I really, really want to like Legendary Eleven, the latest arcade soccer game from Spanish developer Eclipse Games. As you’ll discover below, the game just misses the mark, thanks to reliability issues the crop up nearly every game. In Legendary Eleven, you choose from one of 36 countries to take through the World Cup, or one of a handful of smaller regional tournaments. The only modes in the game are the tournament mode or exhibition.
The game has a distinct look, with players looking like they would fit in with the 1970s, with their short shorts. The game also looks like it might fit in well on the PlayStation 2. There is little music in the game, and the only sounds during gameplay are occasion PA announcements, some crowd reaction and soccer-playing noises.
The core gameplay is fun and easy to pick up-and-play. There is a button to pass, a button to shoot, a button for a special dribble and a sprint button. There’s an additional ability for a “pass through,” but I found it to be largely ineffective. As you make passes, you build a special meter; once that meter is full, you merely need to get into a shooting position and hit the right button combination in order to hit a special kick. This kick is unblockable and always goes in.
At face value, Legendary Eleven is a fun and competent arcade soccer game. And, if you were playing with another human player, it can be super competitive. But the wheels fall off when playing against the computer.
I’ll start with that special kick that always goes in. It’s great in-theory, but can get quite infuriating when the AI team gets multiple super kicks in a row. I also found the inputs required for the special kick to only work part of the time. For every kick that I pulled off flawlessly, I’d make two kicks with the same button press, only to see the ball soar over the net.
Once I got the hang of score goals without the special move, I became nearly unstoppable, scoring 6 and 7 goals per game. There is no adjustable difficulty.
Another complicating factor here, is that the AI players will occasionally just stop responding to you. I tested this in multiple games, where I would just stand still on my half of the pitch, and as long as I didn’t move, the other team never approached me. In two separate games, I stood still from the 20-minute mark, through to the end of the half at 45 minutes. (I’m not sure how long the halves actually are, but games do go pretty quickly.)
Prior to starting the game, the developer informed me of a bug that crops up when players perform a lot of tackles in the game. After a number of tackles, the player-controlled team loses control, and the ball will listlessly roll away for the remainder of the half. The developer said they are working on a fix for this bug. Despite this warning, I figured things would be fine in the end. Yet, I have had many games with this bug popping up. Typically, the only way to get the ball away from the computer team is to tackle, which means that I frequently came up against games that essentially ended with this glitch.
One final glitch that popped up occasionally for me is when the opposing goalkeeper will sometimes kick the ball straight into the stands. I’m not sure why this happens.
Legendary Eleven has a few good things going for it. At its best, it could evoke my dorm-room couch gaming sessions of FIFA 06 that I look back on fondly. With the current build, however, it doesn’t reach its best very often. If the above-mentioned glitches get patched out, and if the AI will attack on defense a bit more, then it can be a perfectly serviceable arcade futbol game. Until then? Grab Soccer Slammers or stick with FIFA 18 for your footie fix.
Legendary Eleven was reviewed using a code provided by the developer.