GC '07: FIFA 08 Hands-On

Having already played the PlayStation 2 version a couple of weeks ago, we took the chance at Leipzig to play the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of FIFA 08 for the first time.

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LEIPZIG, Germany--Given Leipzig's prominent European agenda, it's only fitting that two of the biggest games on show should be football games. Mere hours into the show's opening, the Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 and FIFA 08 demo areas were easily the best attended of the floor. Even ahead of the show's main opening to the public, we still had to wait and fight for a go ourselves. Luckily though, we were able to put both games to the test on a number of consoles, with EA's totally revamped effort playable on the Xbox 360 and--for the first time-- the PlayStation 3.

It's pretty much a given that EA's FIFA series is so polished you can nearly see your face in it. However, this year, the incidental details are almost so many that they become throwaway. For example, take the incredibly detailed cloth deformation on the players as they move: This is something that really only becomes apparent at the end of a match as you see them running off the pitch. The training mode that entertains while the game is loading also remains in the game this year, as do the mountains of official players, kits, and stadiums. The player likenesses are better than ever, but this time, the roster has been updated to include 30 worldwide leagues, 515 teams, and 15,000 players.

The big change for FIFA in terms of gameplay is the way that the artificial intelligence players adapt to what's going on in the game. Instead of depending on the script-based logic of before, each of the 21 computer-controlled players makes over 1,000 decisions per second depending on what's happening around them. That's over 35 times more CPU power than was used in FIFAs on previous-generation hardware. EA Sports says that the system is so sophisticated that it can even adapt to your style of play. So whether you play a direct passing game or a flashier, more continental approach, your players should be able to move accordingly.

But other technological achievements have been made in the latest FIFA aside from the AI. First of all, the game runs in 60 frames per second on both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, an issue which caused quite a controversy with EA Sports' recent Madden release. Secondly, 10 people will be able to play against each other online for the first time, and they'll either be able to control a specific man of their choice or swap between players on the fly. The developer says that this is the start of a plan to have full 20-player support by the time FIFA 2010 comes around because it's a feature that fans have been demanding for some time.

In the meantime, FIFA addicts will have to console themselves with the wealth of new advanced moves that can be pulled off with the L2 or left trigger button. The modifier, which is called pace control, allows players to slow down then pull off a number of fakes and shimmies, while more famous players will also pull off signature moves. EA Sports is remaining quiet about many of these moves so that players can discover them for themselves, but we did manage to run riot with Ronaldinho in the training mode. Arguably one of the most gifted players in the real-life world, the Brazilian was able to pull off some impressive moves with a combination of fairly simple button presses. On our first try, we were able to flick the ball over our shoulder and volley it into the goal. Just to taunt the goalkeeper, we also threw in a quick bout of keep-up. Players who manage to perform some spectacular goals in this way will find that they can save the replays and upload up to five online to show their friends or just humiliate their opponents.

There's no doubt plenty more to be seen of FIFA 08 before its UK release in September (October in the US), so keep an eye on GameSpot for more on the game in the run-up to release.

Discussion

38 comments
dirty55409
dirty55409

I can't believe people actually like FIFA.... played the new demo excited to see changes. already deleted it :(

FrozenLiquid
FrozenLiquid

First FIFA game I'm getting in ages. Well done EA!

marovan12
marovan12

well if is going to be be firts ins uk cause the sport is biger than the states why not in mexico here they love this game

Carrasco_Johan
Carrasco_Johan

Cant wait but when does it come out in australia?!!!

wenbin09
wenbin09

it always promise to much but failed to deliver.. hopefully we can see something different this time

SaintRasmus
SaintRasmus

Does anyone know have many seasons you can play ? normally its 5 seasons , but i hope for more like in Madden

Jamesla
Jamesla

It will run at 60fps on both consoles it says somewhere on here. Thats mainly because of the uproar from Madden 08!! The tricks are there Latino Prince, check out the videos on other generic video game sites. The branching on the players and the fluidity of the movement looks excellent!

MayIbURpimp
MayIbURpimp

is this one going to run at a 30fps rate to EA for the sony ps3. bastards

vass86
vass86

i can't believe i'm actually thinking about getting a FIFA game. the last one i got was FIFA 98. pro evo has kicked it's arse for so long now but i haven't enjoyed any of the recent ones (pro evo 3 was the last great football game for me)

lxl_keano_lxl
lxl_keano_lxl

sounds great as far as im concerned glad to know their is gonna be alot more leagues and teams FIFA 07 was brill but thier was always something lacking in it hopefully FIFA 08 will fit the bill cant wait to try it out

JJpenguin
JJpenguin

it's probbably realeased here in the uk 1st because it's a bigger sport in europe and because it may well be the biggest in the uk. I bought PES 6 but missed the manager mode from fifa 07...

