25/10/2017

☆ First Look: Sociable Soccer "Sensible Soccer's Grandchild" ☆ #GameDev #EarlyAccess

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Sensible Soccer has a long and illustrious history and sits in the hearts of 90's gamers like no other football video game from that period ever did.

Lots of games tried and failed to replicate the perfect blend of fun and depth that was baked into Sensible Soccer's DNA.

In 2017 Jon Hare and co. are back with a next generation of the Sensible Soccer lineage that is looking to reinvoke memories of those heated and frantic 2 player matches that you had with your brothers, mates and family. 

Sociable Soccer is everybody's favourite second team right now and we're all rooting for the legendary midfield maestro as he comes back for one last go at lifting the cup.

Can Sociable recreate the glory days of the golden generation or will it fade like Kick Off Revival did?

Let's Kick Off with a Rabona Kick and find out, shall we?


Let's begin by saying that I am a proud owner of one of the first builds of Sociable Soccer and it is currently on Steam Early Access. It's important to note that Jon Hare has made it clear that the development of this game is an on-going collaboration between the fans and the devs so it is important to realise that there will be bugs and there will be things that don't feel quite right BUT as time goes on the committed dev team will make this game as good as it can be.

With that said, how good can this game be?

I fired the game up for the first time having never played any demo builds of the game and I was so happy to hear "Goal Scoring Superstar hero" belting out of my PC speakers immediately. Great choice to include the legendary SWOS music and it put me at ease immediately.

The game presentation is not bad but in my opinion, maybe it lacks a bit of character. I would like to have seen some kind of footballing heritage in this game's presentation as after all this is a British made football game that is not trying to be FIFA so why not lean into the pixel art of yesteryear or maybe the cartoon Roy Of The Rovers stylings rather than just 3D modelled characters?

He Passes.....
The presentation is not what it's all about though. When it comes down to the success or failure of this game it should be judged on how fun and intuitive is it to play the game. Well, I can tell you now, this game is onto something. The passing system I like a lot. It feels good to build a movement and it takes skill to pick out a man which I think works well to reward the player for passing intelligently. 

He Shoots.....
When you get into position to shoot it's actually quite tough to line it up precisely at first but as I played more it became more intuitive. Flowing moves were pretty good and it felt nice to finish off a move with a worldy into the top corner from 20 yards. 

He Scores?
This said though the headers leave a lot to be desired and feel like you don't really have much control over when your player pulls off a header or not. I did manage to score with a header but it felt like it just hit my forward (Kane) in the face and went in. 

Crunch!
Tackles are pretty good and it didn't feel like I was getting penalised for slide tackles too much. It does feel like it could do with a jockey button to steal the ball from an opponent without going to ground but maybe I'm just thinking like an old PES4 player?

Referee!
The yellow cards were a bit odd as you were booked before you'd even got up from the tackle you'd made. I'd rather have the normal flow of player makes the tackle, gets up and is then booked by a ref. It just seems a little odd but maybe I'll get used to it? I'd like to have seen an on-screen referee come running up to your player to book him as that gives the referee some kind of character rather just seeing a card magically appear.

Mr Robot
Given that the game is currently in Early Access and I know that they are working hard to introduce patches it feels a bit rough of me to mention that the AI is pretty much a dumb ass, but it is true. The AI doesn't really make you think. AI will give you the ball from every goal kick, throw their own throw-ins directly off the pitch and even when you stop playing they kindly will do so too. 

As I write this First Look Early Access Preview style article I know that the AI is the number one thing they will be patching soon.

I think once the AI is fixed this game will bring a lot of fun to a lot of people and hopefully will grow into the football video games community's darling of a football game. 

I for one am right behind the game and the dev team and hopefully, you will take this opportunity to get involved with how the game shapes up in Early Access by supporting the game and getting your hands on it on Steam.

Game Link: Steam
Dev Link: Sociable Soccer



















First Look By Rich


"STAY FROSTY!"