FIFA 07 Hands-On

We pit Real Madrid against Barcelona in the Xbox 360 version of FIFA 07.

by

LEIPZIG, Germany--Earlier today, during a meeting with Electronic Arts at the 2006 Games Convention in Leipzig, we were invited behind closed doors to be among the first people to get our hands on the Xbox 360 version of FIFA 07. Purportedly in development for more than two years at this point, FIFA 07 is an all-new soccer game developed from the ground up to represent much more than a graphical upgrade in the long-running series. We were able to play only a single match of Real Madrid versus Barcelona on this occasion, but we're pleased to report that we enjoyed all 90 in-game minutes of it.

Before jumping into the game proper, we were given a few minutes to go one-on-one with a goalkeeper in the "front-end arena" screen that appears whenever a load is required. The controls felt quite familiar for the most part, but some significant changes have been made that promise to make this game the most realistic FIFA to date. The biggest improvement is undoubtedly that the ball now has its own physics and that these are no longer affected by the ball being needed for a player animation. We're not sure if it was the chicken or the egg that came first, but we also noticed that players were much more prone to losing the ball than in previous games, and that even when players stood still, the ball could often be seen slowly rolling away from them.

The ball physics were even more noticeable when we started to experiment with the right analog stick, which in the new-and-improved control scheme is used to knock the ball away from your player in any direction. We really only used this new control to perform quick turns during our short time with the game, but we were told that with practice, it can be used to perform "authentic" nutmegs and run-arounds on opposing players. Your success with moves like these will still vary according to the skills of the player that you're controlling, of course, and in FIFA 07, you'll find that the 50-plus attributes for each player include behavior traits, as well as numbers relating to physical prowess and basic skills.

When the game got underway inside the instantly recognizable Neu Camp stadium, one of the first things that struck us was just how fluid the players' animations were. In previous versions of FIFA, player animations--no matter how lengthy--have had to play out once they were started, regardless of what other players or the ball was doing. In FIFA 07, animations can be interrupted at anytime and seem to blend seamlessly with whatever the match has in store for the player next. We also noticed that fatigue appears to play a larger part in the game now; players seem to tire quite quickly if you use your sprint button excessively. When we asked the EA Canada representative about this, he said that the new fatigue system has had a quite realistic effect on the game's scorelines, since more goals are often scored in the second half of the match when players are tired.

At the end of the match, we were shown FIFA 07's new man-of-the-match feature, which appeared to take quite a few variables into account--on the same kind of scope that you'd expect from a soccer management game--to determine a winner. We were also given a quick look at one of the game's many management screens, which, in this case, let us view all the runs made by a player during a match on an overhead view of the field and see how many of them were successful at a glance.

About the only disappointment we experienced in our FIFA 07 session was the confirmation that the Xbox 360 game will not feature the online Interactive League mode that looks so promising in the other versions of the game. However, the Xbox 360 version will have some online tricks of its own, including an option to display real-life soccer news along the bottom of the screen as it happens, courtesy of ESPNsoccernet.

We would have liked to spend a lot more time with FIFA 07 at the Games Convention, but it simply wasn't possible on this occasion. We hope to get some more time in with the game in the not-too-distant future, and we look forward to telling you all about it when we do.

Discussion

40 comments
coolman_2006
coolman_2006

This will be the best soccer game ever! I have pre ordered it and am getting it today

VolcanicDemon
VolcanicDemon

this game will be like every other fifa, i would still prefer pes 1 to fifa 06 and i probably will prefer it to 07 aswell. all as fifa has over pes are the lecensed teams and players but pes is progressing so EA better watch out because pes 6 is gonna rock!!!!

j2dlyc
j2dlyc

Fifa 07 looks really good. the othe fifa games have been a let down but i reckon ths one will be better than pes6. Cant wait.

Silly_Monkee
Silly_Monkee

buzzguy "Why does the 360 keep getting less features than the prev. generation of consoles? They really have got to do something about that! " Exactly... shouldn't we be getting more features, not less??

