Publisher: EA SPORTS™
Developer: EA Canada
N Amer - 10/09/2007
Intl - Fall 2007
The FIFA series has seen its ups and downs over its long tenure at EA Sports. The more notable “downs” in recent years have been the series’ performance on next-gen consoles. The next-generation of consoles FIFA franchise haven’t been kind to the game, as it has been consistently slammed critically since its first appearance on the Xbox 360 with FIFA 06, with many reviewers citing it as being a dumbed-down port of the current gen version with slightly prettier graphics.
However, the tides are looking to change this year as the developers are utilizing the power of the new consoles while even surpassing the depth of the game modes in prior current-gen games. FIFA 08 will utilize the next-gen engine from last-year’s FIFA 07 while beefing up the gameplay and team count substantially.
This year’s FIFA will use the “building blocks” of the gameplay system from FIFA 07 and step it up a few notches. Whereas FIFA 07 had 6 teams to choose from, there will be over 30 in 2008, spanning many leagues across the world and adding up to 15,000 players, although there is a possibility the downloadable teams may appear sometime down the line.
The game’s ball physics have been updated a lot, as lots of factors will determine how the ball curves in the air. Depending on how and when you kick it, the ball could bend in the air like a David Beckham kick, or just go straight. Additionally, skill moves have been added to the game’s mechanics and ball handling courtesy of EA’s love for all things analog, which allow the player to avoid tackles much better than before with just a flick of the thumbstick.
The most interesting new element in the game is the Be-A-Pro camera angles. The Be-A-Pro mode allows you to play as one player on the field with a chase camera following him. When the on-screen action gets hairy (and you start making a play for the goal), the camera will follow low and bounce, adding a war-style effect similar to Gears of War. The Be-A-Pro mode is a great new element that adds a greater sense to the game’s realism.
Whereas previous next-gen entries to the FIFA franchise have been fairly lackluster, this year’s entry means to buck the trend. Judging from the preview build of the game, it’s looking like it very well may.
FIFA 08 will utilize the next-gen engine from last-year’s FIFA 07 while beefing up the gameplay and team count substantially.
Reviewer: Steven Hopper
Review Date: 06/04/2007