PC REVIEW: FIFA 06 SOCCER

The yearly addition to the EA soccer franchise FIFA Football is finally upon us in the form of FIFA 06. Following tradition this game improves old gameplay mechanics and adds new ones to the mix.

As usual all the players, leagues, teams and stadiums are present in the game and up to date as on 24/8/2005. Manager Mode (the career mode in FIFA 2005), Tournament Mode, Create Tournament, Squad Creation and Kick Off (quick play) also return in the game. Plus a licensed soundtrack is also present.

So what’s new in FIFA 06? Well, for one thing they changed the name style didn’t they? The commentators in the game are new (THANK GOD?). Instead of the usual John Motson and Ally McCoist, Clive Tyldesley and Andy Grey provide commentary for the game.

There have been changes made to the Manager Mode also. When choosing your manager now you can also decide his age, nation etc. Another new addition to manager mode is the selection of a sponsor. A sponsor once chosen will provide you funds for improving your team. Funds will be provided to you in the form of per match fees, loyalty fees etc. In manager mode you will also be able to determine the price of the ticket of the match (when your team is playing at home) to earn some extra cash. You will also be able to check stats, manage transfers and sponsors, invest in staff for your team etc in Manager Mode.

While in Manager Mode you will be able to play the match your team is scheduled to play or watch a Quick Sim or Visual Sim of the game. Quick sim is something new which instantly shows you the result of the game while Visual Sim is a faster version of Simulate Match option of FIFA 2005.

Needless to say all the features of Manager Mode from FIFA 2005 are also present. Like the 8 types of staff for your team and the 15-season journey of you as manager etc are all here.

Gameplay wise several additions have also been made. This time around you will be able to tricks like Pace Control, Dummying The Ball, Lane Change, Step Over and do a 360 Spin. What are all these new moves? Well I will let the tutorial videos of the game tell you about it otherwise those videos would go to waste. I can tell you though moves like lane changing etc will be executed with the SKILL STICK! What’s that? You might ask. Well my friends that’s just another flashy name for your right analog stick. All thanks to EA. By selecting a direction on the D-Pad you will also be able to execute on the fly tactical change, which will change the formation of your team instantly to adjust to the situation at hand. Plus all the usual gameplay elements from the previous year are also present.

EA Retro is also something new to FIFA 06. Just like the EA Extras features it contains- you guessed it extras. But the stuff found in Retro is much better than Extras. EA Retro will let you play FIFA 94 the game that started it all, way back in the early 1990’s. How cool is that? Plus you can also watch 10 memorable moments from football history including the famous half line goal of David Beckham and watch the history of the FIFA Football series etc

EA Extras makes a return in this game. All the usual stuff like game trailers, credits etc are here. One nice inclusion in this section is the addition of Season Highlights of different leagues.

Graphics wise I didn’t find any vast improvements in the game. Cut out cardboard cameramen sitting on the side lines are still present in the game plus the crowd animations don’t reflect any major changes. Players in the game resemble their real life counterparts and move fluidly just like in FIFA 2005. It would have been nice to see players’ hair or clothes move realistically or show more facial expressions but sadly it’s not there.

The presentation of the game improves upon its predecessor and the sound effects of kicks and tackles plus the atmosphere in the stadiums is spot on. Crowds will sing, cheer and chant their team’s names, which has always been a great part of this series.

In the end, hardcore soccer fans who wanted even more realism from this series will enjoy playing around with the new controls but if you’re a player who thought FIFA 2005 wasn’t a great game might as well rent this game or stay away from it cause you won’t be missing much.

System: PS2, X, PC, GC
Dev: EA Canada
Pub: EA
Release: Sept 2005
Players: 1 - 2
Review by Sohail
RATING (OUT OF 5)
OVERALL
3.5
GRAPHICS
3.0
CONTROL
4.0
MUSIC/FX
3.5
VALUE
4.0