E3 Preview: Rugby 18

Tough Man Competition

Rugby 18

When Americans think tough sports, the first thing that comes to mind is most likely American football. What many Americans may not realize is that football was actually inspired by the sport of rugby way back in the 1880’s. When I was informed that Big Ben Interactive had a rugby video game coming over to the US, I was super excited to get my hands on the game, but also a bit worried that I’d have trouble learning all the rules.

The first thing that I thought of while getting a hands on demonstration of Rugby 18 was how some new-to-rugby players, such as myself, would handle being introduced to the game. Thankfully, developer EKO Software has thought of this and implemented a in-depth tutorial to explain the ins and outs of the sport without completely overwhelming me. After just a few moments with the game’s tutorial I was able to explain to my other Hey Poor Player coworkers what a pack, pitch, and a line out was.

Once I had completed the tutorial it was time go get down and dirty. The gameplay itself felt very fluid and completely realistic. The players responded exactly how I wanted them to, with player controls that felt close to controlling a player in Madden. Once a scrum commenced I was able to send players into the pile with the press of a button, and before I knew it I was running full force past the end zone and out of bounds. That got a few chuckles out of the development team as I did not know that the player must touch the ball on the ground to actually score in rugby.

Rugby 18 will feature teams from England’s Premiership League and France’s TOP 14.  The two leagues combined will include more than 2,000 players from the 2017-18 season.  EKO Software promises Rugby 18 to be the most immersive rugby video game ever created and it will set a new standard for sports simulation games.  The team is working hard to reproduce everything that makes rugby unique as faithfully as possible.

Rugby 18

If you are familiar with EA’s Madden series, you’ll notice a lot of similarities when it comes to Rugby 2018’s graphics. The player models look like they were ripped right out of a Madden title, but due to rugby players lacking all the padding and protection NFL players are required to wear, I was able to pick out certain teammates that I wanted to get the ball to.  The crowd and stadium looked gorgeous as well, and the fans reacted with each and every play I was able to to pull off.

I’m excited that us American’s will finally be able to get our hands on a quality rugby video game.  I think with Rugby 18‘s strong tutorial and approachable gameplay, American gamers will feel extremely comfortable learning a sport that should be a lot more popular than it currently is.  Look to join the scrum this October when Rugby 18 releases on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.


Mike Vito has been a slave to gaming ever since playing his grandfather's Atari 2600. A collector of all things retro, his main focus is obtaining a full NES collection. Being a father has rekindled his spirit for Nintendo and he now spends most of his time teaching his daughter about the games of yesteryear. Check out his other work in Pat Contri’s Ultimate Nintendo: Guide to the SNES Library. Follow him @veryevilash on Twitter Current favorite games: Air Zonk, NHL Hitz 2003, Castlevania Symphony of the Night, & Super Dodgeball.

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