Pure Football was announced way back when by Ubisoft and at the time of it’s announcement we were all hoping for a top quality, cutting edge football game that would take us away from the standard gentlemanly sport that is the FIFA series and into a harder, grittier experience.
So did the game meet my expectations or was it yet another poor attempt to cash in on the sporting market?
I’ll keep this short as the game itself isn’t what you would classify as deep, you start off playing a 5 v 5 game on a rooftop in Cape Town which instantly gives it points for being set in South Africa.
However you quickly notice the surrounding design is very African, in the way that Americans expect all places in Africa to have tribal masks adorning the walls and drums beating. This pretty much sums up the game really as it looks great on the surface but there isn’t any depth to the title.
When you have the ball you have arrows surrounding your player and if you point the stick in that direction and click pass the ball is pretty much guaranteed to make it as long as no one is in the way.
If the arrow turns blue it means you can cross it over in the air, holding X brings up a power meter and if you let go of X while the power is in the white your cross will go where it was planned and your Pure meter gets a little extra boost.
When you can shoot the arrows display this and the same power meter pops upâ€¦ once the Pure meter is full then you get an extra bonus where no matter what you do your shot will be perfect and on target.
Apparently you can do skill shots but honestly I never noticed the difference and the only reason I kept doing them was to ensure I received all the experience points I required to rank up.
You get experience points for skill shots, winning, not conceding goals or penalties and a variety of other ideas. You can then use these experience points to upgrade your captain, which is you.
You start off with low level abilities which is meant to mean your crosses sometimes miss and your shots are off target more often but again I hardly noticed this. Your fellow players are also pretty useless in the beginning and you can unlock better players by accomplishing certain tasks in the game such as completing consecutive successful passes or scoring with 3 or more players in a match.
You can then transfer these players into your team to help you take over Europe. There are around 7 different locations with multiple matches in each location that need to be played to unlock the next location.
The gameplay is simple, fast and predictable but at the same time surprisingly quite enjoyable.
My favourite innovation in Pure Football is the penalty meter, whenever you commit a foul the penalty meter increments depending on the severity of the foul, once that meter hits the top an instant penalty is awarded. So if the opponent is clear on goal and is obviously going to score you can take him down from behind, grab the ball and take it upfield without any stoppage in play. It will fill easily half your penalty meter but it was worth itâ€¦ right?
The downside is that a few minutes later you may shoulder barge someone in their goal mouth and receive a penalty against you as that barge just tipped you over the edge, it’s a nice idea and very well implemented. I want to see this used more over time.
Would I classify Pure Football as a good game? No, it’s not technically very well put together with noticeable lag on the controls, simple gameplay and graphical glitches abound.
But what I would say is that I thoroughly enjoyed playing through it and it is one of those titles I will happily stick back in every now and then when I feel like playing a sports title and feel like a hero at the same time.
For Fans of: Light hearted sports games and being a hero
Scoring (not an average)
It’s good fun and the controls are simple enough for the casual sports fan out there but it is repetitive so be warned.
The graphics are fine but by no means refined and the weird glitching in the menu’s should really have been sorted out before it shipped.
I enjoyed it, it’s very Hollywoody and makes you feel like an action here while playing which is unique.
If you are being charged for price for this one, R500+ then I can’t recommend it as there are far better titles out there. However at R346 it’s well worth it if you are a fan of sports titles.
For me the most important part about gaming is to have fun, if you are looking for a serious football title then this isn’t what you want, but I enjoyed playing this game more than some of the better quality titles out there so that’s got to count for something?
[Reviewed on an Xbox 360]
Last Updated: August 6, 2010