FIFA Street Review

Most people make do with one football game a year. They dutifully buy their copy of FIFA or PES every autumn, and it merrily tides them over for the next 12 months. But EA firmly believes that the marketplace can support more than one football game. Why not? Consumers regularly buy more than one first-person shooter and more than one role-playing game. Enter the rebooted FIFA Street franchise. Where previous entries in the series had a heightened sense of reality, with caricatured player likenesses and a camera partial to the odd crash-zoom, the new FIFA Street is much more in keeping with the core FIFA franchise.

This doesn’t mean it’s been sapped of what makes street football potentially so electric and exhilarating; it simply creates a sense of continuity between the two titles. And that’s no bad thing when the other game is FIFA 12, one of the best-selling sports games ever made. But FIFA Street isn’t a cynical, half-hearted entry into the series, it’s got an interesting career mode, a simple yet effective control scheme, and is just really, really good fun when played with friends.

Presentation is good, but never approaches breathtaking. A lot of the environments are interesting and vibrant, but lack the level of detail to really sell them. Although none of the stages rouse you like a packed Wembley stadium, there’s a great deal of variety. You can play in parks, gyms, and backstreets, on a rooftop in Shanghai, or in front of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. And this isn’t just superficial gloss – each environment is subtly different. The dimension of pitches vary, as do the size of the goals. These variables subtly influence the way in which a game unfolds. Play on a smaller pitch and things are a bit more crowded – you’ll pass less and rely more on close control. Conversely, a match on a larger playing surface will encourage passing and more enterprising playing styles. It introduces a refreshing and welcomed degree of variety to matches.

The camera is locked-off and there’s no commentary. Instead, you’ll be able to hear the shouts of your players as they hustle play and demand the ball. Occasionally, it’s a little strange to hear players from around the world communicating with inappropriate accents, but it’s a minor niggle that will only trouble the pedantic. Games lack the palpable atmosphere that you find in FIFA 12.

Read full review at: IGN review site

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