UEFA Euro 2008 Hands-on

We head to EA to have a kick-around with a near-final version of the official game of the UEFA Euro 2008 championships.

52 Comments

EA has at times been accused of milking franchises for every penny it possibly can, and never more so than around the time of the release of its midseason football titles.

With this in mind, we recently headed up to Guildford to see EA and play UEFA Euro 2008 with a certain sense of trepidation. We are pleased to report that while the game is based on the same engine as FIFA 08, rather than just repackaging last year's game with a few new modes, the FIFA gameplay team has worked on addressing the issues in FIFA 08. This makes a game that not only fits with the European Championships but also just plays a better game of football.

The most obvious change, outside of the specific European Championship modes, is the speed of the game. The players look and feel slightly faster, which we were told was a result of player feedback about the speed of FIFA 08. The players' speed has increased 6 percent, apparently, and their acceleration curves have been steepened so that they're faster out of the blocks. Irrespective of the numbers you can feel the marked difference, as it does make the game feel faster and more easily flowing.

There are some other pitch-side changes in standard modes. The AI has been noticeably tweaked for the championship qualification modes in an attempt to give players an incentive to play through the long qualifying campaigns. When playing as England, for example, we found taking on Macedonia as difficult as Steve McClaren did; the AI stuck lots of players behind the ball, who then proceeded to tackle as though their lives depended on it.

The crowd noises have been changed to reflect the atmosphere of matches such as this, too; when playing away in Eastern Europe, we noticed the noise ratcheting up higher and higher as we kept the ball away from the home side and frustrations rose. A couple of goals served to quiet them down, but the initial noise did serve to increase the tension and make getting that all-important result that little bit harder.

The game also has an expanded Be a Pro mode, called Captain Your Country. This lets you play as one player in the team over the course of the qualifying campaign, with the aim being to not only win the championship, but also to end up as the captain of your team by performing at a consistently higher level than your peers.

The game's multiplayer modes have also received a tweak to solve the so-called "Barcelona problem" that has plagued FIFA 08 online. A scoring system has been introduced to rate your performance, and international leagues have been added on based on this new scheme so that players can see how their country of origin stacks up against all the others in terms of sheer FIFA skill. When you first go online with Euro 2008, you are asked to enter the country you want to represent, and all your in-game scores are then tied to that country, no matter which team you play as. When you get down to actually playing some football, if you opt to play as, say, France, and beat the Faroe Islands 5-0 then you're likely to get somewhere in the region of 200 points, but a 1-0 victory the other way around would net you in excess of 2,000, thus encouraging better players to play as weaker teams to rack up higher scores, and keep things interesting for less-experienced players. EA has promised special achievements and in-game prizes on a daily basis alongside the real-life Euro 2008 Championships for those people racking up the highest scores for their respective countries.

UEFA Euro 2008 is released at the end of this week in the UK, so look out for our full review soon.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Avatar image for aass9900
aass9900

how do you itdown load the real squads.only if it had like brazil

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forzaveloce

jokes that this is the only way british people will come close to euros!!! haha forza italia!!

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Luke1113

first of all pes has always been better than fifa till this year, i played on uefa euro 2008 demo and is fantastic, and more realistic than any other football game i hav played, and about the money? everybody needs a profit in life idoits

Avatar image for kosi25
kosi25

khai411 WROTE: ... Wow, there is no need for this game. This is a mini fifa09 release concentrate on fifa 09 please. EA just keeps milking gamers, What next?? Asian cup and a copa america game?? EA SUXX, it's in the money. Well hello DUH!!! What did you expect that they are bunch of volunteers working for sake of the goodness of people? OF COURSE IS ALL ABOUT THE MONEEEEEEEEEEEEEY!!! ...and how to milk us as much they can. thx

Avatar image for khai411
khai411

Wow, there is no need for this game. This is a mini fifa09 release concentrate on fifa 09 please. EA just keeps milking gamers, What next?? Asian cup and a copa america game?? EA SUXX, it's in the money.

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TheGreatGameGod

well i played fifa 08 goalkeepers are very bad but Pes 08 much better and the music was cool 2 I think only 2 tracks of 40 were bad.

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IQT786

i played the demo on ps3 plays well you can see the manager etc ingame like nba 08

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raverrozza

fifa still does nothing for me. while PES 08 was rubbish earlier itterations are still miles better so why upgrade and continue to play PES 6 or for the real ultimate play international superstar soccer:pro evolution soccer 2 on the PS1.

Avatar image for kosi25
kosi25

Well I checked the playstation store but I can't find it there. Do no y?

Avatar image for pleomax1983
pleomax1983

Its very much like fifa 08 apart from the graphics are better and also it seems to play faster. You can download the demo from the playstation store if ya online that is!

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osmifura

Will it be kinda like fifa 08? Im thinking so...

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kosi25

Is Kosovo included in this release? And also does anyone know if there is a euro 2008 demo for PS3?

Avatar image for gamer-kstar
gamer-kstar

Great! wanted to get fifa 08 but sinse da season is over, ill play dis until fifa 09!

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GTA_MGS_1

Might get this

Avatar image for cyw1988
cyw1988

I am waiting for Fifa 2009... kthxbye

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GTA4ADWCOD4GAME

I downloaded the demo of UK PSN and it wont disapoint any football gamers out there. The flow of the game is unbelileaveable. In Fifa 08 sometimes the passing was bad and you couldnt really make a through ball. this game is inch perfect for me. Dont get me wrong I love Fifa 08 and I think it is a brilliant game but theres somethin about this game. It is on a completely new level. It is beter than Fifa 08 and about 1000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000. Times better than the worst football game ive ever played Pro Evo 2008.

