FIFA 2006 Preview
Every year, EA’s FIFA Football seems to find it difficult to overcome the mighty Pro Evolution Soccer. However, every year, it seems to be getting better, and closer, to Pro Evolution Soccer. This year is no exception.
The ball physics, shooting, passing, overall defending and player physics are all one step in the right direction, not only towards success, but towards Pro Evolution Soccer. The game seems to feel more like Pro Evo, which can’t be a bad thing. Although I can’t help thinking that soon they’re going to be identical, FIFA is starting to use the same tricks, through ball style and chipping style, which Konami adopted 3 years ago. However, the overall “feel” of the game can’t be faulted and its starting to feel more enjoyable and fun to play, rather than dull, boring, and downright frustrating, like its previous instalments.
“For the last time, Totti is not the pope”
The game play, still, has it downers. Such things as players making runs off the ball. Unless you tell them to do so, they will lazily stand around been marked and not even attempt to shake off the defender. The AI seems amazingly good at reading balls and cut-backs. For instance, you’re sprinting down the wing, decide to cut-back and the second you press to go back the way you was coming the AI will have done the same and sliding at your feet, thus taking the ball from you. The game expects you to be a football nut and know a lot about the sport, if you don’t, you’ve no chance as intelligent passing and tackling is required. For example, if you’re running down the wing and there’s a player inside, you can’t just carelessly pass it to him or the ball will be intercepted, you have to be 100% sure the pass will make it or you’re doomed.
Midfield play plays a big part of the game. You will find yourself slugging about in the centre of the park, fighting for the ball and trying to play up to one of your strikers. However, this can get a bit tedious after a while because it becomes repetitive as you will find yourself doing it for the best part of the game, same old, tackle in middle, knock up, ball comes back, tackle, knock up etc. This does however have its goods points, becuase if you have a World Class Central Midfielder who can do all the work then you can make goals from it pretty easily with a good player. If though, you are a weaker team, you may be struggling and find yourself in a sticky situation, whereas your doing a lot of the chasing as apposed to your opponents.
“Gotta get that shiny coin!”
One thing that can’t be faulted however is the way it looks, and sounds! The commentary is as usual, nothing short of brilliant. They’ve made a great job of this and it’s very fluent and responsive. There’s no delaying, the second the ‘B’ button is pressed to shoot they will react. The in-game menu’s music is amazing as well. With the Kaizer’s for the Main Menu, you can’t go far wrong! The graphics such as Kits, Balls, Stadiums, Players Faces, Boots, Nets and Advertising Boards are nothing short of phenomenal. The kits are millimetre to millimetre perfect. The Stadiums are as realistic as your going to get, I actually thought I was sat in the VIP area at Old Trafford. This is where FIFA beats Pro Evo hands-down. Everything bang-on with all the licenses, brilliant if you want to buy a game just for the graphics rather than the game play (which is what Pro Evo is currently there for).
Overall, I can’t see there been a way this game will be the superior of the two “main” footballing games (itself and Pro Evo). This game can be fun if what you’re looking for is out-right football, football and more football. If that’s what you want, then this game will deliver. However, if what you’re looking for is a game with great all-round physics and awesome game play, you could be disappointed. If your a beginner at football games then you will find this very difficult, as you have to play it for quite a while until you get used to it, which some people can’t be bothered with and would like a game which you can just pick up and play straight away, which doesn’t unfortunately happen with this. On the other hand, its still a great game and definately worth a try – football fan or not.