FIFA 07 Kickoff To Virtual Soccer Glory

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Poor old EA. They complain about getting out inexpensive next-generation ports, and when they try to create something from scratch for next-generation systems, they complain again. FIFA 07 on Xbox 360 may be the third time the franchise reaches the system, but it’s the first time EA is trying to actually take advantage of the console’s power. It is an admirable step, but it has not paid off.

Physics has been a big thing in video games for a while now, with terms like ragdoll becoming almost commonplace in the vocabulary of video game journalists. Football games have obviously shown decent physics in the past, but with FIFA 07 on Xbox 360, EA has really gone to town. The ball is now moving more realistically than before, it no longer seems to be attached to a player’s foot, and the players have a physique that was simply not visible in previous games.The way it affects the gameplay is both brilliant and downright annoying. The ball physics are excellent, with incredibly realistic target mouth disturbances, deflections, post bounces and much more. There has never been a football game that came so close to modeling the movement of a ball, and EA deserves a big shot in the back. The movement of the players also has a real natural feel, at least when it comes to how they run, with strong forwards easily overtaking weak defenders.
It’s the way players interact when they come into contact with each other that gets annoying. Collisions often lead to the fact that both players stop and simply bounce off each other. It’s also a bit easy to stop people from messing around with this technique and they are punished very rarely. You will notice that the games are overloaded in the middle of the park, with the players constantly meeting and depriving the game of any momentum.

FIFA 07 on current generation systems had some of the strictest controls in the history of the series, and FIFA 07 on the 360 really feels like a step backwards. The players spin quite rigidly, making close control a real nightmare. They are constantly acting to keep control of the ball, which leads to a game that is not much fun. Outside the ball, your teammates are not so smart, and although they can trigger runs, they still do not connect with you as skillfully as in the current version.The passage suffers from the fact that the catcher is completely reluctant to move on the ball, which leads to far too many interceptions, and the shot is both spectacular and frustrating. If you have control over an experienced player, you can make very good efforts over long distances, but when you finish shooting goals, it’s ridiculously difficult. The lack of control over their players means that when they put the ball on the player’s strongest foot, they often run far in front of the goal, easily get out of balance and throw the ball over the crossbar.

Over a long period of time, you can learn to play with a little fluidity, but I never went to the stage where I felt completely under control. Apart from the great ball physics, and although this is not really what the next generation development should be, EA would have been better off spicing up the previously released version of the current generation. Back to the PlayStation 2 and Xbox versions: the fact that EA’s next-gen efforts are clunky and just not much fun.

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