One of Europe's biggest stars is getting ready to release his very own licensed soccer title, and we have all the juicy info in our new preview!
When it comes to the sports genre, the Xbox shines at its greatest. Through soccer in particular, supporters have been graced by EA Sports' very own FIFA 2002, Midway's incredibly innovative RedCard Soccer 20-03, as well as Konami's surprisingly marvelous ESPN MLS Extra Time 2002. England's soccer hero and national team captain hopes to kick that competition out of the way with his first very own licensed title, David Beckham Soccer. The 27 year old Manchester United midfielder is providing vast amounts of insight needed for Majesco and Rage Software to make a sprint for success.
David Beckham Soccer has already hit the spotlight on several platforms, receiving pretty mediocre reviews. The game, now enhanced, sets itself for the next generation consoles from big boys Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo. Unlike most developers of the era, Rage took the time to add some Xbox only exclusives to its version. Direct ports have become common, but they're not a case with this upcoming soccer title. Thanks to the built-in Xbox hard drive, Rage can incorporate an all-new, detailed stadium builder, a save replay feature, in addition to a neat create-a-player mode, allowing players to produce individual players and teams, plus design their very own sponsors and badges! Hopefully the hard drive isn't the only superior aspect of the Xbox that the developer takes full advantage of.
Rage's approaching soccer title features a whopping 200 club and international teams. Unhappily, like the players in the game, nothing but the words "David Beckham" have been put under a licensed agreement. What this means is that gamers won't be able to play as lets say Manchester United, which is supposedly named something like Manchester A, or Roberto Carlos. They will however be able to play for Brazil, Portugal, England and similar national teams. If you're looking for the most realistic experience and actually mind the fact of having to play as fake named players, David Beckham Soccer might not be the best decision. Other then that, the sport of soccer looks to be at its best with the title.
In terms of game modes, David Beckham Soccer excels. New intense training mode allows players to practice just like the European superstar. David Beckham will even be on hand to comment on the player's progress. Tests evaluate shooting, passing, tackling, defending, corners, free kicks and crosses. David Beckham Soccer also has 3 unique and quite innovative arcade modes. In Beat Brazil, players must eliminate best ranked Brazil by defeating them with a weaker team each time around. The goal is to hold on to the longest victory skid possible. The legends are also brought back in Classic Match mode, where soccer fanatics can play and relive some of the sport's biggest and more memorable moments. The third arcade mode tests endurance. Players must win as many consecutive games as possible without losing.
No soccer game goes without a season mode. In Rage's upcoming title, players are given the chance to play 5 full seasons which join Domestic League, Cup and European Cup campaigns. To help make the game even more enjoyable, David Beckham himself hand picked several hidden teams to be unlocked throughout the fun.
Ron Atkinson makes yet another appearance in the commentary booth come summer time. Joined by Radio Five's Jonathon Pearce, the team of experts should provide for some exciting remarks. Realistic crowd atmospheres also react to what happens in the game. If they aren't happy with a specific play, the player is sure to feel the heat. Spectacular animations and moves add spice to the title, while a wide range of exciting tricks, tackles and blocks make for a different outcome every time.
Individual player AI permits the player to assign each of his players to their very own tactical strategy. Corner kicks are also a lot more exciting and levelheaded, with numerous set-plays to hand pick from. When it's all said and done, David Beckham Soccer's game mechanics look quite promising.
David Beckham Soccer's controls follow the lines of EA Sports' FIFA World Cup 2002, which is a good thing. The basic pass, lob pass and shoot controls are the main focuses. Sadly, it seems like no deke or speed burst buttons have been designed. On the whole, there shouldn't be any surprises with David Beckham Soccer's control scheme.
Graphics have become a large part of this video game generation. Unfortunately, no in-game screenshots have yet to surface the Internet, so it is a bit tough to speculate. Thousands and thousands of polygons make up each character, with a said amount of 2500 simply on the upper body. Advanced facial expressions also make the game that much more realistic. The stadiums themselves are jaw-dropping from what can be seen in the short video clips. Banners, flags, trinitron monitors; everything is there to be noticed. Generally speaking, if Rage can avoid the direct port tag, the graphics shouldn't be much of a problem.
It doesn't seem like the game will have any sort of system link capability, and obviously no Xbox Live support. However, David Beckham Soccer does take advantage of the 4 player Xbox capability. Multiplayer tournaments would be kick ass, and aren't totally out of the question. Who said it was impossible to recreate the FIFA World Cup experience right in the courtesy of one's living room? Certainly not I.
David Beckham Soccer is expected to ship on August 13th of this summer, not too far away. Astonishingly, it seems the game will be sold for only 29.99$ US (that according to the EBGames.com gamepage). No matter the price tag, David Beckham Soccer looks to bring something spicy and addictive to the already massive Xbox sports genre. XboxWeb.com will have a full review of this hopeful soccer title upon its release.
Can anyone say Matt Thomas Hockey?