Starting a new thread so it's easier for folks on the fence to make a call on getting the game instead of going through bunch of threads & posts to get the information they are looking for. Hopefully others can share their initial impression on the game. Here's mine... I've been a long time supporter of the franchise and of video gaming cricket in general. But when I heard about the new iteration of the DBC/Ashes franchise being launched just before the world cup kickoff, my initial reaction was skepticism. I had doubts about the quality of the game and the progress made since the last iteration and thought it more on the lines of DBC 17/Ashes Cricket than DBC 14. After being burned by DBC 17 and Ashes Cricket where the issues persisted across iterations (incorrect stats being the major one), I waited for the first couple of days to see what the initial reaction to the game was. When majority of the folks, especially @Rhone (who I knew was a big stats guy like me) had a positive opinion about the game, I decided to get the game and I must say it wasn't a wrong decision. This game is the true successor to DBC 14. Though there are still a few things to work on, the game plays quite well out of the box (after the Day 1 patch of course) which wasn't the case with earlier games in the series. At least for offline mode you don't have to wait for a patch to fix some game breaking bug. Here are my initial impressions about some of the areas about the game... 1. Menu Display and GUI The overall layout and GUI is a lot crisper and shaper than the earlier games. I found it similar to EA Madden in how the menu tiles are laid out and how you need to get to a particular menu item you are interested in. By the way I found the Australian theme more appealing than the England one and be sure to try it out by changing the Theme setting. 2. Customization The one thing which struck me was the sheer number of options available! You can alter the game any way you want, right from the player/user settings to how the AI plays, along with all the other Physics related attributes that have been there since DBC 17. And when you factor in the Scenario Creator/Designer, this truly is a cricket sandbox or a simulator. Literally everything under the sun on a cricket field can be customized and tuned as per your requirements. I'm not even going to talk about the Cricket Academy and about the ability to design players and stadiums since it's a given for the series at this time. I can see everyone ranging from "pick up and play" to a hard core cricket gaming fan being satisfied with the game. 3. Music and Commentary Improvements to the choice of in-game Music was another plus similar to the menu layout. It's lot more fresher and you won't need to turn it down Day 2 like with the previous games. Commentary is similar to Ashes Cricket but I don't care about it much since no matter how good the commentary is, you will eventually get bored of it. The only way you can keep commentary fresh is by adding more content via commentary patches/tuners the way EA does it with Madden but IMO it's a waste of resources. I would rather Big Ant focus on the gameplay than worry about commentary. 4. Gameplay Finally we get to the most important item - Gampelay. Keep in mind that these are still the initial impressions and things could change with future patches or in case a bug is encountered which rears its head once you've spent significant time in the game (say career crashes after Year 8). But for the moment things are looking great. I'more inclined towards batting and so far I'm loving the experience. I started off with AI at Legend and Batting on Hard but had to turn down the batting to Medium as I was struggling with the timing. The key positives related to batting and gameplay are: - The batting feels more intuitive and you can place/hit the ball to more areas of the ground compared to the prior versions. - Some of the shots, such as backfoot cover drive and running the ball to 3rd man off the backfoot look gorgeous. - AI bowls much better line & length and getting a loose delivery and nailing it feels quite satisfying. - The field sets are better than any iteration of the series. They still need improvement but aren't that poor. - New cut scenes, animations and broadcast style presentation is quite impressive and leads to an immersive experience. Areas of Improvement That being said there are a few things still to sort out and there are a few areas of improvement and hopefully @MattW and beta folks can look into these as a candidate for future patch... 1. Leg side pull shot to good length deliveries and a lack of Backfoot glance. My biggest gripe is the leg side shots, especially the pull shot which is played way too frequently. Most of the times the pull shot gets played even if you select Backfoot and you hardly get to see Backfoot glance which looked so elegant in DBC 14. This ugly looking pull shot is played for good length/green deliveries as well which are barely going over the stumps. Maybe Big Ant can take a look at the leg side shots and have the backfoot glance animation triggerred for deliveries which are up to waist/abdomen height, and anything higher than chest area can trigger the pull/hook animation. Backfoot glance was my favorite shot in DBC 14 and pity it's no longer there and is replaced by ugly pull/hoick thingy. The leg glance, flick off the legs works well to the pitched up or fuller deliveries but anything over stump height generally leads to a pull shot. 2. Straight drives going in the air. Straight drives go in the air way too much and playing a grounded straight drive is quite a challenge at the moment and maybe something to look at. Was caught and bowled 3 times in an innings and eventually stopped playing straight drives. 3. AI Fielding in the circle and easy 1s and 2s for user player. AI Fielding in the circle is a concern as you can easily take a single when bat touches the ball as no matter where the ball goes, you can be sure you won't be run out thanks to lax fielding within the circle. An extension to the problem is that more often than not you can take 2 runs to fielding positions at the boundary, such as Depp Fine Leg or Deep Cover where you generally get only a single in real-life cricket. These easy 1s & 2s needs to be looked into. 4. AI batsmen not aggressive while taking runs. AI batsmen leaving runs on the field and not taking 1s and 2s where they should. Combined with 3, this creates an imbalance between AI and the user. Where you may run 2, the AI ocasionally doesn't even take a run. But overall the game is a must-have for cricket gaming fans and cricket fans in general, and is definitely a step up from Ashes Cricket based on limited amount of gameplay I've experienced so far. Update (Jun 2nd, 2019): Found out that User Stats are not tracked and recorded accurately. If correctly tracked stats are a "must have" and a deal-breaker for you then hold off on purchasing the game for the time being. Have reported the bugs and keeping my fingers crossed that they are fixed. Will update the post when there's any change on the stats front. based on what I've heard so far, the career mode stats are working fine and the stats issue is limited to User Stats.