Soccer with all the slamming left in
World Cup fever is still at fever pitch, and with the knockout rounds now under way, Atooi have managed to get Soccer Slammers out on time to take advantage of the occasion.
Whereas the FIFA 18 World Cup 2018 update offers as realistic an experience as you can possibly find of taking England all the way in Russia, Soccer Slammers takes the polar-opposite approach, replacing the ultra-realistic football action with total carnage on the field.
The gameplay is absolutely chaotic. There are no tactics at play whatsoever – if the opposition is kicking off, the ball can be in the back of your net within one second flat. Yes – this is a Mario Strikers Football on steroids, with all of the ultra-unrealistic aspects of that game which allow you to score from literally anywhere on the field exaggerated as far as they will go.
The game plays as an anything-goes five-a-side experience. Walls surround the pitch which allow you to play one-twos past the opposition, but that requires you to have the fortune of not being smashed to the ground within seconds of achieving possession. Each team has two outfield players and a goalkeeper, though you’ll only take control of one of the two outfield players. The goalkeeper is entirely automated and on the whole useless, often letting shots sail past into the net and simply aiming a goal kick towards the centre circle on the rare occasion when he actually does manage to stop the ball.
Other than the control stick, there are three button commands at use – tackle, pass and shoot. There are no fouls, and every tackle leaves the opponent in a crumpled heap if it connects, even if they weren’t in possession of the ball in the first place. The pass button is often handy for catching the opponents out and finding your off-screen teammate in acres of space, but interceptions are rife, and you never quite know what’s going to happen from one frequent kick-off to the next.
Games are fast-paced and high-scoring – it isn’t out of the ordinary for both teams to get past double figures. The CPU can sometimes be beyond control, though – you’ll have times where the kick-off-goal repetition can rack up a four or five goal lead before you’ve had a chance to even collect your thoughts. You can shoot from anywhere and have an energy meter which depletes when sprinting – it allows for more powerful shots when full.
There’s no official licenses at play, but you can play through this summer’s World Cup tournament in Soccer Slammers form. All the group stage teams are playing the same opponents as in real life – Spain, Portugal, Morocco and Iran are all bunched together, for example – but there’s no real players or attributes at play, so every team is evenly balanced.
The challenge is high – but that doesn’t alter that it is fun. But it surely is a minimalistic experience – there aren’t any mini-games beyond the exhibition match and World Cup tournament, and with the overall gameplay very bare-bones as well, Soccer Slammers isn’t a game which has the same level of charm and unforgettable nostalgia as the much loved arcade-type football games of the past – the Sensible Soccers, the Red Cards and the ISSs that we all pull down from the attic every now and then.