While the bickering over which soccer sim is king – Pro Evolution or FIFA – will rage on internet forums for years to come, both titles have evolved to a point where it’s becoming increasingly difficult to tell them apart. But even though Pro Evo continues to hold a special place in the hearts of hardcore gamers, the more accessible FIFA is rapidly closing the gap on its hallowed rival.
A vast improvement on the embarrassing rehash that was FIFA World Cup 2006, FIFA 07 brings the experience of playing a videogame closer to the real sport than ever before; while previous FIFAs were undermined by lazy ball physics that only gave players a basic sense of control, the balls now react in complex, natural ways when struck, making the matches feel more authentic and requiring increased skill on the gamepad as you rocket down the pitch.
FIFA’s frustrating sweet spots – from where a quick poke was sure to produce a goal – have also been removed, and the refinement of team ‘chemistry’
means that defenders work harder than ever to close down shots, and each of the 500-plus teams work together in the same way as they would during a real-life match.
Sadly, it’s still too easy to score from long range and the goalies tend to make too many mistakes, but FIFA 07 is still a fun and straightforward simulation that’s the ideal alternative for anyone reluctant to master Pro Evo’s deeper, more complex set-up.
Reviewed by David McComb