TVR_Fan
TVR_Fan

Fifa 07 will reclaim Fifa it's crown as the footy game, which has the best gameplay.

jcloverboy
jcloverboy

Finally some club teams on Xbox 360 - we've been ripped off with the last two 360 FIFA titles (although the World Cup game was decent). But that Road To The World Cup game was horrible.

AndreSiqueira
AndreSiqueira

It seems that this time, FIFA may be able to do a face to face with Proevolution soccer, which is the undoubtely, the most realistic soccer game ever.. I hope they can do an excellent job this time.. or, the konami"s soccer get the FIFA license.. See ya

buzzguy
buzzguy

Why does the 360 keep getting less features than the prev. generation of consoles? They really have got to do something about that!

frei_11
frei_11

looks like it'll be worth a rental to keep me busy until i get my hands on winning eleven

sheriff2004
sheriff2004

And how did the match ended????? That's the really important thing! :-D Sheriff

ov3rdance
ov3rdance

don't feel sorry for me for buying fifa, i enjoy it. 07 will be good too. i'm pretty sure.

mike7770
mike7770

Fifa sucks Pro evo is a lot better

DanielBoss
DanielBoss

-----+----- You're all Complaining about FIFA WC loool, usually everybody knows that they don't change the gameplay, they just add some new stuff like stadium, moves and boots....nobody that knows FIFA will buy an WC game unless is rich. FIFA changes every year, but not in the world cup. Can't wait! 30 SEPTEMBER!!

afro2005
afro2005

u poeple don't know much about konami i do cuz this year it will suck till it makes fifa the best soccer gameplay in the world ever

Osinocavalli
Osinocavalli

Dis is very unusaual with FIFA 07 no freakin video well who cares it suck anyway like the rest of FIFA game EA are sick they just makin same game over and over again RTWC and FIFA WC2006 ....What was the difference in those games, minus the stadiums? They're selling two replica games with replica engines and replica plays, moves, controls at a total cost of £100 RRP. EA will rip you off without batting an eyelid I just feel sorry for people who are getting FIFA 07 because they will be getting half of what they pay for, whereas on pro evo I will be getting full game of what i paid for

prostar343
prostar343

Arsenal Baby!!! Can't wait for this game to come out.

borcic0
borcic0

Man i hoope that this game has more to do, like in fifa world cup they had alot of cool dekes but they missed out some crazy stuff that may actually happen in soccer like a bicycle kick or like curving the ball

Blitz1130
Blitz1130

Man i HOpe that they delay it to add the online league stuff or else the excucivity was for nothing

Blitz1130
Blitz1130

Man i HOpe that they delay it to add the online league stuff or else the excucivity was for nothing

Staticbb
Staticbb

This game most likely won't surpass pro evo (except to those de dedeee reviewers at Gametrailers.com). However the new engine will greatly close that horrific gap thats been between the two games. They are hella late with the changes. Hopefully that delay will prove to make a much better game than we expect.

yung-c
yung-c

this game has good really good graphics but whats the diffrence from 06

p3cador
p3cador

i want to play with my barcelonaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa now

fordies
fordies

I cant wait to compare this with the new Pro Evo but both looks like they are going in the right direction next gen looks like its gonna be awesome for football fans.

dave290231
dave290231

A definate must buy. Especially with Pro Evo coming out in November 2007.

tgawn
tgawn

FIFA is the bomb!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GFofgaming
GFofgaming

Could this turn the tide?? I can honestly say NO!. ICause PRO EVO is way ahead of FIFA in realism. EA has to take major major leaps to get there, just not by getting an engine can solve problems, although i would not count them out thats for sure.

DaPlayasPlaya
DaPlayasPlaya

It's about time the FIFA series gave PRO EVO some real competition

wenbin09
wenbin09

Ooh my god.. it sounds so real football and Live news from real-life soccer? gosh.. fantastic!!!

Lewos1
Lewos1

I've always been a pro evo man...could this turn the tide? looks promising....

dexdi1
dexdi1

it is a must buy

comthitnuong
comthitnuong

ive never been a fan of fifa..but i might try it out