European Super League (PC)

Virgin Interactive £29.99 PC CD-ROM Out Now

This game requires the following:

Windows 95/98/98SE/ME
Pentium 233MHz (Pentium 2 400Mhz recommended)
32MB of RAM (64MB or better recommended)
600MB of hard disk space.

We have already reviewed the Dreamcast version of European Super League (which can be read here). The PC version doesn’t really differ to much from the DC version and this really is the problem with ESL. The one that is better is that when the ball is played to feet it does seem somewhat more controllable. On the PC however, there are the Fifa games to compete with and ESL is not going to win any Fifa fan over. The gameplay still seems to lack fluidity, the goalkeepers still seem to very erratic pulling off a string of brilliant saves only to stand there while the ball trickles past them on other occasions.

Graphically the game is also a mixed bag. The teams are all in their correct kits complete with sponsors and the players do bear a slight resemblance to their real life counterparts. However the crowd looks awful and they are that blocky you’d be forgiven for thinking that the stadium was full of unsolved Rubik’s Cubes. The ball rolls through the stadium like it wasn’t there and the player names on the backs of the shirts appear to be hovering about 2" above the shirt. To make it worse the options menu returns to its default settings when you start a game. The camera angles like the DC version are awful and minimalistic in choice.

The crazy thing is that if you put a couple of hours play into ESL it isn’t that bad a game and you’ll find yourself liking certain parts of it. The shooting is good, you can actually place the ball (unlike Fifa where the ball is on autopilot) and the pace of the game in general is very enjoyable. The refereeing seems spot on too and there is a lot less cards than in the Fifa games and also there seems no bias towards the computer controlled sides. At the end of the day though you are paying out £30 and if you are a football game fan it is probably a good bet that you own something better.

Click the thumbnails for the big picture.

Overall Game Rating: 5.8/10 The PC has a lot better football games on offer.

Quality of text: 6/10 Sparse but not really needed in a game of this nature.

Graphics: 6/10 A strange mix. Good in places and poor in others.

Interface: 6/10 To much like a console. Makes no use of the mouse in menus.

Gameplay:5/10 Average, no other word sums it up better.