previews\ Feb 8, 2004 at 7:00 pm

World Soccer Winning Eleven 7 - PS2 - Preview

The shot is deflected to the outside, picked up by a striker and sent back into the middle of the field. Another striker is waiting, but just before the ball is crossed, the defenders smartly take a couple of steps upfield, leaving the striker alone between them and the keeper. The whistle blows and the offside rule results in a free kick.


A corner kick sails in short, hopping as it hits, just inside the six-yard box. A striker moves into position and tries to play it off the body, but the ball takes an errant bounce, striking the body to the outside. The whistle blows and it is ruled a hand ball.


Konami is gearing up for the release of World Soccer Winning Eleven 7 International, a title for the PlayStation2, and was fortunate enough to get a copy for preview purposes. Get ready, soccer fans, for the game that will be the standard for all other soccer titles. Not only has this title managed to capture the rules better than any other title to date, but the actual player models, from headers to traps to through passes and run-ons is exceptionally realized.


As far as the features package is concerned, this title has 100 teams representing nations from around the world, and 21 venues to play in. The game’s weather features are solid and if the game is played in a rain storm, you can expect to see water splashing, not only from the player’s feet, but from the ball as well as it bounces leadenly across the playing surface.


The game’s AI is also exceptional. With several difficulty modes, gamers can find the right mix – whether from a team that stands there and let’s you race through them, or an incredibly skilled team that will challenge even the more ardent sports fan.


The game has several ways to play: Match Mode (which is a quick exhibition game), League Mode, Cup Mode, Master League Mode, and Training Mode. You can edit line-ups, and change formations.


The game does have a solid options package, including camera options, and uniform selections (though the latter is rather elementary, as one can imagine).


Graphically, Winning Eleven 7 International is stunning. While some of the player models may not look exactly like some of the international sport stars, the animation is simply amazing. From bicycle kicks on hot crosses, to diving saves, this is a game that thoroughly captures the athleticism of the sport.


David Beckham sends a deep cross on a corner, hitting the far corner of the six. A teammate waits, times the jump and sends a scorching header into the low corner of the goal mouth. The player is propelled backwards from the effort, but is rewarded with the ball squeezing under the hands of the diving keeper and finding the net.


The game’s physics are also well realized with the ball dynamics.


Commentary is provided by Peter Brackley and Trevor Brooking, and these gentlemen are superb.


This is the total package. Winning Eleven 7 International is the best soccer game on the market, capturing the excitement of the sport and doing a tremendous job of realizing the sheer stunning prowess of the athletes who play this game at its uppermost level.

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