FIFA 07 – PS2 – Review

FIFA World
Cup 2006 did not come with the best premise. The game had "rehash" written all
over it, and turned out to be exactly as it appeared. Though I rarely complain
about frequent game releases, when you’ve got less than six months in between
FIFA updates, you can’t help but question their validity.

FIFA 07 was
the game that would change that. It’d make us forget all about the hype and
hoopla by delivering exactly what we wanted: an overhauled game engine. Said
to have been

in development for two years
, the new engine would "allow players to
recognize their favorite athletes by the way they move."


Unfortunately, the new engine turned out to be an exclusive for Xbox 360.

What would
the current generation of consoles have to look forward to? EA was quiet on
details, pointing to new moves and an interactive online league as series

The verdict:
FIFA 07 is another change, but you’re not going to notice a massive
difference the second you start playing. The ball moves more naturally, and
players’ reactions are their most realistic yet. Early on you’ll find that
it’s easier to lose control of the ball, which is part of the game’s
dedication to realism. Topspin and backspin may now be applied. Laces, Chip,
and Finesse shots add some much-needed variety, while the secondary defense
function lets you call in a second defender to help mark an attacking player.

options, coupled with various passing concerns (is your player under pressure?
Is he moving or standing still? Which does he excel at – short or long passes?
Etc.), are sure to keep FIFA loyalists happy.


The new
Interactive Leagues are also destined to appeal to that crowd. Choose from the
F.A. Premier League, Mexican 1st Division, Bundesliga, or the French League. I
wouldn’t say it’s any more interactive than the rest of the game (aren’t all
video games supposed to be "interactive?"), the difference here is that you’re
supposed to play the game whenever the real players play. Winning does not
affect the course of a real game (but wouldn’t that be incredible!?), but it
does make your club look good in the online standings. For those who care –
awesome. If Live Anywhere was up and running, people would go crazy with the
Xbox 360 version.

For the more
casual soccer fan like myself, this is just another feature. It’s a step in a
different direction that could eventually lead to innovation. And it’s another
way to get more out of the game, but I don’t need an excuse to play it when I
already want to.

doesn’t look like a game that uses an engine that took two years to develop,
but that’s only because we’re used to thinking that "new engine" means "new
visuals." The developers have run out of power on the current generation.
Their primary goal for FIFA 07 was gameplay improvement, not visual

This is one
of the few EA sports games that has yet to incorporate a Dynasty Mode. FIFA’s
Manager Mode is likely the reason. It’s comparable to NHL 07’s Dynasty Mode in
nearly every way that counts, and has a few unique elements that the other
titles have yet to tackle.


New to this
mode is the Visual Sim, a deeper (but still automated) version of the quick
sim function. Quick sim is still available – select it and the game takes
over. Seconds later the duty is done. If your stats are high and your players
have proven themselves in previous games (while under your control), chances
are the outcome will be favorable. If you jumped in too soon, however, you’re
not likely to be happy with the results.

Whereas the
quick sim does everything automatically without any immediate feedback
explaining how the game progressed, Visual Sim clearly shows what happened and
when. Text commentary lists every detail. You may speed up or slow down the
action, and may intervene at any time by pressing X.

While not as
visually detailed as I had hoped (all text, no graphics), the Visual Sim is an
effective way to cut back on the plethora of matches you’ll have to play. Just
remember not to start simulating games until your players have reached a high
enough status.


isn’t groundbreaking. It won’t take the world by storm, at least not on
PlayStation 2. I’ve yet to get my hands on the 360 version but hope it will
prove to be the revolutionary title a new engine promises to create. Don’t
have a 360, the only next-gen platform the series is coming to this year? Then
you’re stuck with the current-gen iterations. Because it’s a rehash, I can’t
tell you to rush out and buy it, regardless of the new functions and
Interactive Leagues. In spite of that, I can’t tell you not to buy it either.
FIFA 07 is the third FIFA game released this year (Street 2 and World Cup 2006
are the others), and it’s unquestionably the best of the bunch.

Scoring Details

for FIFA 07

Gameplay: 8.2
The refined
controls and new ball mechanics set FIFA 07 apart from its predecessors. The
game is loads of fun to play, just as it was last year. Those who follow the
sport closely will love what EA has done with the physics and physical detail
of the ball and player movement. Visual Sim is a nice edition, and if you’re
the type of gamer who must insist that your players are the best, you
won’t be able to get enough of the new Interactive Leagues.

Graphics: 7.9
attractive addition to the FIFA series. As with FIFA World Cup 2006 (and
before it, FIFA 06), FIFA 07 has some of the best cinematic, animation,
lighting, and shadow effects in the genre. Not just among soccer games, but
among all sports titles. Next to Madden, this is the best-looking sports game
for PS2.

Sound: 6.9
A continuation of
FIFA World Cup 2006, FIFA 07’s soundtrack is almost entirely European. Keane
provides a notable track, and there are a few others that might float your
boat. But for the most part, if you don’t have the urge to listen to this
stuff on the radio, you won’t want to hear it in the game either.

Difficulty: Easy/Medium
More challenges
await, but is it truly something new – or more of the same? Despite various
tweaks (more than in most 07 sports titles, but still not a phenomenal
amount), FIFA 07 will not be a match for anyone who’s mastered last year’s
game. It won’t take you long to learn the new moves, nor will it take much
time to grasp the differences in ball control.

Concept: 6.9
FIFA 07? More
like reiteration 07. New control additions and Interactive Leagues are
a great start. However, it seems that for the current generation, the content
of last year’s game is as far as the series can go. FIFA on PlayStation 2 has
turned into Star Wars, a movie that George Lucas will never stop tweaking. But
unless he grabs new actors, a new script, and designs entirely new (perhaps
entirely digital) sets, it’s still the same movie. I love it, but do I really
need to own another version of the original trilogy? Aren’t the three I own
(theatrical cut on VHS, special edition on VHS, special edition on DVD)

That’s what
you get with the PS2 versions of FIFA. That’s what we got in the summer with
World Cup. That’s what we got last year with FIFA 06.

When it
comes to sports games, I will not miss this generation. I hope to see more
innovation, more variety, and more true sequels with the next batch of

Multiplayer: 8.0
On par with FIFA
06 and FIFA World Cup 2006. The changed and updated player mechanics will have
an impact on your overall experience, but that hasn’t caused an increase (or
decrease) in the amount of enjoyment gained from playing with others.

Overall: 8.0
FIFA 07 has got
the looks, gameplay, and features of a masterpiece – and it would be such if
the majority of its content hadn’t already been introduced. Those who are
unsure of this update are encouraged to rent it first.