Gamescom 2011: FIFA Street Hands-On Preview – Street Style
Written Monday, September 05, 2011 By Dan WebbView author's profile
FIFA Street 3 was – how do I put this without coming across as too crude? – a load of utter crap, and while EA doesn’t have the greatest track record with rebooting franchises in recent times, the truth is that following on from FIFA Street 3, the only real way was up for the franchise. That may be true, but nothing could prepare us for what EA Canada had in store for us at Gamescom, and that’s a spin-off for the FIFA franchise that has the same class as the current batch of FIFA games. You could say we were rather impressed.
For the first time in the franchise’s history, FIFA Street will make use of the impressive FIFA engine and according to Gary Paterson, Creative Director on FIFA Street, the development team for the first time is made up of members from the FIFA team. What this ultimately means is that the franchise will focus on authenticity this time around, with added emphasis on the 1-on-1 battles that are a huge part of street football.
With 35 environments that range from various rooftops and the canals of Venice, to Rio and the neon-soaked streets of Tokyo, FIFA Street will offer players a slew of options and content to wade through. Allowing players to play 1-on-1 all the way through to 6-on-6, with pitches of varying sizes to accommodate, you should never be short of different game modes to try out from start to finish. Players can even get involved in some classic Futsal action as well, which like the sport itself, uses a smaller ball and has an added emphasis on creativity and flair.
While it does use the same FIFA engine that FIFA 12 uses, including the impressive Impact Engine to recreate realistic physics, the gameplay is vastly different. Here, the gameplay revolves around the 1-on-1 battles on the pitch and it’ll be more about outsmarting your opponent than anything else. Using L2, you’ll be able to square up against an opponent, with the left stick moving the player in various directions, with him always facing the opponent that squares up against him. From there, using R1, players will be able to flick the ball in the air to do various air tricks or use the right thumbstick to perform various outrageous – but still realistic and authentic – ball skills, but in order to get away and past your opponent, you’ll need to time the R2 sprint to burst from standing to sprint in a matter of milliseconds.
On the other hand, defending is a lot trickier to get used to than when you have the ball, simply because not only is it a matter of reading your opponent and getting tight on him, but you’ll also need to time when you lunge in for the tackle. That being said, it took only the first half of our two game hands-on before we’d picked up both the defending and attacking aspects of the title, giving Paterson a run for his money on his own game after just a short few minutes with the controller – it ended 3-3 in the final game if you’re interested. Being an authentic street football experience, you can also make use of the manual wall passes as well, which although satisfying when you pull them off, are actually quite a delicate and complex thing to master. As for the general shooting and passing though, like its FIFA 12 brother, everything seems to be right on the money there.
With FIFA Street, EA Sports seems to have another potentially game-changing football title under its belt then, which is something we never thought we’d be able to say. Using the FIFA engine and opting to focus on authenticity for its latest street football title is a move that is surely going to pay off for EA Canada in 2012. Boasting intuitive controls, an array of options and game modes, some visually impressive animations, all the flair and creativity of street football, and everything that will make FIFA 12 one of the best FIFAs yet, FIFA Street is shaping up to be a reboot that the behemoth publisher can be proud of.
FIFA Street is scheduled for a 2012 release.