If your cash-in alarm bells are ringing, then they rightly should be. UEFA Champions League 2006-07 is the latest game from the EA Sports football game production line that, since the end of 2005, has seen FIFA 2006, World Cup 2006 and FIFA 2007 already. This is its fourth action football release in some eighteen months.
The truth is, though, that EA Sports is good at this sort of thing. UEFA Champions League is no different. It drips with detail, boasting the full benefits you’d expect from an officially licensed game. It’s also got a gameplay mechanic that’s been fine-tuned over the years into one that makes the core game delightfully easy to pick up and play, yet leaving enough headroom to make mastering it a bit of a challenge.
The focus here, as you’d expect, is on the Champions League tournament, and the main game charges you with picking your team and attempting to take them to European glory. You can dabble with transfers if you like and it’s well worth adjusting your tactics, but it’s on the pitch where things really matter. So, once you’ve chosen your club – and there’s a surprisingly broad selection – it’s down to business.
And UEFA Champions League plays a good, flowing game of football. There are plenty of tricks and nuances to enjoy, while the presentation of the action is really second to none. Even better than FIFA 07.
Yet here come the problems, and you can probably guess them some distance away. Firstly, the game itself has really barely changed since we met it just six months ago. Put this and FIFA 07 side by side and you’d do well to find a single change that makes any difference of note to the gameplay. The pace feels slightly different, but that aside it’s scandalously close, even by EA’s standards.
The second main problem is tied into that too, and that’s that FIFA had more in the way of a long term gameplay challenge, and with the price of the early game being widely discounted, we’d opt for that. After all, with FIFA you get to enjoy a full campaign with a club team, and there’s a more concerted single player experience. Here it’s one pot to aim for and then that’s it until FIFA 08 emerges in six months time.
In summary, no arguments on the game. EA Sports sell a lot of football games and for good reason. But lots of arguments on the principle of releasing a game with little difference and asking another top dollar price tag for it.
Company: EA Sports