The video game industry has certainly seen its share of soccer games. Sure, any FIFA title is usually decent, and Winning Eleven 6 turned out very well. The developers over at Silicon Dreams, however, are planning to put a bit of a twist on the typical soccer title. Enough with playing soccer on those huge grassy fields. In Urban Freestyle Street Soccer, you'll be playing on - you guessed it - the streets.
The gameplay of UFSS can be best compared to that of NHL Hitz or NFL Blitz. Pretty much anything goes, and there are no penalties or injuries. Each game involves a total of six players, three on each team, making the experience rather fast-paced. The goalie AI seems to be decent (for example, if a ball passes nearby, the goalie will go and get it for you). Unfortunately, the same can't be said for the AI of the players. In the demo presented at E3, the opposing computer-controlled team managed to somehow score in its own net multiple times. The game is only approximately 60% complete, though, so let's hope that the AI gets tweaked a bit before the full version's release.
For the gamers out there who aren't satisfied with just plain-old soccer, you'll be happy to hear that UFSS will feature a whole bunch of extras. Five gameplay modes will be included, including Turf Wars, Street Challenge Cup, and Home Turf. Several mini games and an advanced play combo system will also be featured. You'll be able to play any of these modes using one of over sixteen teams from all over the world.
Three types of passing are used: a straight, normal pass, a light lobbing pass, and a light short pass. If these passes are combined with your turbo boost - the L and R shoulder buttons - special passes and shots can be used. Turbo shots have special animations, such as your player performing a bicycle kick, a flip, or something equally cool. A few other special shooting moves have been mentioned, including flicks and volleys, juggling, back-heels, scissor kicks, and more.
So, what's the bad news? The biggest problem seems to be the fact that the camera is fixed at one point and it appears that the player can't control the angle. The camera doesn't cover the full width of the playing field, but it will scroll over when the ball reaches one of the far corners of the screen. Aside from the camera and the computer AI problems, there doesn't seem to be a whole lot to complain about yet.
With its unique control scheme, fast-paced gameplay, and detailed urban backgrounds, Urban Freestyle Street Soccer is shaping up to be a very impressive-looking title. Be ready for it this November when it hits the GameCube, PS2, Xbox, and PC.
· · · Ren