World Cup Soccer MMORPGs - FIFA Meets Warcraft
by Chris Palmarozzi, June 29 2010
The 2010 World Cup has been an interesting one so far. As an American, I was happy to see the USA at least make it to the round of 16. Given my last name and heritage, I was disappointed in the Italian performance this year. We don't even have bad refs to blame!
Regardless, the knockout round is well underway. At the same time, free online soccer games mixed with a spoonful of World of Warcraft are improving in quality and quantity.
Most are being labeled as soccer MMORPGs (massively multiplayer online role playing games) and offer players not only soccer gameplay but the ability to create their own players and teams and gradually improve them.
For those strictly interested in the management aspect, several quality browser simulation soccer games exist too. Before diving into specific games, I must ask international readers to forgive my frequent use of 'soccer' instead of 'football'.
As a peace offering, every single one of these world cup soccer MMORPGs can be played 100% for free.
Online Soccer Games
Online soccer games now make up the majority of sports MMORPG games. The primary focus of these games is either to create a player or set of players from scratch and build them up over time. Then you play against other players' teams in friendly, league, or even World Cup matches.
Some allow you control of only one player and some a whole team. If you need action to supplement strategy in a soccer MMORPG then these are closer to your traditional FIFA experience.
This particular online soccer game offers players features for both individual character development and team development. Power Soccer requires
only a browser to play yet still manages a legitimate 3D graphical experience. You start by creating your players with full control over hair style, shoes,
and general appearance. Then form your own team with those soccer players and start playing in matches versus other humans. Thanks to an excellent ranking feature you will
be playing the majority of games against people of your own skill level.
Another option is career mode. You will be treated to a story driven experience where you will slowly develop a single character as he rises to stardom. Whether you manage
one player or several, Power Soccer provides gamers with skill points to customize their characters' improvements. You will gain these through training sessions and
If you are less into the soccer MMORPG experience and more into playing soccer with an interactive community there is a cool country tournament feature.
You choose your home country and play against others doing the same. As your country wins soccer games you accumulate points towards bringing home the cup
or tournament championship for your fellow citizens. No matter your preference the game is a full 11 on 11 experience where crisp passing, positioning, and strong strikes will win the day.
Football Superstars is the best blend of a traditional online RPG and world class soccer action. You will create and control one soccer player as you rise from the
football academy to football stardom. You choose which position to play, which skills to improve, and which teams to sign with. Like any good MMORPG you'll
also have the option of learning unique soccer skills to separate you from the pack. Every match is a great
social experience because every player on the soccer field is controlled by a human except for the goalie.
If you are concerned about playing with strangers you can opt to form a club open only to those you invite. Play organized matches against
other clubs and increase the fame of your private club. If you can't muster up 11 on each side, try some of the smaller
match sizes. Football Superstars offers online soccer games with 3, 5, 7, and 11 on each side.
Football Superstars also caters to those desiring a management experience. For an additional fee you can take on your own club. Hire players, improve
your stadium, and show the world you're not just a soccer star but a management guru.
Online Soccer Champions
This game is the newest entry to the soccer MMORPG scene. They recently entered closed beta and are accepting applications. Similar to Football Superstars,
every player on the field is controlled by an actual human. You will create a new football player from scratch and evolve him through playing matches
and other off field activities. Online Soccer Champions will provide some interesting choices for you to make for your character throughout his career to create a unique personality.
To add to the realism, this game includes soccer motion captures of authentic soccer moves. Animations will be as true to proper soccer form as possible. Online Soccer Champions
is hoping their combination of freedom for your soccer star on the field and off the field will be a winning combination. Sign up for the closed beta to get
playing as soon as possible.
The main advantage that ActionLeague Soccer offers over it's competitors is the ease at which you can start playing. Quick play can be started without
an account and because it runs through Java no client download is necessary. So if you are away from your computer or want a quick and free online soccer game then ActionLeague
Soccer is your best choice. Unfortunately, it doesn't offer as much of the sports RPG elements the competitors offer. You can create a profile that
persists from game to game and keeps track of your history and accomplishments.
FIFA Online is similar to the FIFA 2010 experience but with persistent management options for your players and a cost of $0! This is a great option
for those more interested in building a team in their soccer MMORPG than building a player. FIFA Online brings an easy to control mouse mechanism to the table and is great for those already familiar with FIFA gameplay.
Like previous FIFA offerings all the clubs and all the players are from the real world.
Start out by taking ownership of a new team. From there you play in friendlies, league matches, or even the World Cup tournament. You can play online
soccer games versus other players or play single player matches where you earn XP to improve your players. Continue to improve and compare your results to your
friends. Win more matches and not only do your players improve but you can buy better equipment and sign new players. Special achievements will earn
you rewards that others can view online. If you like the idea of building a new team but don't want to actually play the game there is a special
management simulation mode. FIFA Online just recently entered open beta which means it isn't fully functional yet but is open to public play.