Previews

FIFA Street: A skillful spin-off?

Look what's come back out to play...

You might not have heard of Gary Paterson, but you've got a lot to thank him for.

The Scottish creative director was one of the driving forces behind the recent resurgence of FIFA on Xbox and PS3, a man with a vision of intricate, responsive gameplay and serious technical know-how. And now he's hoping to repeat the trick with the next FIFA Street game.

He's certainly got a challenge on his hands. The last FIFA Street, released back in 2008, was a cartoony scramble of scripted animation and unrealistic physics - everything that the revived FIFA series isn't.

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In drawing up designs for the new game Paterson and his team decided early on that the new Street would have the same character style as the regular series, and would use the impressive new player impact engine from FIFA 12 too.

The biggest changes come in the gameplay, which is like an extravagant, vastly expanded version of FIFA 12's trick stick system. As ever, the focus of matches are one-to-one battles between defender and attacker, with the player in possession of the ball aiming to lure his opponent into a tackle before making him look stupid, evading the tackle and moving away at speed.

Just like regular FIFA, it all starts with the left trigger. Hold this and the right stick will activate various flicks, step-overs, and other tricks. But if you're standing still the left stick will also come into play, rolling the ball from one foot to the other, in front, behind and to the side of your body. Suck the defender in and you can use the right trigger to explode away in any direction.

It's simple to get the hang of but with obvious depth - a bit like Skate's trick system but for football - and retains enough of regular FIFA's innate quality to have us excited.

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