|System: PC, PS3, X360, Wii, PS2, PSP, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: EA Sports||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: EA||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Sept. 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-Many||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Pending||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Amanda L. Kondolojy
Whenever you have a sports-based game, especially one with a yearly update cycle, it is important to make each year's entry in the series distinctive. It's a challenging prospect to be sure because the success of any annual sports franchise depends on the last year's game. Of course, you can update graphics and create new scenarios. You can even add new modes of play. But you have to do something that will make your newest entry stand out. So how do you accomplish making your'08 game distinctive? Well, if your sport is soccer and your name is FIFA, you add many different players. Something like 15,000 players.
Is this an exaggeration? Absolutely not. The biggest feature of this year's FIFA Soccer is that the player roster has been upped massively, and includes teams from just about 30 international leagues. So now, no matter where your favorite soccer player hails from, there's an extremely good chance you'll be able to not only see them in action, but play as them too!
But no matter how many athletes you have in a game, it just doesn't add up unless you have the gameplay to match. And although developer EA Sports wants to make sure you remember the astronomical amount of available soccer players, they don't want you to forget that FIFA is fun. One thing that will be getting a major facelift in FIFA 08 will be the gameplay mechanics. Overall gameplay has been promised to be tighter and more realistic than in previous FIFA games.
One facet of FIFA 08 that has been severely overhauled is the all-important shot. Everything from the animations to the mechanics has been enhanced to deliver a more realistic and satisfying shot experience. The FIFA series has come under fire in the past for having a shot system that made goals way too easy, but that has also been remedied in this year's edition with such enhancements as independent ball movement, spin, pressure conditions, and player attributes.
Now, I know that you're all hyped about the 15,000 characters and the much improved shot mechanics, but you may be wondering how all these new features will factor into FIFA's classic 11 on 11 gameplay. And while they are definitely going to be put to use in this mode, I'm happy to say that in addition to the standard FIFA form, we have been afforded an entirely new mode of gameplay. The all-new "Be a Pro" mode will allow you to pick one of the aforementioned 15,000 players and experience the life of a pro soccer player. You'll be learning about different types of plays, reading the field, and trying out different positions, with the eventual goal of becoming the most well-renowned player on the international soccer scene. No small feat, so make sure you bring your a-game!
So one question remains. Are you up to the challenge? Can you play through the character roster, conquer the ever-elusive shot, and Be a Pro? This year's FIFA is looking to be miles and miles past not only the competition, but past FIFA's own game history. Its major improvements in game mechanics, play modes, and of course, character rosters have made it one of the 08 sports games to watch! See you in September, soccer fans!
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Freelance Writer