FIFA 08

Key events

Throw away games - footballer

West Ham keeper sounds cross.

West Ham United goalkeeper Robert Green reckons the quality of England football would be higher if videogames didn't exist.

FIFA 08 World Cup hots up

Three finalists named.

Live qualifying events for the FIFA Interactive World Cup have taken place in Denmark, the Netherlands and Hungary this month as part of EA and FIFA's search to find out who is best at FIFA 08 on PS3 (I'd like to take this opportunity to rule myself out).

FIFA 08 gets 5v5 patch

FIFA 08 gets 5v5 patch

Be A Pro Online Team Play.

EA has finally released its Be A Pro: Online Team Play patch for FIFA 08.

This, as you may remember, lets you take the role of a single footballer in a match - joining up to four of your friends on one team as you try to score more goals than your enemies.

You get to to fiddle around with your appearance and style before you play, and then have the choice of being limited to a certain role, being given licence to roam, or being given a combination of the two.

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FIFA 08 triumphs in UK

Halo 3 sales down 79 per cent.

FIFA 08 has rattled the net to become the UK All Formats Chart number one this week, according to ChartTrack data via GamesIndustry.biz.

FIFA 08

FIFA 08

0-0. Extra time being played.

Let's rewind twelve months. ‘Watch your back, Konami' was the ominous warning that rounded off our review of FIFA 07, a statement fuelled by a belief that after years of churning out identikit pap, EA had finally taken the hint that tacking on a novelty feature onto the previous year's game and slapping it onto the shelves was no longer a recipe for global domination. Having had its nose blooded by the mesmerising Pro Evolution Soccer series, FIFA 07 was an attempt to bite back. But it wasn't quite enough. Now, FIFA has returned, refocused, leaner, hungrier and eager to retake the crown that PES swiped off its cocky head a few seasons ago.

As has become the norm, every new FIFA game is preceded by bold boasts from EA about why this year's version will be 'The One'. It's a statement that's usually followed by lists of features and numbers containing countless zeros. Apparently, the revamped game engine now sees players making 1000 decisions every second. They can also strike the ball in an infinite number of ways - a stat that's numerically impossible to display, as there simply aren't enough zeros in the universe. EA also claims that defenders are more intelligent than ever (and by that they don't mean they've added home economics to their woodwork GCSEs) and that the ball physics are affected by a multitude of factors, including wind speed, player balance, ball spin and even air pressure. All sounds very impressive, right? But how does it translate on the pitch?

Well, incredibly well actually. From the first moment you kick off, the sheer amount of love that's been lavished on FIFA 08 is immediately apparent. Charge forward in a cocksure attempt to dribble past the opposition with a journeyman midfielder and you'll be left more red faced than an exfoliated tomato. As is the case with every part of FIFA 08, you're going to need to put in some serious practice if you're going to master its subtleties. Thankfully you can do just that on the training field - which you're transported to every time the game loads a match - for some one on one practice against a goalkeeper. Which is a nice touch.

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FIFA 08 PC demo

Put your foot in it.

FIFA 08 is now available for you to sample in playable demo form over on the game's official website.

EA unveils Wii stabilisers

EA unveils Wii stabilisers

Easy controls for beginners.

EA has added a new feature to its sports games to help beginners and advanced users play together on Wii.

It's called Family Play and it will be included in FIFA 08, Madden NFL 08, and NBA LIVE 08.

With it you'll be able to choose between two control options, Advanced or Family Play. The first is a simplified method that lets you dictate key actions such as passing, shooting and throwing using big, clear gestures - with the rest of the responsibility handed neatly over to the AI.

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FIFA 08 Wii details emerge

FIFA 08 Wii details emerge

Ronaldinho turned to Mii.

EA has released new details for the Wii version of FIFA 08, including news that Ronaldinho will be turned into a Mii avatar.

It's this buck-toothed character that will host the Footii Party mode, which is made up of, yes - party games! They've all got a football slant, obviously - so expect variations based around table football, penalty shoot-outs and "keepie uppies". Do well and you could unlock the Brazillian virtuoso himself, or take him on in a foot-to-foot battle.

"My character looks like he enjoys playing football and shares my passion for the game," Ronaldinho beamed. "This is important to me."

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FIFA 08

Hands-on with the Wii version. It was almost feet-on.

"We tried sticking the Wii Remote to the bottom of a sock. I used a needle and thread." This is how the producer of FIFA 08 chronicles the back-to-basics approach to football using Wii hardware. Brad Porteous is downbeat about the 'FIFA sock' - he thought it'd work. "It felt strange kicking air, if you didn't have contact with a ball. I still have it at home, though."

Interactive Leagues confirmed for next-gen FIFA 08

EA has confirmed the return of the Interactive Leagues feature in the next version of FIFA. A bit of a hit on current-gen last year, the system tots up the results of online games between supporters of different clubs, with points earned going towards an overall league set-up. This time it'll be in the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions.

"The Interactive Leagues is the most successful online tournament we've had for the FIFA franchise and I am thrilled to bring it into this year's next-gen game," next-gen producer Joe Booth said. "As a Leeds United fan I was pained to see Manchester United win the first Interactive Premier League last season. However, I'm looking forward to redressing the balance this year through FIFA 08."

The Interactive Leagues mentioned in EA's announcement are the FA Premier League, Bundesliga, French League and Mexican 1st Division. When league games are played in real-life, results between the two teams online are logged.

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FIFA 08

Hands-on with the distinctive PS2 version.

It's the eternal struggle. You do a footy game, it comes out every year and it sells loads. Why reinvent the wheel, risk a fan backlash and face the critics who accuse you of inventing needless gimmicks to appear fresh and new? The reason is simple. EA are fixed on moving the beautiful game forward, even on the PS2, which most developers have either deserted or prematurely classed as a Fisher Price toy, suitable only for games involving angular-pant-wearing heroes and bobble-headed French ragdolls.

FIFA 08

Ohhh you beauty!

I'm watching a video of Alessandro Faiolhe Amantino Mancini scoring for Roma against Lyon in the Champions League. EA's Joe Booth turns it off and says: "We want to give the user that kind of freedom to improvise." Since you couldn't be bothered to click on the video link above even after I went and bloody well found it for you, he means that you should be able to feint right from standing, feint left, step-over right, feint left, step-over right, step-over left, step-over right, exit to the defender's left and put the ball into the roof of the net from six yards, all within one fluid, exacting motion that remains completely under your control. What's brilliant about FIFA 08 is that you actually can do that, it blends logically into the game, and it looks bloody amazing.

11-versus-11 FIFA by 2010 World Cup - EA

FIFA 08 takes first steps.

Electronic Arts hopes that FIFA will be able to support 11-versus-11 play in time for the 2010 World Cup - so that its "Virtual World Cup" will consist of each country's best 11 players competing side by side.

The Special One

EA's Joe Booth on what the future holds for FIFA.

As you'll read elsewhere on the site today, being all in love with us and everything, FIFA 08 is taking shape, and it's a shape we like. It's taking ball physics and simulation to new levels of fanciness, introducing a control-one-player-only mode, and developing a skill-blending system that could rival the best beat-'em-ups for versatility of gaming expression. Among many other things. Having shown us the game and let us play around with it, producer Joe Booth sat us down in one of EA Canada's swanky boardrooms and answered some more of our silly questions.