Fifa has finally caught up with PES
Fifa 07 for X360 was supposed to revolutionize the franchise with an all new ball physics system. However, the EA focused too much on creating this new physics system, and forgot about the other components to the game, such as tricks and a decent passing system. Even Fifa's main selling point compared to PES; lots of liscenses of players and teams, was forgotten as the game only featured 5 leagues. However, Fifa 08 is looking to fix all those complaints.
Fifa 08 plays a great game of football on the pitch, although some players may find that the tempo of play is decidedly lower than that of its predecessors or PES, once you get used to it, the action on the pitch has a great feel to it. Players now feel like they have weight, compared to the 07 players who felt utterly weightless. Speedrunning with the right stick has been largely removed, a feature that made online play unfair in 07.F08 offers a new mode of play, called "Be a Pro". In this mode, you take controll of a single player on the field while the AI controlls the rest. You can give basic commands to other players such as tackle or you can ask for a pass. If you are in a bad position to recieve a pass, the AI player may ignore you though. However, the AI just isn't very effective at tackling or shooting, so you may end up having to act like a defender while you chose position of attacker, and then have to run all the way up the field to attack. The AI is also a terrible shot, so you're always better off shooting yourself. Overall, BaP is a nice addition to the series, but you'll probably stick to the oldschool way of playing the game.
F08 has a nice range of modes, such as create a tournament and manager mode, and they're all familiar to fans of the series. It's still not possible to play matches of 90 minutes real time though, and I hope they will implement this again in Fifa 09.
Online is pretty much always lagfree for me, even when playing against people from China, so that's saying something. Next to the standard Ranked and Unranked matches, you can also play BaP online. It's 5 on 5, and it can be great fun when you've got 4 other people on your team that don't want to dribble all the time. For now it's 5 on 5, but EA will likely implement10 vs 10 or 11vs 11 en a future instalment. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
Overall, F08 is arguably the best footy game out right now, and it has great value.
4 Stars out of 5.