FIFA Street is the brand new football skill based game from the rebooted Street franchise. While the original two titles went well, the third wasn’t as well received. Will FIFA Street be a skilful reboot to the series or will it be an own goal?
Let’s find out and kick off the HOTs and NOTs in our review of FIFA Street.
The game’s presentation is very similar to that of FIFA 12. There has been no noticeable improvements, although the game still looks decent enough. Like most of the recent FIFA titles, FIFA Street comes with a great selection of songs. Most people have only heard of a couple of the songs prior to release, but they all fit the game well. While there isn’t a commentary team, there is often an announcer that will broadcast during obvious things like, time, final score, and more. Interestingly, the announcer’s voice will change based off that countries language. This is a nice touch, as it feels like you’re playing in that country. This just gives each venue more of a unique feeling, other than visuals or size.
Fast Exciting Gameplay
FIFA Street matches are typically 6 minutes long, which are divided in two half’s. Despite this being slightly shorter than your typical FIFA 12 match, the time will fly by and this is due to the fast paced, action heavy gameplay. In FIFA 12, time between opportunities, can be easily a minute apart, if you’re playing against a good defence. Conversely in Street, it can often by seconds between an attempt to score one goal, turning into another goal.
While this can be put down due to the smaller nature of the pitches, everything seems slightly quicker from the tempo of the game, even in individual passes. In FIFA 12, the delay between pressing the pass button and the pass being performed, is often mentioned, but this seems to quicker in FIFA Street and the result is a lot faster passing, in addition to faster overall gameplay. This speed makes the game far more exciting, as at any moment the momentum can change.
At first the controls didn’t seem intuitive, but this was because of the difference between FIFA Street and FIFA 12. After about an hour, which is around a dozen games, the control scheme started to feel normal. I wouldn’t advise hopping from one football title to the other, as you will most likely muddle though the controls; nevertheless the controls are simple enough to get the hang of.
Variation Of Modes
The Hit Streets mode, offers a decent range of game types, from five aside to last man standing. Each mode offers a slightly different variation, which helps keep the gameplay fresh; despite the fact that they’re all basically X vs X players, gamers will find a mode that suits them best. If you don’t like the pre-created modes rules, there is also a custom match feature, which allows you to take one of the four modes and tweak things like lengths, number of players and even if goalies are allowed or not.
Great Basic Multiplayer
The reason I say basic, is because its missing a few features, which I’ll talk about below. However, there are still a solid online and offline multiplayer experiences in FIFA Street. From the main menu, if you have a game invite for an online match, you can seamlessly jump into the game with only a few button presses. Another nice feature is that you take your singleplayer team online, to take on the world, hopefully enabling you to show off you amazing created team. Unfortunately, not every match will go your way. The online service available, does seem like it will be enough to keep fans happy for some time, by offering friendly matches against friends or ranked matches against other FIFA Street. Players can also play 4v4 matches in both friendly and ranked matches.
The offline service seems a bit more complete, than the online service, as it allows you to play more gamemodes and also allows players to pick from real world teams as well as your single player team.
Incomplete Online Experience
The issue many have with the online service, are the game modes available. Only 5-a-side, 6-a-side and Futsal are playable, but Panna, First to 5 and Freestyle modes are missing. Once the game mode is chosen, the next issue quickly presents itself, only the singleplayer team is playable. I’m confused why this decision was made, as it means a new players will start at a huge disadvantage to those who have played and mastered the game. Enabling real world teams would not only make the online section more varied, but would also eliminate this disadvantage for new players.
Unfortunately it seems that once again, numerous players are having connection issues with the online service. The issues aren’t quite as bad as 12, but the gameplay is quicker and in a small confined area, so lag can result in a goal scoring opportunity. After all that, if you still want to play a second game, you must return to the online menu, rather than simply pressing rematch like on FIFA 12. Why this feature was removed, only EA knows, but hopefully they will add it back in.
Small Visual Issue
The only small issue with the visuals, are the locations and the surroundings of the pitches. Often the crowd looks like they are just basic 3-D models of people, with a few animations given to them and then are quickly forgotten about. The pitches and courts look lovely themselves, but unfortunately this level of quality dips once you’re outside the court. This has been a longstanding issue with FIFA titles and I was truly hoping with such an emphasis on small courts, the surroundings could have been improved.
FIFA Street is a completely different experience, than FIFA 12 and importantly it is one worth trying. The game is one of those titles that you could play for hours, but it only feels like minutes due to the fast paced gameplay. Skilling players and the controls take a little time to get used to, though the controls become natural after a good few matches. The online experience is quite basic, but hopefully EA will notice this and add more content via patches or downloadable content. Either way FIFA Street nails what any game needs to, its fun!
[Editor’s Note: FIFA Street was reviewed on the Playstation 3 hardware. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]FIFA Street Review,