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Tuesday | August 21, 2018
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Euro 2008 (PS3 & X360)

Euro 2008 (PS3 & X360)

Pro Evolution Soccer has been a successful franchise since its inception, however it has been rather stagnant in recent years; nearest competitor FIFA (while having a huge plethora of options) does not quite have the same depth of gameplay. However fear not because corporate giant Electronic Arts has unleashed Euro 2008 on both Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. Euro 2008 has some of the most amazing multiplayer options I have ever seen, however will this be enough to guarantee the number one spot for EA?

One of the biggest criticisms of FIFA 08 was the overly defensive nature of the game, Euro 2008 has addressed this and players are now able to make flowing passes as well as exciting attacks on goal.

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Another great feature is "Captain Your Country", a game mode which takes FIFA’s 08 "Be A Pro" to a higher level. Now you are finally able to take a footballer and work through the ranks of an international squad from roots B squad level to the ultimate goal of A team captaincy. It is an extremely exciting journey and I have found myself addicted to this mode for the last week.

Multiplayer is even supported in this area with up to four players able to take charge of individual players in the quest for the captain’s arm band. In theory this sounds wonderful, however due to some failings with the camera angles this ends up more of a taster for future implementations.

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Obviously the game is focused on this year’s huge football sporting event and in this regard it is a success. EA have included a number of real game scenarios from the recent qualifiers, for example you can take command of David Healy and his majestic hat trick that secured Northern Ireland victory over Spain. It is a wonderful facet to the game and one which I am sure will appeal to many football (soccer to the fellow yanks reading this) fans across the world.

It is fascinating that EA have not just focused on the highlights of the qualifying sessions but they have also even included many of the more unpleasant aspects such as the fan’s hostile whistling when England played Macedonia.

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The graphics are very well delivered with nice fluid movements capturing the real life game and at times you will swear you are watching a live television broadcast. The game only falls down with some of the close ups and an overuse of skin highlighting giving the players a rather unpleasant surreal look. A little like if you had a bunch of store mannequin’s roaming the pitch.  The managers are equally unimpressive with some of them almost able to do a body double for Quasimodo. EA also have assured us that regular updates will be available throughout the year, which will certainly be needed as England manager Steve McLaren has yet to be replaced by Fabio Capello!

Graphically the game is almost identical on both Playstation 3 and Xbox 360, with both versions falling foul of slight frame rate drops from time to time. Thankfully these are more the exception than the rule and don’t ruin the overall flow of the game. As with all Electronic Arts games the interface is exceptional, loading screens are overflowing with information and high gloss graphical effects.

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The excellent commentary is provided by Andy Townshend and Clive Tyldesley. It is surprisingly free from repetitive dialogue and is one of the few games I haven’t actually muted within the space of several days.

Battle Of Nations is another of the game’s strong points. When the game is first loaded you are presented with a screen asking to register your home country. Once this is registered, any points you earn in the game (both offline and online) are accredited to your country with the final top nation being declared at the end of the real world tournament. A great feature and already a hot talking point, however obviously once the real tournament ends so will the in game mode!

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Euro 2008 is a great step forward for the FIFA franchise and for me it is a more enjoyable game than the almighty Pro Evolution Soccer. The game moves with great pace and it comes close to being perhaps the greatest football game yet available on the next generation consoles. The only downside would be the relative short term nature of some of the game play which will be tied into the real world tournament. Obviously hard core fans will find it worthy, but otherwise I have some reservations.

Absolutely brilliant, nuff said.
Move great and look wonderful, until you close in on the weird character models.
Top class commentary and ambient sounds.
Will it be redundant once the real tournament is over? I have a sinking feeling it might be.
(Not an Average)

A great package and a good sign of things to come from EA.

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About Author

Stuart Davidson

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