By Philip Dunkley
As I have stated before, I am a huge FIFA fan, with many reasons sitting around this statement, but I get so much pleasure out of these games that it’s actually quite frightening. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I’m a bit of a football nut, down to the point that have my favourite team tattooed on my body not once, but twice.
I am leaving the name of this team out ([Ed]*cough* Arsenal *cough*), as I’m just not in the mood for an online bashing session.
Generally, when these midyear releases are published, I don’t get over excited, as it’s normally a rehash of the previous engine, just with less options and less teams to play with. This year seems a little different though, as the gameplay in Euro 2008 is actually quite good, and the EA studio has actually done quite a good job of releasing a title that seems a little more polished that FIFA 08, and has a few new tricks up its sleeve.
The first of these tricks is this. It’s definitely faster gameplay, something I actually wanted when I first played FIFA08. It’s built on the same engine, but it seems to be all round a little faster. It has also added a few extra mechanics to the game. One of these mechanics is the ability to celebrate in the way you see fit after scoring a goal, and even got me quite excited once or twice after banging in the winning goal.
Another new mechanic, or rather Gameplay mode, is â€œCaptain Your Countryâ€. This mode allows the player to play through the entire qualifying campaign as one player, not just one match like in the â€œBe A Proâ€ mode. You will fight it out as an unknown player, against three other candidates, be it AI or live human players, and be rated on your performance in each match, and finally the one with the best overall performance, will be handed the captains armband to lead his country to glory in the finals.
The teams in this version of the game seem a little more intelligent than in previous versions of the games, so don’t expect any walkovers during any phase of the competition, and this is about as accurate as it can get after following this year’s competition live on telly.
From a graphics point of view, Euro 2008 looks particularly good, with a noticeable improvement in animations and some character models. Yet again there are some characters that look nothing like their real life counterparts. The Stadiums are accurately re-created and the crowds look very good as well.
From the audio side of things, as always, EA captures the atmosphere of the stadiums perfectly, and this is one of the reasons I like EA’s football games, just pumping up the volume in surround is a pleasure all by itself.
From a multiplayer point of view, EA has added a few extra features here. You will still get the standard online modes, as well as a new larger scale competition that pits all nations in the Euro competition against each other until the end of the tournament. They are also rewarding the best performers in this competition. It’s actually quite a nice idea, imagine Trackmania nations, and you get the same idea.
In conclusion, I don’t really have too many gripes with this version except one thing. Why on earth does the player have to pay the full price of the game, when it’s actually a watered down version of the full FIFA game, especially when there are a whole load less license fees to pay to the leagues. I think that this should be priced a little lower than the full game, as it is still built off the same engine and franchise.
If you are into your football, you know you’ve got to buy this, and it will, as usual bring many hours of fun.
Gameplay: 9/10 (Fast Paced and Fun)
Presentation: 8/10 (Looks good)
Sound: 9/10 (Fantastic)
Value: 7/10 (A little pricey for what’s effectively a standalone expansion pack)
Overall: 8.5/10 (A great football game)
Last Updated: June 26, 2008