The game's hook is definitely within its online components and use of the Internet to further the playing experience. Unlike other soccer titles, UEFA Euro 2008
allows the user to play games that affect the entire world's country's ratings. Choose your favorite country to represent, and as your win/loss record changes, it is combined with other users, and standings/records are created for online representation for the Battle of the Nations feature. As long as you're connected to Xbox Live, your performances from offline games will affect the global market.
UEFA Euro 2008 plays exactly like any other soccer game you've played before (especially past EA titles). There are a few new moves to report, including the Skill Moves using the Right Analog Stick and Left Trigger. While these moves are great additions to the soccer-playing interface, they take a bit of time to master. Still, I'm likely one of the worst soccer game players in the history of man, so your performance may differ.
In general, the gameplay of UEFA Euro 2008 is pretty repetitive, but there are a few modes of play for your entertainment. Other than your standard Kick-Off (quick match), Euro 2008 also features its main mode, UEFA Euro 2008, in which you can play through the tournament, including the option to start directly with the finals, or play through an entire tournament from start to finish.
Other modes include Captain Your Country, Story of Qualifying, and Euro Online Knockout Cup. As the name implies, Captain Your Country puts you in the shoes of your favorite player (or created player), and allows for multiplayer opportunities, as you and your favorite team strive for your place in history. While a novel concept, this mode lacks entertainment value (in the single-player version) because soccer is very much a team sport, and controlling a single player just isn't all that easy when victory may rely on a single goal.
Story of Qualifying isn't a new feature for sports games by any means, but it can be a great way to challenge you with different scenarios. Whether you need to play as Spain and hold off your rival from getting that tying score or you need to mount the most outstanding comeback in history and overcome a 9 to 1 deficit, there is a challenge for everyone; some being extremely difficult. The Euro Online Knockout Cup is set online in a persistent world setting. Unlike other sports titles, you do not have to remain online and play back-to-back games to stay in this tournament. You can actually come and go as you please, and as long as there is a competitor online that is at the same level as you in the tournament tree, you'll have a match waiting for you. However, as you continue up the ladder, it is noticeably slower finding opponents, if you do at all.