Brian Lara International Cricket 2007
is a cricket computer game from Codemasters available on PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, PC and Xbox 360 (Also Xbox Live enabled). It is endorsed by West Indian cricketer Brian Lara. It follows Brian Lara International Cricket 2005 released 2 years earlier. It was released on 23 March 2007 during the 2007 Cricket World Cup, which is a similar launch tactic used by Codemasters for the release of Brian Lara International Cricket 2005, which was launched on the first day of the 2005 Ashes series. The game was released in Australia and New Zealand under the name of 'Ricky Ponting International Cricket 2007' and in India as Yuvraj Singh International Cricket 2007.
Prior to Release
Codemasters Open Day
Codemasters held an open day in October 2006 which was attended by six staff members at PlanetCricket and one member from the Codemasters forum.(Jackson Nokes attended it) The seven were shown the game being developed as well as given a demo of the current alpha build. Another open day was planned for 2 March 2007 where gamers got the chance to try out the new game.
The open day was a large success in generating support from the game as this extent of customer relations is unheard of to cricket gaming fans which puts Codemasters in a positive light as a company that cares for its customers. The community liaison officer (and web editor) Peer Lawther (aka Rubbergenius) also aids this.
On 9 March 2007, Codemasters released a playable demo of BLIC 07. The demo allowed the player to complete 3 overs of batting and bowling using the national cricket teams of England and Australia. It was available for download from the official website for PC users, and the Xbox Live Marketplace for Xbox 360 users.
BLIC 07 is the first cricket computer game to have online play included. This is available on Xbox 360 and PC only (not PS2).
Not all players names featured in the game are real. Only those in the licensed tournaments are. However warm-up games can be played for the tournaments with the proper names (ODI mode only). As in BLIC 05, players' names are fake because Electronic Arts has the official licenses, not Codemasters. All official ICC World Cup stadiums will be in the game and there is a special ICC World Cup mode where Codemasters has the license to use all official teams, stadiums, kits and equipment of the tournament.
There are several game modes, such as ICC World Cup, Test matches, One Day Internationals, ICC Champions Trophy, Twenty20, Bowling, Fielding, Batting practice as well as net practice sliced in with 16 tutorial mini games.
Initial reviews of BLIC 07 were average to good. The game was viewed as a solid replacement for Brian Lara International Cricket 2005 with improvements in most areas. There was criticism, reviewers complained of a lack of improvement in the graphics despite being a next generation game, and the gameplay being too easy. Other reviews commented on how the game might not appeal to non cricket fans. Also criticised is the lack of statistical tracking that occurs during television coverage of cricket despite claims it emulates the coverage well. The game has been praised for its relatively realistic simulation of real cricket. The cricket-gaming community has taken less well to the game. The official Planetcricket.net Review gave the game a 3 for gameplay and a 6 overall. The review claimed that:
"Ultimately, whilst Codemasters have undoubtedly worked hard on this title and implemented some nifty new features it seems they have neglected the sine qua non of cricket gaming – the gameplay.
Put simply the game has major pacing issues and the AI is depressingly stupid."