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EURO 2008 XBox 360 Review - -

Gameplay 8.9
Graphics 9.0
Sound 8.9
Value 8.8
Distributor: EA
Review Date:
April 2008
Geoff Clarke


EURO 2008

EURO 2008 arrives on the XBox 360 that allows gamers to play one of 50 different European national teams to glory as they kick their way to victory in order to win the UEFA Euro 2008 Cup. Austria-Switzerland are the international hosts of 2008 which the developers accurately recreate in this amazing European soccer experience.

Although in its essence, Euro 2008 is your classic European FIFA soccer game, this current incarnation introduces a new mode called Captain Your Country which allows the gamer to customize their team. Best of all, this title supports an interesting online mode in Battle of the Nations where you earn points for both yourself and your country and some of the world's virtual bests.

With the Captain Your Country mode, you create your own "avatar" to assist your B team to victory, however you must complete a variety of challenges before you become captain and the weaker the team, the easier it is to become captain, however it makes it more difficult to land in the finals. Now you are finally able to take a footballer and work through the ranks of an international squad from roots B squad level to the ultimate goal of A team captaincy. This balance does create an interesting aspect to the title as you compete against other players for the role. 

The gameplay of EURO 2008 is almost identical to FIFA 08, however the title seems a little faster and a touch more "arcade" than simulation, only slightly though. The AI has been improved and depending on the team's level, they can be quite difficult to beat but this is all part of the challenge. At the end of the day, I believe it is a better experience.

  • Win UEFA EURO 2008 ™ — Compete as one of 52 teams from qualification right through to a virtual reproduction of UEFA EURO 2008™ in Austria and Switzerland.
  • Captain Your Country – Play as yourself on the same team with up to three friends, all playing individual positions on the pitch. Compete collaboratively to win games but compete against each other for the captaincy. Develop your player through eight status levels to earn the captaincy of your country and the right to lead your team.
  • Create Yourself – Play alongside your heroes by customizing yourself in game. Place your name on your jersey, then earn experience points to enhance your skills and reputation.
  • Battle of the Nations — Represent your country online against your rivals around the world to win global supremacy. Earn individual and team points. Think your nation is the best? Now you can prove it!
  • EURO Online Knockout Draw— Battle gamers from other nations online in 16-team single elimination tournaments to gain points for your nation. Enhanced Penalty Kicks -- Experience the challenge of a penalty shoot-out as if you were on the pitch. Master your nerves to score the goal that puts your team in the UEFA EURO 2008™ final.
  • Interactive Celebrations — Score a goal and then control your player’s movements and actions to celebrate the way you want to.
  • Dynamic Rain and Mud — Winter weather from across Europe is authentically re-created to simulate real-world playing conditions. Experience driving rain that creates sloppy, muddy pitches which dramatically impacts passing and player performance. Home & Away Match Strategy– CPU mimics international soccer by creating strategic, defensive formations for away teams intent on playing for a draw.
  • Authentic Stadiums — Compete in all 8 official stadiums of UEFA EURO 2008™.
  • Team Managers — Watch reactions from team managers on the sideline as they shout encouragement or become disappointed in your team’s performance. EA SPORTS Soccer Engine – An evolution of the market leading EA SPORTS soccer engine with enhanced goalkeeper AI, collisions, and trapping that make this the best-playing EA SPORTS soccer game.
  • Story of Qualifying — Play the qualifying campaign and step up at key defining moments to lead your country to Europe’s biggest prize. Complete team and individual tasks.
  • Dynamic Player Ratings — Real-time player ratings change based on actual player performance, simulating the momentum swings of a real season.

The control system of Euro 2008 has been mapped perfectly on the XBox 360 controller and the developers make good use of the "rumble" feature such as a kickoff between two players, for example, you can hear the players heartbeat. Novice gamers will be able to pick up the control and "play" the game, however after a few hours or for those struggling, a few days, even the most inept player will have no difficulty at the end.

Those more experienced players will be pleased with the control system and will be able to pull off a variety of realistic soccer maneuvers in no time. Although I pride myself as a gamer, my friend absolutely whipped me in Euro 2008 who has been out of the console gaming scene for quite some time.

Graphically, Euro 2008 is almost identical to the previous Fifa game and given the premise and gameplay of Euro 2008, it is very hard to graphically improve this game. Although the various camera angles and close up of the players are quite detailed, gamers will still play the traditional top down view which gives them a detailed view of the field. With that said, the stadiums are extremely realistic, especially the crowd. The lighting and weather effects are realistic as are the texture details on the players themselves with some great emotions displayed by the players.

The commentary of Euro 2008 is varied and not too repetitive, although there are a few amusing moments when they do get it wrong. The commentary by Andy Townshend and Clive Tyldesley is quite lively at times and almost makes you feel like you are watching the game on TV. The crowd sound effects are realistic as are all the thuds, kicks and sounds of soccer which nicely compliment the gameplay.

In conclusion, Euro 2008 offers a few new tweaks to the console soccer gaming genre that features realistic graphics and sounds. It is very difficult to improve on something that is almost perfect. If you are after the latest statistics of UEFA or need a solid soccer game, than Euro 2008 may be the game for you.


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