FIFA 07 Review
FIFA 07 is huge. Itís hard to imagine another sports game out there that comes packed with over 500 licensed teams Ė and no, thatís not a typo. The game also features nearly thirty leagues from around the world, so if youíre a displaced soccer, I mean football, fan then odds are youíll find your favorite league represented in the game. Think of how long it would take you to lead a team through a season in each of the leagues Ė thatís a lot of gameplay there. Of course the issue is not how much gameplay there is, but whether or not itís any good.
FIFA 07ís gameplay straddles the line between arcade and sim, but with a tendency more towards the sim side. What this means is that you wonít be playing your way through one 12-9 shootout after another, but the gameplay has a faster feel to it than that of real soccer matches. Thereís not as much midfield play as youíd see in a live match, with the midfield area serving more as a place to scramble for the ball with the winner earning the privilege to push the ball forward into the opponentís goal area. Once you get possession of the ball itís fairly easy to push it up the field as the gameís passing system works really well. Longer passes are aided by an on-field marker that lets you know where the ball will land. This is a big help in getting your man to the ball or fighting to steal the pass on defense.
So far it sounds like the game would be conducive to high scoring games, but thatís not really the case here. The first reason is that the AI plays a lot tighter defense once you get inside his penalty area, especially at the higher difficulty levels. The other reason is that the aiming system doesnít seem to work that well. Maybe itís a bit difficult to use or maybe it has a few issues; itís hard to say but the net result is that itís not always easy to put your shot where you want it.
FIFA 07 adds excitement to the on-field gameplay through the trick system thatís activated with the right analog stick. The system lets you unleash a variety of fancy footwork moves that will help give you an extra step on the defender, and superstars even come with their own signature moves. You wonít be able to string them together and combo your way down the field, but they are a cool feature that can give you that one extra step you need at a critical moment in a match.
In addition to single matches and tournament play, the game comes with one of the deepest franchise modes youíll find in any sports game. Youíll need to do everything from scouting and developing players to locking down sponsors and setting ticket prices. This Manager Mode is a dream come true for anyone whoís ever thought that they could do a better job of managing their favorite team than the teamís staff. There is also support for online play, the centerpiece of which is the Interactive League. Pick your favorite club and play the same matches as their real-life ones. The results of your games and the results from everyone else who picked the same team are all tallied together to determine how well the club does in the Interactive League. Itís a novel way to run an online league and support your favorite club.
FIFA 07 is an enjoyable game and will appeal to the majority of soccer fans out there. Those on the ends of the spectrum who are looking for a hardcore sim or a simple high-scoring soccer game may be disappointed, but everyone else in between will have a good time with the game.
In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 85%. FIFA 07 earns its spot in the premiere league.