LatinoPrince
LatinoPrince

if they give us back our tricks, im buyin it 100%

Jamesla
Jamesla

No offence ctzto, but you americans (im assuming your american) get 99% of all other games before us poor guys in the UK!! Let us bask in the glory of getting A game first...ahhh...(thats me basking). As for english leagues in the game: Premiership Championship Division 1 Division 2 Thats it, the main ones really! So we can all do what we really want and take cheltenham to the Premiership and beyond!! lol, only because gloucester will never make it to league football!! Also the inclusion of the irish premiership is a nice add on. God I can't wait!! I have the day booked off for the release!

saquib_h
saquib_h

FIFA started to fight back with FIFA07, but they really had a clear edge over ProEvo from UEFA: tha lat EA's football game! EA catched pace with pro evo styled gameplay and then started on polishing it. I think FIFA08 would be flashier, filled with style and attitude that EA gives to its football games, with the even better gameplay. Although gameplay wise both FIFA08 and ProEvo would be having their own advantages, the extra added graphics, looks, details and presentation would make FIFA win eventually. FIFA games although are the best looking soccer games, but not as good looking as other games on the console - I always feel FIFA games should make more efficient use of GPU so that games look a lot better. By graphics i dont mean when you make a 100% zoon and watch players from 2 feet away - but the graphics should improve so that there is a visible difefrence when you're looking at the game from Broadcast/Tele camera view or a view that is really used mostly whenplaying the game!! I would like to request gamespot to post a lot of screenshots from those angles that are used while playing the game...

ctzto
ctzto

this game is going to be awesome!!! Why is the UK version coming out first. its going to be an unfair advantage for when the online world cup tournament comes. oh well

kalkhaja
kalkhaja

im 16, and ive been playing fifa games since road to world cup 1998 on the super nintendo....cant wait for the next instalment!

BLOODRENCHSHADO
BLOODRENCHSHADO

Good on Ea for hearing our cries of change. Should actually be a good game this

tig1979
tig1979

Anyone know what actual UK leagues we are getting in this one?

Warthog259
Warthog259

dude ive played so many fifas cant wait for this one so many mre moves that players do so many times

schevuan
schevuan

this is going to be the best fifa so far and that new mode is amazing

shadynady
shadynady

UK release in September (October in the US), ????? mean that NTSC release in October to OR it will be regon free PAL Game ????!!!!!!!

Chris-Parker
Chris-Parker

You may be trying to seduce me with your good looks, but can you play with the same fluidity as Pro Evo. Some how, I don't think so!!!! Never the less, it will be interesting to see how all this new AI works! Anyway why does Wayne Rooney look like he's just broke his nose. V Strange! As if he wasn't ugly enough!

Nicktay26
Nicktay26

I still think the face models in Fifa are appalingly bad. I'm a huge football fan from the UK and I find it hard to recognise the players in the screenshots. Have to go purely on resemblances and player numbers sometimes. Think Pro Evo is much better in that sense, even if the overall graphics are better on Fifa. Also think the responsiveness of the players has some way to go before its as good as Pro Evo.

Seifer_Almasy_1
Seifer_Almasy_1

fifa always addin stuff trying to b pro...but why get an a copy something if u can get the original...PES 2008 is the way forward peoples

L15_eric_Wavo
L15_eric_Wavo

this all sounds gud n I cant wait especially da tricks n da way da clothes interact with da players simply another great fifa game worth avin

jcloverboy
jcloverboy

love my FIFA games...can't wait for this one.

ocdog45
ocdog45

gameplay seems intresting. better tehn what was before.

Samfisher_1
Samfisher_1

hopefully the achievements wont suck as bad as they did on 07

bihboy69
bihboy69

sounds amazing !! and it has a-league !!!!! PS: Just wondering, does anybody know of the clothing on the player moves like, virtua tennis 3 etc? if so thats awesome

Freestyle_20
Freestyle_20

yea this is gonna rock comes out earlier in the uk woot

marco12334
marco12334

Finally, Nextgen Fifa gets the full package of leagues, teams and players.

jcmmc
jcmmc

Now thats what next generation gaming is meant to be about, and if its as tantalizing as GS are reporting then i cannot wait till it hits the shelves.