Football games have to keep coming out every year to keep up with the changes in team players and to include the hot new talent - and retire the dinosaurs. The 2005 instalment of This is Football does exactly that: update you to the current state of play, and tease you with a few new features. But have they done enough to tempt you aware from FIFA or other games on the market?
The biggest and best feature for 2005 is the Eyetoy integration - at last, after raving about the Eyetoy way back when, someone has put it to good use. You can use the camera to digitize your face and add it into the game. Sounds like a gimmick, but it’s actually very impressive. You choose a shot of your face from the front and the side, highlight some key points on the image, sit back for a few minutes, and there you are staring out from the TV. It’s so good that we hope the Eyetoy: Cameo technology migrates to lots of other games.
Aside from that, the biggest change in the game is the online network play, so you don’t have to get your mates over - you can stay at home and play it naked with them over your broadband collection. Apart from that, it’s basically the same game, and as far as we could tell, the gameplay was pretty much as it was before, except this time, I was playing with myself, as it were.
The graphics are good, though of course that’s a given nowadays. We noted lots of licensed placements to give it that official feel. Sound-wise, it also delivers a hefty commentary and effects, although as with all these things, the commentary does bore after a while. The replays also have the feel of Sky Sports coverage, which is no bad thing, but you don’t need to see a replay of each goal your opponent scores against you.
This again is a game for the fans of console football, as the controls just aren’t as fun as that arcade football game I found in Serre Chevalier in 1991. Eyetoy: Cameo gives this a real edge - previously you could make a custom face, but this really is you, in 3D, and fully animated.
TIF2005 is another good football game, but not much different from before, but then that is recognised in the £20 price tag. The network play and customization are going to make this fly - hopefully Santa can cope with the demand.