There are a couple of things ICC Pro Cricket 2015 has going for it. First, it's the "official" game of the World Cup (this is something the game will remind you of on more than one occasion). Second, as you would expect, it sports licensed players from all nations (India included), possibly for the first time in a cricket game. If that convinces you enough to drop US$10 on the PC version or five minutes to download the free (with in-app purchases) Android or iOS versions of the game, one thing will be clear soon after you fire it up: this is no Don Bradman Cricket '14.
A quick tutorial prepares you for what's to come: simple batting controls have you aim for a part of the pitch you want to hit the ball to and choose whether to play a grounded or lofted shot; running between the wickets is accomplished by using keyboard or touch controls; bowling is a relatively more complex affair.
While batting, timing and a set of player attributes appear to determine the effectiveness of a shot more than common cricketing sense. Both the player and the AI will be able to cart the opposition's bowler all over the park as long as button presses are within the game's timing window, irrespective of line, length or overall quality of a ball. Similarly, while bowling, if you're able to consistently hit the sweet spot in the delivery window, expect to see dot balls and wickets galore. It must be pointed out that the timing window is significantly more difficult to hit on mobile than on PC (possibly due to processing power issues and input latency/inaccuracy).
Having said that, despite being touted as the definitive version of the game, ICC Pro Cricket 2015on PC does not control very well - the bowling, in particular, requires the player to drag the mouse cursor across the pitch to deliver a ball, once the length for it has been selected, and while the mechanism itself is interesting (for instance, the origin of your mouse movement will determine whether the bowler bowls over or round the wicket), it echoes the lack of depth of the game's overall experience. Is this meant for casual players? If yes, the controls are needlessly complex. What about hardcore gamers? There's just not enough depth to warrant their attention.
An example of the game's bowling controls © Indiagames
Fundamental game mechanics aside, ICC Pro Cricket 2015's cricket matches themselves require a certain suspension of disbelief by the player in order to be enjoyed. World Cup games are five overs-a-side affairs, while tour games last just two overs per side. There's clear intent here to cater to quick games, primarily for users on mobile, but the restrictiveness seems a sign of a lack of confidence in the ability of the game mechanics to scale over a longer period.
Other than the card collection mini-game (more on that in a bit) and a rudimentary set of attributes for each player, there's not much use being made of the licenses. All we have are generic player models that don't necessarily resemble their real-life counterparts, and there's really no difference between players, while batting or bowling, other than how high you can hit the ball or how fast you can bowl it.
With the growing popularity of metagames like FIFA Ultimate Team, it was only a matter of time before we saw something similar in a cricket game. As you play ICC Pro Cricket 2015, you will earn in-game currency (or you can choose to spend your money in the mobile versions of the game) with which specific cards or card packs that yield a random set of player cards can be bought. There's not much incentive to do this, or to indulge in the game's upgrade system (that grants enhancements to a player's base attributes), which requires two of the same player card.
Any variant of Electronic Arts' Ultimate Team works because it has a core game with sound mechanics to fall back on. ICC Pro Cricket 2015 doesn't offer enough to motivate players to stick with its metagame.
You would probably do well to play the "cut down" mobile version of Pro Cricket 2015 rather than the "full feature" PC version. Despite its faults, the mobile version feels superior to most poor cricket games presently available on Android and iOS.
ICC Pro Cricket 2015
Platforms: PC, Android, iOS
Price: US$10/INR 609 (PC), Free with in-app purchases (Android and iOS)