“…a bold attempt to take on the big guns of football in gaming”
When it comes down to football (or soccer) games there are two big names that fans of the sport will come out with; Pro Evolution Soccer and FIFA. Everybody knows these franchises, which have built their reputations through release after release of similar but ever evolving titles. As a general rule, attempting to take on these names is a challenge which developers fail to succeed at. Several attempts have been made by a vast array of developers to do so, but none have really found their way to sit on the grand throne at the end… The developers of the work-in-progress, free-to-play title Real Soccer, Games Campus, have stepped up to make a bold attempt to take on the big guns of football in gaming. This is a football game with a difference, currently in development for online play on the PC, where you control one player on your team and attempt to work with others around the world to find your way to victory. This is a new, interesting and indeed good idea, but has it all been well built and it likely to make its mark on the football gaming world?
At this preview stage, the game shows some promise but equally showcases some issues. The majority of football games for the PC are either from the managerial perspective or allow for a controller input, but Real Soccer insists on the use of keyboard and mouse. This may suit some PC gamers who prefer this style of input anyway, however fans of football games who are more used to the feel of a controller in their hands may need some time to adapt. Whichever category you fall into however, the controls are a little confusing. The combined use of the mouse and keyboard to perform specific actions does not work particularly nicely, with these combinations being confusing mixes of pressing, holding and clicking in several different ways to perform often similar and should-be simple actions. The on-screen instructions which may remedy this confusion are not particularly clear either, so getting to grips with and even more so remembering the control setup is a tricky task.
Once you get past the control conundrum, you are however left with a surprisingly broad set of abilities to use in play. To master these skills you will have to utilise your abilities of timing, vision and forward-thinking in order to work alongside other players in a real-life, live online game. Both control and power over the moves you make are absolutely crucial to success in making them; probably even more so than these are in other football games such as FIFA. While normally the computer-controlled players will do their bit in order to support the moves you make and compensate for receiving them, you are now playing with other individuals and so it is entirely up to you to get them right. In some cases there may be computer-controlled players on the pitch, however they certainly don’t seem to do as much work on your behalf as other games see them do. This level of control over the game makes it important to work as a team and stay focussed on what both you and everyone else is up to on the pitch. The experience of play itself is fast paced, technical, and generally is very good. Teamwork is massively important of course, with potential for up to 22 human-controlled players in a game at once; 11 per side. The better your own skills in the game, the better you will play, and the greater asset you will be for your team. As with any game, the more you play the easier it gets, and after a couple of games that initially complicated control scheme does begin to make some sense. The most important thing though of course is that the game is fun!
As you control your own individual, unique player in Real Soccer, you soon discover that aside from the play you experience on the pitch, there is also an in-depth player development in the game in terms of your player’s skills and abilities. While these make a difference to how your player plays in game situations, the majority of how well you perform is still down to your own ability to control them. In a similar way to role-playing games, the more you play the more you can improve these skill and abilities. You can also customise the appearance of your player in order to make your experience a truly unique one. These role-playing game aspects to Real Soccer also add to its unusual, new and unique style of play compared to other football titles, and certainly make it a more personal experience to enjoy.
The look of the game is sadly not quite as sharp and polished as its competitors. Things do look like what they are supposed to; players like people, the ball like a ball, and the features of the pitch all resemble what they should. The graphics however cannot be said to be quite as glamorous as what players might be used to or have come to expect from football titles at present. The music of the game isn’t too bad to begin with. While it is quite a standard generic backing music it does its job and sits nicely in the background. After a while of hearing it however it does become somewhat repetitive and you may find yourself having to turn it down or off. Due to the game being in its preview stage at present, some of the textual elements such as speech and instructions do not quite work as they should as yet. Speech subtitles for example do not put new words on new lines, but rather continue to flow and therefore chop up some of the text. It is fair to assume though that such minor issues in these areas will be fixed when the game reaches completion.
Some parts of this preview may seem pretty critical of Real Soccer. The game does have its issues, a point which cannot be avoided, but it has strong positives too. For one thing, you have to respect the effort by the developers given the competition they are up against. Furthermore though they have created a genuinely new and unique style of football gaming, and a particularly different one for the PC platform. The idea of a fully online football game where you are put into a genuine team situation is a new and exciting one, and hopefully as the game moves forward in its development and into the future some of its issues will be corrected and improved upon. At present however, Real Soccer still needs a bit of work to bring it up to a standard which will widely impress and attract fans of football games, who for the most part are dedicated to a few large franchises and will need quite the nudge to turn their heads. If this happens however, the game has a real potential to do well and make its mark against its competitors and on football in the gaming world. A free to play game well worth trying, and one which is worth keeping an eye on the progress of as development continues into the future.
The Positives – Free to play, an exciting new style of football gaming to try, fun, fast paced and challenging gameplay, real development of your player’s skills and abilities as you play and a heavy yet healthy teamwork focus.
The Negatives – Somewhat confusing controls to learn and use and slightly more basic appearance than fans may have become used to in other titles.
For more information, please visit:
· Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/pages/Real-Soccer-EU/539194402781698
· Twitter : https://twitter.com/RealSoccerEU
· Homepage : http://realsoccer.gamescampus.eu/?language=en