New Zealand developer Sidhe has announced that the sequel to its 2011 title Rugby Challenge, Rugby Challenge 2: The Lions Tour Edition, will be released later this year on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC.
The sequel will include an expanded multi-year career mode, online multiplayer with support up to 4v4 via PSN, Xbox Live and Steam, and refined gameplay that adds quick taps, lineouts, interceptions, contesting ball at the breakdown, number 8 scrum pickups, and dynamic in-game team strategies.
According to Sidhe, the game will feature over 100 teams and 50 stadiums from around the world, including official team, competition, and special match licenses for the All Blacks, the Qantas Wallabies, the USA Eagles, Bledisloe Cup, British and Irish Lions 2013 Tour of Australia, Barbarians FC, Combined Country, Super Rugby teams, Aviva Premiership Rugby, TOP 14 Orange, and Ranfurly Shield.
Rugby Challenge 2: The Lions Tour Edition will also add more options to create or customise players, teams, and competitions, change game rules and behaviour, as well as a revamped sound and commentary system, with real-time commentary from rugby commentators Grant Nisbett and former All Black Justin Marshall.
"It has been a wonderful opportunity to build on the foundation we established with the original game to create a deeper, more engaging, and higher quality experience," Sidhe technical director Tyrone McAuley said in a statement. "Tighter controls, smoother animation, and smarter AI improve the title moment-to-moment, while additions such as significant new Northern Hemisphere content create a more global and well-rounded game."
The game will be released as Jonah Lomu Rugby Challenge 2 in France, All Blacks Rugby Challenge 2 in New Zealand, and Rugby Challenge 2: The Lions Tour Edition throughout other territories.
Rugby Challenge 2: The Lions Tour Edition will release worldwide for the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC in mid-year 2013.