An Extremely Honest Review Of ‘AFL EVOLUTION 2’

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Having been left traumatised by Pharlap Racing’s utter sh*tness – I don’t bust out the Xbox often. 

But in this black hole of a world we’re living in right now – a mere speck of light shone with the news that AFL Evolution 2 was being fast-tracked to our living rooms. 

The AFL had been hyping this game up as if it was Dustin Martin and Nat Fyfe’s long lost child.

It had to be sorta good, right?

It was a rough morning. 3 hours for the Xbox to update into being ‘champed’ and ‘manned’ by the JB Hi-FI checkout chick – but alas, I had my mitts on this game which was proving near impossible to find.

Come the afternoon, I was ready to let rip like one of Joe Exotic’s caged animals.

***

She’s finally loaded – and the first thing I’m greeted with is Anthony Hudson’s voice billed with the same excitement as if someone’s just booted their thirteenth goal down in Launceston. 

Into the main menu and Hunters and Collectors have been usurped as the default menu song. Weird, but play on. 

As it’s been years between drinks, I’ve forgotten the controls so I thought I’d kick things off with a confidence booster with my beloved Demons against ‘Nauru’ – in the game as the developers thought it would be really funny/revolutionary/dumb to include the rosters from the ‘2017 International Cup’. Starting to feel a bit how’ ya goin’ right about now.

The match begins, and 80 thousand Nauru fans have come out of the woodwork to witness what Garry Lyon has already labelled ‘a blockbuster’ five times in the pre-game. 

We’re off and I’ll admit it. I’m shizenhousen at this. Brendan Gadabu takes 4 clunks on Oscar Mcdonald in the first stanza and the Nauruvians are playing a brand that Simon Goodwin has no answers to. 

The Dees are down by a point to Nauru at half time. Just about the only f**king team in the world who could blow the 4 points against Nauru. 

A rocket and a squiz at the controls sees the Dees kick away in the 3rd quarter thanks to Jayden Hunt’s 6 contested grabs and that was that. A gutsy win that will give Goodwin an 8 year contract extension at the helm. 

Melbourne then went into a ‘competition mode’ where they won every game by an average of 80 points, Petracca won the Brownlow and Carlton were walloped to the tune of 150 points on the last day in September. 

I simulated that season of course.

Onto the review:

GRAPHICS

What on earth have the team at Tru Blu gaming been smoking to green-light the graphics in this game? These are fair-dinkum atrocious. Sports games have been around for years, yet the graphics in AFL Evo2 wouldn’t hold a candle to FIFA06. All players look like they’ve just been cast in the Lego Movie (see figure 1A), Marvel Stadium looks like Shrek’s swamp, every single person in the crowd is exactly the same. What you see is an embarrassment and things have gone backwards since the original. It’s 2020 for crying out loud – there are 0 excuses for this. 0/10.

Figure 1A:

 

GAMEPLAY

Don’t ya just love running into an open goal but spraying it out the full? 

Just one of the many weird quirks this game throws up. Unrealistic is an understatement as handballs get sprayed everywhere, kicks are just about impossible to hit ya teammate on the tits and the kicking action looks more like a triple reverse tuck and pike off the ten-metre dive board than a drop punt.

No shock the commentary dishes things up like “he’s having a big impact out there” when said player hasn’t touched the prune too. I get it, our great game is hard to crowbar into a video game, but gee whiz, there is little to no improvement from the original. 4/10.

CREATE A PRO

Unlike Pharlap racing, you can create your own player and put him immediately in your side. I created a 120kg, 200cm brick sh*thouse nicknamd ‘Big Chungus’, with 100 rated marking and goal kicking ability and not a shred of anything else. Big Chungus went onto win the Coleman that season.

Big Chungus is seen here in his natural habitat:

I actually enjoyed this element of the game. The creation hub is thorough and if you can be arsed you can make your player look somewhat like you (prehistoric graphics permitting). 6/10.

MULTIPLAYER

You can never assume something in life, and it was with great relief AFL Evo2 has a reasonable multiplayer set-up. You can get up to four involved in a regular game and if you’re feeling really aggravated with the world around us you can always head online and flog some 12-year-old kid to remain sane whilst chugging through your own self-isolation. You can also download famous matches from the past and play them with your mates. Naht bhed.  7/10.

COMPLETELY COOKED RATINGS

Alright, back to earth thanks AFL Evo2. As biased as I am – how the f**k can the Demons possibly be rated 84 when the Tigers have taken the piss for three years and are only rated 83? Jimmy Webster (85) and Tom Lynch (85) are on par? You’ve got to be having an absolute giraffe with me Tru Blu! Shaun Atley (86) and Rowan Marshall (65)!?!? Where do I hit the eject button? 3/10.

GENERAL LOOK AND FEEL

Look, at least we get licensed players and stadiums and don’t have to put up with any Duncan Morton, Peter Crapps or ‘Melbourne Circular Stadium’. It’s also nice to know that these overseas developers haven’t mettled with the very fabric of our great game and tried to put 25 players on the field or make a goal worth 10 points. AFLW and State leagues are a nice touch too (2017 International Cup can ship off though).  9/10.

One last typo check would have been nice:

FINAL VERDICT

If you’re keen to hear every Hilltop Hoods song under the sun, then maybe – just maybe for a fleeting moment this game might be for you. There is a sprinkle of positivity but the smartest thing the developers may have done is release this game when everybody has absolutely f*ck all to do. The graphics stink, the gameplay is bang average and when the novelty wears off of Big Chungus kicking 13 each week she won’t be seen again. 4.8/10.

Can the real stuff please just come back already. 

What do you think?