When EA released its first football game almost a decade ago, it captured the minds of all and ten years down the line it still continues to put one of the best sports game on the shelf. Fifa 07 could very well be EA’s best effort at the soccer pitch and you will soon see why.
EA has certainly gone all out on this title and it shows. Fifa 07 has the most licenses than any other sports title on this planet. You get to choose from 510 officially licensed teams, 27 leagues from 20 countries. Most of the teams, I bet you haven’t even knew existed. On the pitch, the game is just addictively fun. But I suggest that you play at higher difficulties as the amateur mode has lamp posts for opponents. At higher difficulty like World Class, the AI proves to be a really good challenge. A new feature in the game is that when the ball is passed in the air, there is a yellow dot to show where the ball will bounce. So one would have to fight to get the ball and it adds realism to the game. Long gone is the time when one could just cross the ball from the corner to the box and head it into the goal. Passing and crossing has been improved greatly. You would have to see whom you’re passing to, to have a fast and accurate pass. This goes for crossing too. The ball physics has been improved with the ball tending to deflect off posts or defenders into the back of the net. And even sometimes many of my players have collided with the opponent while trying to get the ball. This makes the game feel so real. The game feels more of a simulation than the arcade feel that the previous versions felt like.
There are issues with the goalkeeper AI though, as he tends to dive in the wrong direction or
stay at the line when the ball is meters away from reach. But sometimes the keeper tends to be a challenge with a spectacular save after saves. You would have to do a fake in order to beat him at times. In some one-on-one cases you tend to completely miss the target even when there is no pressure from the defense. But this bug happens rarely and it won’t spoil the fun. Even the trick stick has been worked on with signature moves for stars like Ronaldinho and many more. To get past a defender effectively you would really have to make use of the trick stick unless you are playing in amateur mode.
The game features numerous tournaments and challenges to complete. The excellent Manager Mode with its huge transfer lists, scouting, staff management, player development and real newspapers from around the world will keep you interested for a long time to come.
Graphics wise, the players look good but have some rough edges. The stadiums look fabulous and the cut scenes are a treat to watch. There are many recognizable faces of many stars and it feels great to play as them. The commentary is top notch and the crowds with their team specific chants will make you turn the volume up.
Online playability is just too good. Fifa 07 has newly included the Interactive Leagues in which
you get to play your favorite team whenever they play in real life. For example, say you’re a Chelsea fan. Whenever Chelsea plays a match for real, you play the match online and the scores are tallied to see which team is the overall winner. This keeps the game replay value up.
Fifa 07 has definitely come close to become a real soccer game save for its buggy AI. The game with its numerous teams, excellent Manager Mode, good online playability will make any person happy for weeks if not months. Has EA made the best sports title yet? You bet they have!