Back in the day, I played a game called Kick Off on the Amiga 500.
Well, there were two games. Kick Off, and Kick Off 2.
At the time, the game was ground breaking. It will look simple by today’s graphical standards, but back in the day (late ‘80s) this was considered cutting edge.
Believe it, or not.
Anyhoo, there’s a point to all of this.
I still reckon the Kick Off suite of games were pretty bloody revolutionary… not just for the fact that they totally switched it up and went top down, rather than side scrolling.
Not to mention the ball. It was the first soccer game I recall where the ball “floated” separate to the player.
AND… Kick Off 2 had this cool thing where you could curl the ball into the goal from a corner. It was the first time I remember seeing that in a video game.
In lieu of all of this, there’s one really cool thing Kick Off and Kick Off 2 did that I don’t think I’ve seen in any other sports game (I could be wrong).
The refs in the game all had a different personality.
What I mean by that is that, there was around 12 or so refs, and you would have one assigned to your game at random. Each had their quirks and biases… the main one being that some would red card you for the softest foul, whilst others would almost turn the proverbial blind eye.
It totally forced you to change your playing style in each and every game. That made it much more realistic, as that’s what happens in real life. In any sport, not just soccer, refs and umps play such a massive part in sport, yet for all those awesome sports games like FIFA, Pro Evo, NBA 2K17, etc, the refs are just a robotic element to the game.
I should know, because I’m a notorious slide tackler in soccer. Like next level… yet I rarely get red cards.
I wouldn’t last 5 minutes on the pitch in real life.
Again, it’s been a while since I played a soccer game, so things might have evolved. But imagine playing FIFA with 20 or so different refs assigned to the roster. You have to adjust your playing style to suit each ref.
Even better, speaking of FIFA… They’ve got the license, so why not base ref behaviour on real life refs?
Written by: @dantheinternut