A new FIFA title has traditionally been a bit like the lead up to and immediate aftermath of your birthday. All that anticipation is replaced by a strangely empty feeling, a sense of disappointment and a ridiculously heavy hangover. Well, two out of three then…
That's until last year’s FIFA release. Finally EA came within a goalpost’s width of beating the Pro Evolution Soccer series, leading many to believe Konami's champ would be ko'ed this time round.
So what’s new in this 2007 version? A few choice updates and the usual engine tweakage it seems. Can it be EA's year?
Well, the early signs, as ever, are good. The same gorgeous opening sequences and stylised menu structure make their usual appearance. But from a multi-billion dollar company like EA, what else should we be expecting eh?
Another big plus is it all feels a little slicker, less "controlled" and simply more like a real game of footie than last year’s model.
All the teams and official kits are present too, plus the squads are bang up to date. In fact, for those of you who’re as bothered by the team strip as the gameplay, FIFA 07 is the only choice.
We, however, need a little more substance for our 40 notes. And we’re sorry to say that when it comes to the crunch, FIFA does a Lampard.
The commentary is top notch, the stadium atmosphere is bang on and the players – with a few exceptions where it seems they’ve applied too much fake tan – look the part. It just feels superficial somehow.
Shooting is the same oddly feeling beast it’s always been. Shots outside the box behave bizarrely, like Beckham on one of the countless bad days he's having right now. It just looks and feels, well, wrong.
The keepers are a bunch of blouses as well. Think Morecambe Town under 16’s second choice keeper who’s been out for months with a severe cold. OK, perhaps we’re overcooking it a little, but the whole job lot of them are a bunch of gaffe prone jessies, particularly when you set the game on "easy" level.
So it’s close but no cigar. Again. You wonder what EA’s got to do to finally trounce Pro Evo. With Konami putting the finishing touches to version 6 ahead of its end of October launch, we know what our hard earned is going to be spent on.