FIFA 07 Xbox 360 Review
The 2007 version of FIFA is a very different game on the Xbox 360 from its PS2, Xbox and GameCube counterparts. Apart from being another football game there’s little to call the same about the two, which is delightful considering that Pro Evolution Soccer 6 was such a lazy next-gen port.
What isn’t so delightful is that the game is lacking content when compared to other console versions. A paltry amount of leagues (the LFP Primera of Spain, the Ligue 1 Orange of France, the Mexico Primera, and Italy’s Serie A are included) means a pitiful amount of teams, and if you fancy playing as a club from any English league other than the premiership then you’ll be disappointed as the cream of English football are the only available teams. The Manager, Challenge and Lounge modes may be intact, although cups and basic tournaments cannot be even setup by players, which is an inexcusable omission. For £49.99 we would expect more for our cash, as when compared to the other games that bare the same name, it‘s actually a stripped down version.
The differences from other versions are more than the game itself as the audio department is markedly different. Martin Tyler and Andy Gray are the men on the commentary microphones, but it just doesn’t seem to be as accurate and spirited as Clive Tyldesley’s play-by-play, it’s still pretty decent stuff though and boasts some definite standout lines (individual dialogue for certain players is a nice touch for instance). The crowd are meanwhile somewhat muted in comparison to other versions which is disappointing given that brilliant progress had been made with their aural reactions on PS2, Xbox and GameCube.
We’ve wrote some pretty negative paragraphs thus far, but when it comes to the football (obviously the most important aspect for any player, or at least it should be) itself FIFA 07 on the 360 is another triumph. The amount of effort that has gone into this next generation iteration is quite remarkable, and when the players are out on the pitch and doing their thing, those who have already played the earlier released console versions will be hit by the changes straight away, so much so that the omissions can almost be fully forgiven.
Animations were already good, but now players power their way down the pitch with a purpose, knocking opposition players off the ball with their flighty momentum and extending out their legs during foot-in-tackles. The physics are once again stunning , although we have yet to see a handball offence, as the rule has seemingly been entirely removed, this is disappointing as the ball physics did an amazing job at emulating one of the real life laws of football on other versions. But when all is said and done, it all looks so good that it soon begins to make next-gen Pro Evo look a little dated and in definite need of a revamp.
The game may have an online mode, but if you want interactive leagues or even mini tournaments then there’s versions out there that will better cater for you. It may be a basic online mode when compared to other versions (there is a standout 4 vs 4 option though), although we are pleased to say that it’s one that is pretty much free from lag and connection issues.
FIFA 07 may be an entirely different game from its excellent counterparts on the less powerful machines (and is lacking in certain areas when compared), although that hasn’t stopped another EA team in bringing in the goods and making another wonderful game of football, whilst assuring that it’s truly a next-gen virtual recreation of the sport.