A year on from AFL Premiership 2006 and IR Gurus are about to release the next edition in Australian Rules games, AFL Premiership 2007. After releasing the past 4 AFL games IR Gurus continue to work harder and harder to produce a game that everyone can enjoy. The game will be exclusive for Playstation 2 and will be released in gaming stores on Thursday the 28th of June, however AFL Online have managed to get it’s hands on a copy to provide our visitors a sneak peak.

Whilst there aren’t any major changes to the overall game play the little things make the game significantly better than AFL Premiership 2006. IR Gurus have worked hard to make it as realistic as possible to a stage where the typical football fan can recognize a player based on several things like hair styles, long/short sleeved jumpers, boot colour & colour skin. Stadiums have also been improved to make playing the game more realistic. If you’re still playing AFL Premiership 2006 and make the change to AFL Premiership 2007 it will probably only take you a game or two to pickup the differences from last years edition. Most of the glitches or mistakes in 06 have been fixed. No longer will you be penalized for deliberate out of bounds if you pickup the ball right on the line and have no other option but to take it over the line. Although one major fault remains, you can still smother and bump the opposition when they are kicking over the mark and only get penalized on the odd occasion.

When playing AFL Premiership 2007 you will notice it automatically switches to a down field view every time a mark is successfully taken, making it easier for a player to see which team mates are free to pass or kick to and where to avoid kicking to the opposition. New evasion tactics have been added, when in possession of the ball you are now able to pull off a sidestep or spin to escape tacklers, keep in mind it doesn’t always work and they usually have extra players around the ball. Another new addition to the game is the selection of guernsey’s. You can now play in your original, clash, pre-season or guernsey’s dated back too 1874. For a bit of fun you can play Carlton wearing it’s M&M’s light blue promotion jumper against Hawks jockey jumper they used in the 1995 preseason. Other uniform highlights include;
· A Collingwood guernsey from the preseason of 1982 that has no vertical stripes!
· Richmond wearing yellow shorts
· Kangaroos orange jumper from 2000
· The classic Fitzroy guernsey we all miss
· Port Adelaide’s prison bar jumper from the heritage round of 2003
· An all-red South Melbourne guernsey from 1921
· All uniforms prior to 1950 have players wearing old leather boots from the turn of the century
· Richmond and Hawthorn uniforms from the 70s have yellow boots

Mission Mode has also had a mix-up. Instead of 06’s memorable moments from recent history now every team is put in a past Grand Final moment. Apart from Fremantle who of course are yet to play in a Grand Final so they can relive a finals experience. One of the downsides of the game is that there’s only one mission available for each team.

The off-field changes that have been made this are another step in the right direction. Inside career mode you can now do weekly training sessions. Every round will feature one training session, with players able to choose from a number of training variables to put their squad through depending on what areas they’d like to improve. Training can be set for the entire team, for groups of players such as midfielders and forwards, right down to individuals. However the training sessions are generated and are not actually playable. Training sessions may also be skipped.

Overall I enjoyed the game, if I had not of received a copy already I would have paid the retail price of $79.95 � That being said I am a mad Aussie Rules fan and would probably buy it even if it was a letdown to most people. I guess if you’re like me this would have no influence on your decision to purchase it anyway. For those who are interested in buying the game for its game play and graphical reasons then I suggest you play before you buy, that way you won’t be disappointed.

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