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Satanmar

Might pick this up! FIFA 08 is a good game, best Fifa for a long time. Especially online although most don't know how to play the damn game!

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pigsybum

FIFA08 wad great and never a disappointment, it's like saying COD4 was a disappoint, lol. To Anti-Nerd_Gamer: If you want premiership, go get fifa08. this is uefa 2008 why would they include premiership?

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jtaz612

England didn't even qualify for the euro 2008.

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dragonfist101

hhhhhmmmm

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Takibi

Looks pretty good hope it won't disappoint like fifa 08

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Muppet_Hunter

so no cards in this one?

Avatar image for Anti-Nerd_Gamer
Anti-Nerd_Gamer

UEFA has a soccer game... thats surprising. Where's the FA CUP game then??? What they need is a Premiership game, that would be tight.

Avatar image for dutch777
dutch777

will this not be another case of EA pushing out a same same game, yet again!!!!!! and these guys want to get their hands on GTA??? wtf!!!! tell them to FO.

Avatar image for haesuse
haesuse

I've jacked the demo from the UK psn and man was i up for a treat. Game looks and feels like a next gen FIFA comparing to 08. It is just plain excellent. I had 2 friends over and we spent some incestant 4 hours playing the 4 minute matches in between 2 same teams cuz we couldnt get enough of the game. This hands-on article is though very skim. Euro is LOADED with online options, some of which sound just plain unbeliveable! Overall may whatever(th) cannot come soon enough if u ask me!

Avatar image for Calverz
Calverz

Im a massive Pro Evo fan and hated FIFA...downloaded this demo, changed controls to new alternate(Pro Evo controls) and it's now the best football game I have ever played.

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dodos

There is no Macedonia! Macedonia is Greek

Avatar image for Casartelli
Casartelli

I agree with Bobcat. Stop whining. We Europeans still have to wait a couple of months (!) till we get Smash Brawl for instance. Europe is always a few months later cause Sony and Xbox has more consumers in the states. This game has probably more potential in Europe then it does in any other part of the world.

Avatar image for Bobcat3003
Bobcat3003

Why do you guys complain about this game being released I Europe before the States? It’s the European Championship, America has nothing to do with it. So it’s only natural that it’s going to be released here before anywhere else…

Avatar image for Bobcat3003
Bobcat3003

Why do you guys complain about this game being released in Europe before the States? It's the European Championship, America has nothing to do with it. So it's only natural that it's going to be released here before anywhere else

Avatar image for WII-60XD
WII-60XD

the demo looks awesome

Avatar image for matttrd
matttrd

Demo is good but they still need to sort out how your players don't react to passes i.e. stand there whilst the opposition intercepts it.

Avatar image for sonicbow
sonicbow

man this is going to be the best soccer game created by ea, and the soundtrack is going to be awesome like always, really looking forward to this game

Avatar image for MFazio23
MFazio23

@KingDibbles It's completely legit that Europe gets this sooner, but that doesn't mean I can't be bummed that we're not getting earlier :)

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sanluisfinest

I agree with dolfan928 .

Avatar image for syndrome498570
syndrome498570

UEFA Euro 09??? wtf? Euro 2008 is the European Championships played between 16 European Countries every 4 years. the next Euro Championships & video game will be UEFA Euro 2012. Its basically the world cup but just for European teams just like the Copa America & Gold Cup are held in the Americas - this won't be a yearly franchise!

Avatar image for AngelCage
AngelCage

So, wee now will have annual $60 UPGRADES of not one, ot 2 but 3 EA soccer games??? Expect Fifa 09, Fifa Street 09 and now UEFA Euro 09... An now... UEFA Euro?.... that's some stupid name if you ask me, that's like a football game named COCACAF AMERICA.... Maybe i made a mistake... a EA brain could read that and say in the EA Brains meeting: "Hey, i have a GREEEEEAT idea... let's made a soccer game called CONCACAF AMERICA!!!!!!!" remember this day, EA will steal my dea!!!!!

Avatar image for dolfan928
dolfan928

I wish EA would just make one game with UEFA, World Cup AND the standard FIFA fare. The main FIFA is already a ripoff, $60 for a roster update and a few new uniforms/teams. You've got 50 gigabytes on a Blu-Ray disc, USE IT. If the 360 can't handle it too bad, that doesn't mean PS3 owners should have to buy 3 different games.

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aduana69

common Legend Assassins Creed was made by a Canadian studio and they are not Known for killing people

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football_legend

I dont get 1 thing, why on Earth a Canadian Studio is in charge of FIFA game? I bet it can be awesome game if it was handed by European countries like England, Italy, France and Germany.

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Nomad0404

Yep and then we'll have FIFA They didn't make Euro 2008 Home Nations version and then FIFA Late 2008 and then FIFA Road to world cup and then FIFA Early 2009 and eventually we'll get bi-monthly FIFA updates and idiots will still buy them.

Avatar image for ChronoAbuNoura
ChronoAbuNoura

is it better than the demo? fifa08 is the best !!!

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lilbinglil

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Avatar image for KingDibbles
KingDibbles

why do americans whine about not gettin this or fifa at the same time as europe does when they get most games b4 any1

Avatar image for sivasiva
sivasiva

Looks ok.

Avatar image for shalashaska88
shalashaska88

meh. I'd rather wait for Fifa 2009.

Avatar image for Croatian_Sensation
Croatian_Sensation

It comes out more than a month later in the States. How about changing that last sentence for the Amers...

Avatar image for RearEntry
RearEntry

I'll probably still be busy playing GTA4

Avatar image for MFazio23
MFazio23

I wish this was out in the States sooner :(

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