The beautiful game, a wonderful sport that is often not too far from the topic of conversation. Full of passion, drama and fighting spirit, a game that is played and adored by fans all round the world. Many of us have our favourite teams, and as gamers we like to pull on the virtual kit and create wonderful passages of play, be that by representing what is current in the world of football or by recreate classic footballing memories, it certainly provides conversation in the gaming world too. And with the introduction of E-clubs in this generation, there’s never been a better time to enjoy the world of football (soccer) in terms of gaming.
Having said all of that, we are also experiencing a lack of choice in our football games on consoles. Go back a few generations to the days of the Megadrive, SNES and other consoles around that time frame, and you would have experienced real diversity when it came to football games – there were so many to play, be that simulation or arcade.
FIFA and PES (ISS) were just starting out and had to compete with a whole host of talent. Over the years that talent disappeared and all that was left console wise was the Power Houses of FIFA and PES with their yearly season instalments, with just the odd re-release of a game from the past for nostalgic value, such as super side kicks, and SWOS (sensible world of soccer).
So, when a new football game drops, it always generates a bit of interest, after all like many other genre’s, us gamers like to experience choice. Without choice us gamers fall out of love with what’s on offer very quickly. There’s a saying in the world of football, competition for places is only a good thing, and the same is said in gaming too. After all its where new ideas are born and where games elevate themselves.
Active Soccer 2019 is one of those few footballing experiences on consoles outside the big two. Created by a talented Indie Studio named The Fox Software, this football gem is a game very much in the mould of sensible world of soccer, a top down, isometric view style of a retro soccer game, packed with nostalgic elements and pure gameplay. The developer although small in size, has been around for a number of years. Having been founded in the 90’s, in the 16 bit computer era with their first release a certain Frisbee Fox on the Commodore Amiga, they certainly have bags of experience as a studio.
Active Soccer as a brand has been around for a few years, originally a mobile game, the developers have rode a wave of success and built upon those foundations. Active Soccer 2019 is in its second season on Xbox One, following the release of Active Soccer 2018.
The beautiful game is recreated in an exciting top-down arcade experience, with a quick and fluid fast paced style, which implements classic playability action and a truly responsive control system which is easy to pick up, yet hard to master.
So, what does Active Soccer 2019 bring to the party you might ask? Well a massive plus, and what a lot of football fans have been crying out for is full control with no scripted goals and certainly no CPU-driven decisions! Sit up and take note Fifa and PES Developers! This Soccer titles provides the player with a complete career mode that implements many international leagues, cups and championships, you can even play the English National League!
For the ultimate challenge, why not manage a 5th division English team with a relatively small budget and take them all the way to the top division, even a European title. Build a team, purchase players, create your own unique tactics and choose to either spectate or play the fixtures. The game really does have a strong SWOS feel to it, which is such a treat for us gamers.
Active Soccer is packed with features, with a local multiplayer mode that supports up to 4 players and a database of 1250 teams (club and national) from all over the world and 25,000 players with individual skills, just don’t expect real player names, although you can easily figure out who the players are meant to represent, via there uniquely spelt names.
Classic teams and hundreds of legendary players are also included, as well as a competition designer and a team editor, should you wish to get creative. The game also has varied weather conditions and different camera views, with the matches playable from a vertical, horizontal or diagonal viewpoint and a catchy soundtrack which will have you singing the words, amazing stuff for an indie game.
The match design is a throw back to yester-year, excellently recreated, fluid and packed with gameplay. The game is pure action and has a wonderful flow to it, the controls simple to use, very responsive but it will take time to get use to the unique dribbling, passing and curved shooting. The only real downside in game, is that set pieces are a little awkward and the game lacks a bit of atmosphere in terms of crowd sounds, but then so did sensible soccer and that rivalled the big guns back in its day.
Active Soccer 2019 is an addictive gem of a game, with a huge slice of classic gameplay that creates the magic that gets you off your seat. It’s such a refreshing sight and a wonderful change of pace compared to the big two. It’s just a shame there are no online multiplayer options, but then you can’t have it all. A truly inspiring, wonderful effort that every football fan needs to support, for the good of the game.
- Classic retro football action
- Huge database
- Awkward set pieces
- Crowd sounds
- No online multiplayer