Inspired by the golden age of football between the 70s and 90s, Legendary Eleven allows you to jump back to a time of ridiculously short shorts and even more ridiculous haircuts. The game is out now on Nintendo Switch and on Steam and will be coming to the other consoles later in 2018.
Release Date: 8th June 2018
Size: 734 MB
Developed By: Eclipse Games
Published By: Eclipse Games
Legendary Eleven’s campaign mode allows you to choose a team and take them to the World Cup. You’ll make your way through the group stages, into the knock out rounds and eventually on to the final. There are several other tournaments, such as the Africa Cup and the Europe Cup available as well. The game also features local multiplayer and the developer has indicated that more modes are incoming. Really the highlight of the presentation and story are the character models.
Players are all incredibly representative of 80s world cup stars, you’ll recognize players based on legends like Graeme Sounness and Kenny Dalglish based on distinguishable features (afro and mullet in these cases) immediately. Legendary Eleven really captures the spirit of this era in football.
This is an arcade football game. Rather than going down the simulation route, Legendary Eleven places more emphasis on fun and action than slow possession play or a overly tactical approach. Skill moves are mapped to a button to make them easy to pull off. Play enough passes and complete dribbles as you attack the opposition goal and you’ll build up to a Super Shot. These fly into the back of the net in spectacular fashion and reward you for positive play. They can miss though, one of my crashed off the woodwork.
Defensively you can be rewarded as well. A Brazillian maestro could be coming towards you goal, showing off some silky skills to keep the ball at his feet. The best approach? A heavy sliding challenge will rob them of the ball. Of course this risks giving away a penalty or a free kick. Luckily the referee is reasonably lenient. Normal tackles are an option as well, but a much less viable or satisfying option.
A gameplay twist is the sticker system in play. Similar to the stickers that football fans collect, in the game you unlock them and add them to your album like accolades. You can apply a number of these before a game, each with their own unique gameplay twist. Some build your Super Shot faster, some increase fitness or morale and some offer simple stat boosts to certain playing positions. This plays well with the nostalgia theme.
Unfortunately, at launch the Nintendo Switch version had a crippling gameplay issue. Every single game was broken after the first slide tackle. Broken how? You could run the ball out and around the outside of the pitch, you could dribble round to the back of the next and score from outside the playing area, opponents don’t tackle, you can’t actually tackle opponent players, goalkeepers would either hold the ball forever or punt the ball out for a throw in, this wouldn’t register as a throw in and the ball would just disappear. The game has since been patched and the issues haven’t crept up since this patch but it’s important to note the state original buyers got the game in was very poor.
Graphics and Sound
The game looks fine. The graphics capture the spirit of the era well and also have a ton of charm that will make players feel nostalgic and definitely get some smiles. Weather effects like snow add really interesting variety to the environment. Effects like the Super Shot and the net rippling when you score a goal go a long way to making the game more fun to play and more satisfying. Sound is a decent too, menu music is electro and funky and crowd reactions are great during goals and goalkeeper’s saves.
If you want a fun football game but don’t want to go the $60 more serious route of FIFA or PES then Legendary Eleven is a great option. You’ll enjoy the gameplay and the presentation of the package despite some rough edges, especially in multiplayer.
Handheld mode actually eliminates some of the graphical mishaps. The biggest issue is that the game does get repetitive. Matches start to lack intensity, especially as you get better at the game. This is Legendary Eleven’s biggest downfall. Even playing as one of the lower ranked nations, my beloved Scotland, the game was very easy once I was good at it, which only took a handful of matches. But still, screaming a shot into the top corner from 35 yards out remains a satisfying experience.
- Multiplayer matches are fun
- Nostalgic Themes
- Satisfying to score
- Repetitive Gameplay
- Crippling Launch Issues
- Not many modes (yet)