The recent debut of Football Drama on Steam by Open Lab Games , a small independent team from Florence, has rekindled that desire to learn more.
September is historically the month of top sports titles dedicated mainly to football and the dualism between Fifa and PES (this year eFootball PES, ed) continues more than ever. “Third uncomfortable” – but of course in sports – is NBA 2K 20. Thus, the release of Football Drama that many could see as a “commercial suicide”, is nevertheless a courageous choice and honors the Italian software house.
But what is Football Drama? We wrote it in our review : it is a sort of strategic adventure (or strategic adventure) where personal choices matter a lot and , let's add here, treat the world of football from distance and try to analyze it with a magnifying glass of facts that go beyond the dynamics and results of your team.
At times it seems to be in front of one of those point and click graphic adventures that present dialogues with multiple answers where each answer can make the difference between the stall or the resolution even when ours will speak with its own cat.
Football Drama lets us enter a world of football at such a level that it is not even necessary to look at who we have in the team. We could have jugs or super stars as far as we're concerned. But this matters little. We will never have any reference to the players on the field except when we will have to use the training cards and the cards during the game to change – if needed and if successful – the fate of the match.
But they are always very broad references. We will always see the only concrete image in the middle of the game, in the interval, when Rocco Galliano (a little Zeman, a little Sacks, a little Bearzot and a little all those gurus we have or love and hate every day following the canonical football world) will ask the most representative player which tactic we will adopt. And it is precisely here that the image shows us a player who really remembers very much the great Socrates that over the years' 80 enchanted audiences around the world … except in Italy where with Fiorentina (and Open Labs is from Florence, will it be a coincidence?) did not leave such a memory to his own talent unlike his other colleagues and national teammates (see Zico or Falcao, to name two names).
But why exactly with Socrates? Because anyway he had (he left us in 2011 at the age of 57 years) a great charisma in addition to a very big talent, who fomented and guided at the time of the Corinthians also the self-management of the players.
Then enough. The plot takes us into personal events and conflicts of a tormented soul. Rocco Galliano had all the credentials to be the Special One at Mourinho. And it is also to this technician that the developers probably took their inspiration. Or maybe it's Rocco Galliano who tries to be like the Portuguese coach a bit like Canà was inspired by Nils Liedholm. Why this juxtaposition with the trainer in the balloon? Because in addition to the comedy there is more and also the film of the 1984 by Sergio Martino recklessly tells some truths
At this point there is also a doubt: Galliano as the magician KK of the film with Franco Franchi and Ciccio Ingrassia of 1970 “The two magicians of the ball”? Perhaps more holy than magician. Because however Galliano is one that football chewed him. And he understands.
But the human aspect counts in this game. We can therefore ensure that our character can be a serial provocateur guided by Chaos instead of Karma, two elements that are always kept under control by the game.
Football Drama, however, goes further because thanks to its quotations and the management of the games (very basic in terms of command but more than “heads” for the purposes of the choices) you get a really interesting alchemy.
It is the history of man that dominates. It is the defects, the temptations and the way of reasoning that affect and keep the gameplay going in an eternal struggle between our conscience and temptations, all for the good of the Colchester.
The fact of finding so many citations to real football and to characters linked to triple, if not quadruple, sent to the football that counts and to its vertices, with their parodies that play roles a little hidden we like very much. Blaster, Poggi (Blatter and Moggi in the real world) are allegorical and at the same time rather obscure and controversial figures. It seems, at times, to be Pinocchio who meets the Cat and the Fox and sometimes the Talking Cricket.
But there is also the fairy, which takes the form of the wife of the Russian billionaire president and owner of the Cholchester. And if you do 2 2 you will understand how dangerous even the extremely devil's honey is.
In Football Drama you can decide to be honest but risking to be disputed or muddied, or to act according to instinct but perhaps continuing to follow the rules and therefore showing your teeth but not hurting yourself … or being corrupted by Everything and everyone.
And here comes to mind Ultimate Soccer Manager, mid-year title '90 of Impressions which also allowed to bet against your team or in favor. However, an unlawful practice that in some cases put an end to our career as the technician could be arrested …
But back to us. Also the field has its importance and also through the possibility of playing cards (up to a maximum of five) the behavior of the team can be outlined. There are cards that say a lot: provoke fights, or provoke the fans, simulate fouls. In short, it is possible to “cheat” even in the field. A card that we found hateful but useful (when it worked), was “teasing opponents”
Yes, in Football Drama football is also “experienced” in this way. For the record, we won the championship at large: 16 victories and 2 draws and our president for 17 games shredded the attributes because he was not happy with the game. This also happens in Football Drama
We experienced a very, very intense game. Not perfect but conceptually a really thick title that – we reiterate here too – if it were wider especially in the press conferences that serve to regulate our sympathy but which in the end becomes – in our opinion – rather improved. And since the 18 games are not so many, you could look for more variety
In its own small way, Football Drama contains and stigmatizes some football stereotypes: corruption, doping, relations with the press and management and, last but not least, the reading of the game in a way that is not excessively technical but rather cerebral . We will have to make an effort to guess (but it is not difficult) when to mark, risk, keep the ball, pull, play as a team, fight back
All this is part of a balance that finally gives a football game a good reading of football and, perhaps, goes beyond “simple” football. If you like what Pelè and not only, has defined as the game more than the world and if you are not types of action or if you like a story with many facets and reasoned contours, Football Drama is worth its purchase. If it were not for the style of narration and for a particular visual aspect. And then it's one of those few soccer games, made in Italy.