonder if the game was actually ‘finished’ last year, and has only been released in Early Access because the developers knew that none of the (very vocal) fan base would want to pay £52.99 for what is effectively an update to RC3... Which -if we’re being totally objective- is all RC4 really is.
Updated graphics that are still well behind the curve, cause visual stutters (lag) and definitely don’t reach a constant 30fps even on Xbox One X/PS4 Pro.
Recycled, robotic animations that were 5 years out of date when RC3 released.
Recycled commentary tracks. This disappoints me the most as the commentary for RC3 is atrocious.
While RC4 definitely DOES have some improvements, it’s fallen far short of being a good video-game (let alone a good rugby simulator).
As a gamer; I find the way the developers have managed this release incredibly disingenuous. If a developer behaved this way with any other subject matter they would be quickly shunned out of the global gaming community (i.e No Man’s Sky) but because we love rugby and there’s fuck all else about, they get a free pass.
As a rugby fan; I can only hope EA (or more likely Capcom) decide to do try their hand at Rugby game.
Until then I’ll continue to play the other shit rugby franchise: Rugby 08