FIFA Street 3 - first look

Oct 22, 2007

Cristiano Ronaldo stops with the ball and eyes his opponent. With a daft flick of the foot he starts to juggle the ball, flicks it into the air and catches it behind his neck. Angry at Ronaldo's showboating, the defender moves in for a tackle. Ever ready, Ronaldo taps the ball into the air and blasts a kick straight into the defender's nuts. He collapses in pain, and Ronaldo moves on down the pitch. Welcome back to FIFA Street.

The FIFA Street franchise makes the jump to Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 this season, hoping to capitalize on the same success- and much of the same technology - that NBA Street Homecourt enjoyed earlier this year. FIFA Street has always been riding the coattails of its basketball brethren and without much success.

But the team at EA Canada behind Homecourt is bringing us a new branching animation system that made its way into Madden, NCAA, FIFA and NBA Live this year, each with varying degrees of success. Now that FIFA Street is using the system, it's amazing what you can do.

Ball height determines everything. If you tap a juggle button while the ball is at head height, you'll use your head. If you tap the same button as the ball nears the ground, you'll use your foot. This applies to every mechanic in the game: shooting, passing and tricks. As such, timing is crucial, and as you wait to fire a shot off a high cross, it helps to wait until the ball is at about knee-level to fire off a spinning side-kick into the net. It's a shame FIFA 08 didn't come loaded with this kind of control.