Another global football (soccer) season means another edition of EA Sports' excellent soccer sim, and we shouldn't take this FIFA 07 demo for granted, considering that FIFA's hefty cousin Madden NFL hasn't provided a trial version in years. That said, the 550MB download doesn't deliver anything unexpected or much different from the demo for 2006 FIFA World Cup. It's fun to play with famous players like Ronaldinho, Lionel Messi, and Wayne Rooney, and it's hard to knock a demo that allows unlimited four-minute matches with six international club teams, but there's simply not enough content or customization to warrant a higher rating.
The demo allows you to play as and against Manchester United (U.K.), Lyon (France), Werder Bremer (Germany), AC Milan (Italy), Guadalajara (Mexico), or Barcelona (Spain), and each team includes recognizable superstars, like controversial World Cup star Cristiano Ronaldo. The only provided field is Arsenal's Emirates Stadium, and the matches are limited to one four-minute half. The game controls will be familiar to anyone who's played FIFA, and since it's clearly a console port, a controller works much better than the keyboard. Unfortunately, though the controls are logical and easy to learn, you can't change them or refer back to the control guide during an active match. Also, matches are limited to single-player action, so forget about competing against a pal.
A new game engine this year feels more realistic than in previous years, especially to players comfortable with the style of the slower Winning Eleven series, and the graphics are likewise improved. The physical interaction among players on the pitch is particularly good. However, most of this year's additions, like the enhanced manager mode and interactive online leagues, aren't included in this demo, leaving non-diehard fans of FIFA to wonder if the lengthy download and installation process is worth the effort. We recommend this game only to big fans of soccer sims or those considering the full version.
From the first whistle of the season to heartbreak of cup failure, FIFA 07 throws you into the rollercoaster ride of a football season, has your team got what it takes to win the league or will they bravely battle relegation - its all up to you.
New intelligent AI ensures that your 11 men on the pitch make realistic decisions, finding space and passing like professionals. A complete overhaul of the game engine now means that you have to employ real world tactics, make realistic decisions and think like a player in order to win matches.
Take on the updated and improved challenge of the Manager Mode. Player values and wages have been tuned to be even more realistic. Managerial decisions have even more tangible effects on player performance and welfare. Smarter CPU decisions mean rival managers are even more strategic in their own pursuit of silverware.