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4 Reviews

Pure Football

The beautiful game just got ugly

A football team, inexplicably lead by Steven Gerrard, leaves the pitch after a gutting loss. Gerrard texts the opposition: "We were robbed! Rematch. Anywhere. No referee. SG".

And that's the basis of Pure Football. Five-a-side teams meet out of hours and crunch into the back of the opposition without consequence, tipping each game towards end-to-end action and scoring goals.

Similar to FIFA or PES, passes, shots, long balls and through balls are mapped on to A, B, X and Y. The difference is that a shot, penalty, corner or cross uses a gauge with green, orange and red sections, which determines whether you'll hit the ball on target or wayward. A small section of the gauge is white - hit it and you'll get a 'Pure' hit, which slows everything down with blurry effects.

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Sounds exciting, doesn't it? Well it's not. These are unofficial grudge matches, where crowds and commentary are replaced with intermittent cockney shouts and percussive music, causing a total lack of atmosphere. You get a flashy, animated backdrop when you score, with a totally ridiculous phrase such as "Goal Pie" punctuating the finish. But with the keeper AI often brain-dead, hitting the back of the net becomes so routine that it doesn't feel like an achievement. It barely even makes you feel pleased.

We like the accuracy gauge; it may not be a groundbreaking system but it does suit the pick-up-and-play angle. However, the fact that a 'Pure' shot doesn't actually seem to guarantee a goal any more than a 'green' shot makes you wonder why they exist at all. Likewise with the skill moves: where FIFA Street allowed real flair with its Parkour-infused skills, Pure offers a limited set that wouldn't even outwit the Wembley groundsmen.

And the 'no referee' thing isn't strictly true. Replacing human officials is some omnipresent entity that allows you to commit a certain number of career-ending tackles but keeps a tally with a foul meter and awards a penalty when it's full - regardless of position or whether you got the ball. It's like having a bi-polar referee who flips between a Sunday League volunteer dad and Pierluigi Collina.

Pure Football is dull and light on features. The campaign sees you climb the ranks as captain of a new team but repeatedly drags you through a narrow selection of match types. The almost cartoon-like presentation is pleasing enough, and there are hints of some good ideas and moments of entertainment when playing a friend. But the notion of no-holds-barred football has been done before and better. This particular vision lacks any sense of occasion and its unbalanced semi-rules make for the most impure football we've seen to date.

The verdict

Strips football down and takes its soul

  • Fine for quick competition
  • No atmosphere
  • Unbalanced AI
  • Repetitive matches
  • Confusing take on refereeing
4
Format
Xbox 360
Developer
Unknown
Publisher
Unknown
Genre
Sports

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