|This article needs additional citations for verification. (November 2007)|
Actua Soccer 3 UK cover, featuring Alan Shearer.
|Platforms||PlayStation, MS-DOS, Windows, Sega Saturn, Macintosh|
|First release||Actua Soccer
|Latest release||Actua Soccer 3
Actua Soccer is a football sports video game series that was developed by Gremlin Interactive as part of their Actua Sports series, and was one of the first football games to use full 3D graphics. The series comprises four titles released from 1995 to 1999, not including the official video game of the Euro 96 tournament, which was also published by Gremlin and based on the Actua Soccer game engine. Barry Davies provided in-game commentary for all games in the series.
Actua Soccer and Actua Soccer: Club Edition
- Tagline: "There's nothing virtual about actua"
The first title's biggest claim to fame was its full 3D graphics engine, used for the first time in a home console football game; although other console games had used a 3D field, players were commonly still 2D sprites but in Actua Soccer players were polygonal. The game was developed with close ties to a local football club Sheffield Wednesday their players provided hints to the programmers and three players Chris Woods, Graham Hyde and Andy Sinton also served as motion capture models.
Actua soccer featured only national teams, with squads of 22 players from each of 44 national sides, However a follow up version with English Premier League teams named Actua Soccer: Club Edition was released in 1996 using 20 players from the 20 Premier League teams from 1996/97. The Actua Soccer match engine was also used to display matches in Premier Manager 64.
The first game was a bestseller in the UK.
Actua Soccer 2
- Tagline: "The one and only game for true football fans"
Actua Soccer 2 or sometimes Actua Soccer 98 due to its capitalization on the 1998 FIFA World Cup was one of the many football titles released to capitalize on the 1998 World Cup, and once again included national teams, but a more polished engine (optimized in the PC version for 3D graphics cards), (in some versions) the full Italian Serie A league, and a new "scenario" mode assured good sales and mostly positive reviews. It also included a team creator mode, which enabled the player to make up to 128 custom teams. Barry Davies was joined by Trevor Brooking on the commentary, and the game featured England football team captain and striker Alan Shearer not only on the cover, but also providing interviews about the game in the press. Michael Owen and Simon Tracey provided motion capture for the players. The game also featured menu music and a cameo appearance from Welsh rockers, Super Furry Animals, which could only be activated after entering a cheat code. Actua Soccer 2 was also bundled with Creative Technology's Voodoo 2 graphic cards, which helped to achieve widespread distribution and popularity.
Actua Soccer 3
- Tagline: "Endorsed by Alan Shearer/True football fans"
The last of the series, Actua Soccer 3 arrived in late 1998. For the first time, both club and national teams were present, plus other teams (such as Arsenal LFC) and various joke teams. While its predecessor had been criticized for the absence of club teams, Actua Soccer 3 featured a total of 25 leagues with 450 national and international teams, more than any game of the time except the earlier Sensible World of Soccer as well as over 10000 players. The graphics used a slightly improved version of the Actua Soccer 2 engine with much improved weather effects. Trevor Brooking was replaced by Martin O'Neill as Barry Davies' commentary partner. "Let Me Entertain You" by Robbie Williams was the only ingame soundtrack, while the classical operatic theme Cavalleria Rusticana (Rustic Chivalry) by Pietro Mascagni was played during the game's introduction video.
- Thomas, Aarud (2005-01-01). "Actua Soccer History" Actua Soccer History". Thomas, Aarud. Archived from the original on 2007-08-20. Retrieved 2009-01-28.
- Hiranand, Ravi (1999-07-07). "Premier Manager 64 IGN preview". IGN. Retrieved 2008-03-17.
- Gallup UK Playstation sales chart, May 1996, published in Official UK PlayStation Magazine issue 6