Cricket 22 will be the first cricket game on next-gen consoles, the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series S/X. On Thursday, Melbourne-based developer Big Ant Studios announced Cricket 22: The Official Game of The Ashes, the third entry in that series following 2019’s Cricket 19. Cricket 22 will be available November 25 on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series S/X, a couple of weeks ahead of the start of the Ashes. Cricket 22 for Nintendo Switch arrives January 2022. In addition to the Ashes, Cricket 22 also brings Big Bash T20, The Hundred, and Caribbean Premier League.
Australia and England are naturally involved given, you know, the Ashes. Additionally, Cricket 22 will also feature Ireland, New Zealand, and West Indies as fully licensed teams. With the official involvement of Big Bash, The Hundred, and CPL, you can also expect their 30 teams to be involved as well, be it Sydney Sixers, Trinbago Knight Riders, or the Oval Invincibles.
No sign of India and other big cricketing nations, though that shouldn’t be a problem given how Big Ant Studios have handled this problem in the past. At first launch, Cricket 19 would offer to download a whole host of fan squads that would replace the unlicensed teams — replacing the random generated players with Virat Kohli and team.
As for gameplay features, here’s what Big Ant Studios is promising with Cricket 22. The developers worked with fan feedback to improve the franchise.
- New bowling and fielding controls that will “refine” what Cricket 19 fans were used to
- Story-driven career mode, putting you in charge on and off the field. You’ll have control over training, injuries, press conference, and more.
- New commentary team, featuring Michael Atherton, Ian Healy, Mel Jones, Alison Mitchell and David Gower. Jones and Mitchell will lead the all-women commentary for the women’s game which is getting the same treatment as the men’s game, Big Ant claims.
- Better accessibility, with revamped tutorials to make it easier for first-time cricket players.
On top of that, Cricket 22 will full advantage of the capabilities of PS5 and Xbox Series S/X, Big Ant says. You can expect faster load times and real-time raytracing, in addition to an array of visual upgrades. Moreover, next-gen upgrades will be free. So if you buy Cricket 22 on PS4 or Xbox One, you get the corresponding PS5 or Xbox Series S/X version for free.
“The number of cricket fans that have been asking us about our next-generation cricket plans has been overwhelming,” Big Ant CEO Ross Symons said in a prepared statement. “We’re incredibly excited by what we’re able to bring to the table with Cricket 22. This is our fifth cricket simulation title, and it really represents the cumulation of everything that we’ve learned on this ten-year (and counting) journey. We have the most passionate fans, and we can’t wait to get this into their hands.”
Pre-orders are said to be live on Steam, Microsoft Store and PlayStation Store — though at the time of writing, we didn’t spot them. For now, you can pre-order the PS4, PS5, and Xbox version via Game Loot, Games The Shop, and Prepaid Game Card in India.
If you do pre-order, you will get access to Cricket 22 The Nets Challenge from mid-October that lets you try out Cricket 22 in nets and training games. It’s like early access, but not really.
Cricket 22, described by Big Ant as the “most detailed cricket simulation”, is out November 25 on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series S/X. It releases in January 2022 on Nintendo Switch. It costs Rs. 3,999 in India and AUD 99.95 (about Rs. 5,450) across all platforms.