Football Manager 2017

Football Manager 2017 simulates the consequences of Brexit on the sport

It’s been a while since Kill Screen checked in on the Brexit fallout. Last time around, David Cameron was still an active Member of Parliament and Nigel Farage was giving awkward interviews about the NHS while looking a bit like Downton Abbey’s gawpy interpretation of Pepe the Frog. How time flies! In the four brief months since a plurality of Britons voted to commit economic and diplomatic harakiri, the venerable Football Manager series has managed to simulate the decision’s effects on the sport in its next entry, Football Manager 2017. And as Miles Jacobson, the man in charge of the videogame series, told The…

Rocket League

Soccer tactics and the evolution of Rocket League

Soccer as we know it has undergone several modifications since its earliest stages. Back in 1529, a soccer-esque sport called ‘Calcio Fiorentino’ was being played between two teams with 27 players each in the Piazza Santa Croce, a famous plaza in front of a basilica in Florence, Italy. The players used this game to solve their political differences in a match full of violence and intensity. These differences were normal back in 16th century Italy, when competition was more a matter of showing superiority and dominance over a rival group—as in matches between aristocratic families and gangs that dominated different…


The tragic tale of rugby as a sports game

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. After the 34-17 loss at the Rugby World Cup semi-finals last October, Australian fans could do with some escapism. But if they’re looking to relieve their broken hearts and reclaim the cup through a videogame fantasy, they’ll find that the medium is still working to catch up to the excitement of real life matches. While annual soccer video games like FIFA plow ahead with authentic ball physics and a realistic facial rendering of Lionel Messi, rugby videogames are admirable mostly for their refusal to quit. Judging from the opinions…


Can India become an eSports powerhouse?

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. The eSports fever that has taken the world by storm is largely driven by its popularity throughout Europe, Asia, and the Americas. But there are still billions of people on the sidelines in countries where competitive gaming has yet to take off. India, the second most populous nation on the planet, for instance, is one of the more prominent holdouts. As of the time of this writing, there are exactly zero players residing within the country who play eSports for a living. While pro players elsewhere in the world can bring in a…


How to make soccer more entertaining? Add ragdoll physics

Americans insist that soccer is and always will be boring. And, admittedly, low-scoring games with few opportunities for commercial breaks isn’t the most ‘Murica thing ever. But defenders of soccer might point to the simple elegance of a well-executed pass, or the unparalleled tension of a final battle in the penalty box. Well, all of that—the good and the bad—gets thrown out the window in Footbrawl, a ragdoll soccer game being developed by designer Kevin Suckert. Right now, Footbrawl is just a basic prototype with lots of funny GIFs to show for it. But the potential seems, well, endless. “Its [sic] basically everything what FIFA street…


Sigh, FIFA 16 can’t avoid the systemic inequality of women’s soccer after all

Kadeisha Buchanan, the best young player at this summer’s Women’s World Cup, is a fantastic talent, the kind of player you can only dream of being. That’s why the news that a select few female soccer players would be included in the latest edition of FIFA was so exciting. That’s also why the news that EA has removed Buchanan and 12 other female players from FIFA 16 for fear of compromising their NCAA eligibility is so disappointing.  This is, on the one hand, a decidedly old-school story. A videogame developer sets out to make a sports game but has a…


Soccer City’s ironic realism does away with pesky player agency

“Football is a simple game,” the onetime England striker and fulltime milquetoast TV personality Gary Lineker once explained. “Twenty-two men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans always win.” Alternately, football is an incredibly complicated tactical exercise at the end of which the Germans admittedly tend to win. Soccer City, a strategy boardgame about the beautiful game that is currently raising funds on Kickstarter, veers towards that latter view of the sport. Soccer City bills itself as “the most realistic football board game ever made,” which is big talk from a game with soccer in…