EON the ball
Roy Keane and Diadora sign up for International League Soccer
It's a little known fact that I'm actually a closet football fan. Not just the part where the England team knocks the socks off Mexicans in ostentatious style, or teach the Germans how to spell "1-0"… but the jumpers for goal posts side of it, and moreover, the gaming aspect. Although last year's FIFA 2000 tournament at the Millenium Dome Battletop event didn't evoke too much interest (it was won by an organiser apparently), the competitiveness and excitement of the beautiful game does translate superbly to the screens of PC and console owners. But the truth of it is that there's a lot of junk clogging up the genre right now. EA's FIFA brand still dominates proceedings, but games like Virtua Striker and tournament spin-offs pollute the crowd, and leave us with too much stuffing and not enough content. This is true of the console systems especially, where footy games are like weekends to the average shop owner. So the news of one more footer game isn't going to inspire much emotion in the sceptical EuroGamer sports department (i.e. me). The one we're talking about today is EON Digital's "International League Soccer" on PlayStation 2, adorned with the Diadora name and the endorsement of Republic of Ireland captain and £50,000 a week Manchester United midfielder Roy Keane. Due out on June 8th, it features all the usual International sides, 3D graphics and a scaleable control system to benefit both the novice and the pro. The game features proper weather effects (which go beyond the aesthetic and actually affect gameplay), which apparently complement precise, detailed 3D graphics, although this isn't terribly well demonstrated by the low definition ones on the game's website at the present time. The best part of the equation we can make out is the World Ranking System, compiled via www.internationalleaguesoccer.com (catchy). The system works by pitting the player against three countries chosen by the player, and allowing the player to upload results to the website if he or she wins all three games. You'll need a PC to do it though, since the PS2 features no Internet connection at the present time. According to the above website, players will be given codes to input into the website upon winning the games, and can enter their details along with the code in the hope of winning prizes. It's not just about winning though apparently, it's about impressing the judges with flashy moves and technique, through which you earn points. It all sounds fairly complicated. We'll be sure to explore it thoroughly in our review of the game when it makes its way out of the door in June.