I Play 3D Soccer
Bizarre title, unusual perspective, different game style (same old sport)
If you were to walk up to Mr or Mrs Average in the street and announce "I Play 3D Soccer", they'd no doubt reply "Ah ha! You must be referring to that new footie game from Italian software house Simulmondo," (Either that or "Blimey, what a willy. Go away!"). No, it's all right, you can come out from under the duvet - this isn't just another footie game. For starters, in this (the first in a presumably long line of "I Play" sports sims) you take control of just one player at a time, the rest of the team being computer-controlled.
And once you've read this next bit, which explains that instead of a boring old top view, it's all fancy first person perspective (so you actually view yourself running into the screen), you'll begin to see why we're looking at a rather different sort of computer football game, one that thinks of itself as much more a simulation than a standard soccer blast.
And as a simulation, it does surprisingly well. The graphics are clear, fast and 3D, while the visual and tactical controls are pretty friendly to use. However, the main problem is it's far too much like the real thing for its own good. Just as in the real game (well, whenever I play it, anyway) you spend practically all your time chasing after the ball without actually coming into contact with it. The game has thought of this, and has an option where you can 'call' the ball, so it's passed to you as soon as your team has possession, but at the end of the day you still start to question whether you've actually contributed that much to the game at all.
The split-screen two-player option (play with or against another person) doesn't do itself justice for the same reason. And any ideas you may have about hogging the ball to make things more exciting for yourself, go straight out of the window when you realise that this all too often leads to the unofrtunate consequence that your team will lose.
It's a bit of a shame really because the game is flawlessly executed - I've no other complaints apart from the lack of playability, and I'm perfectly willing to admit that it's possible that some (much better) footballers than I am may have more success with it.
Nice idea, shame about the fact that it doesn't quite work.
The Bottom Line
A great new concept in game play, but it doesn't quite lend itself to football. Regrettably most of the 'old type' of footie game seem a lot more fun.