First Impressions

After installing the game you are confronted with an overly complecated gui which i cant see how it was ever able to be put in the final ver, moreover it has been designed in 640x480 (unchangable) and thus for people like me who use resolutions like 1280x1024 it seems overly bulky. This doesnt improve later when you are looking at tables and player stats, it only shows 2 coloums and makes you scroll to see them all, very annoying.

Once you get your head round this annoying menu system you will see alot of new features added to the game, Most importantly the career option which using the new "prestege Points" system you can guide a team from a number of europien leagues over a 5 year regien suffering problems such as injury, player fatigue and relegation. The transfer system has been made much more realistic wheras players will generally only join you club when you are successfull enough. One more point i forgot to mention, aswell as the top leauges in europes top sporting countrys it also has the second leauge, and wait for it.. it also has division 2 and 3 in england which i was rather pleased about.

In addition to the new career mode they have also introducted a a training or "practise mode" as it is listed in the menu, this lets you practise set peices or play unaposed to practise new moves such as the "off the ball" controll (which iam still yet to master). Corners are much improved and need some practise to pull off well, iam still undiced about the new free kick system however.

As for the game graphics, as you would expect they have improved but in my opinion not all areas. The game needs more aa as there are far to many jaggies, The lighting just seems wrong, A sunny day in august looks far too dull. There are improves such as dynamic muddyness of players kits and organic player animation which adds some much needed randomness. Player kits and overall textures however could be higher res than that actually used.

The all important AI and gameplay have had a complete overhaul. This means its less able to comply with the pick up and play factor. The passing has been made harder but more realistic in my opinion, the areal balls are mucheasier to do than those in 2003 and the shooting has become far more random but more controllable. The problems i have mainly are with the oposition AI mainly the "insta tackle" in game its vertually impossible to break the oposition back line. this seems to be ea sports way of stopping you from getting rugby scores in ameture mode. The suposid improved team formations and tactics mean that your midfield is far too attackminded and pushes forward 2 much, resulting in 2 many counter attacks which in end gives the opsition undeserved goals becuase of the games AI

Iam not saying that this is a bad game but it could have been alot better, with the return of old game features such a training and in game tactics, and new more management features which exist in career mode. However a tight deadline (to beat PES3) to the shelves has meant that small anoying things which should have ben ironed out with testing still remain.

Yes buy the game if you want a football sim you can play for weeks and even months but if you want a quick pick up and play game to play with you mates i suggest you buy the now cheaper fifa 2003.


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Copyright Alan Porter 2003-2004