Let’s cut straight to the chase FIFA 10 is probably the most realistic football experience ever created on a console, with epic flowing action mirroring the real life game… the world’s biggest sport. The most important point however is that FIFA 10 is an absolutely awesome game to play.
FIFA 10 has been locked for years with Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer in a battle to become the defining football game of its generation and with FIFA 08 and 09 they set the ground rules for what was to come. Yes FIFA 10 has taken the mantle for best football game and it is actually that well rounded I find it hard to believe that this can be improved upon.
The new features and additions in FIFA10 are numerous and when they are all combined add to a sum much greater than their parts. The biggest talking point however will be the 360 degree dribbling which finally removes players from the archaic eight point system that has been a mainstay throughout the years.
The Ball physics are vastly improved and they react in a totally reliable manner – you don’t see any weird trajectories anymore for instance and when you kick a ball in a certain way you are positive it will move across the plane in the manner you intended. This may sound like a small point but in real world terms it makes a huge difference to the overall experience.
One of the most noticeable improvements however is the improved artificial intelligence which results in a game that behaves more realistically, players are now able to lunge at the ball in last ditch attempts and strikers will have more awareness ‘off the ball’, rather than traveling in preset directions like robots.
There is also a new practice set up that makes a debut in FIFA. This is available from the arena section prior to the start up menu and allows for set piece practice and free kick options. This is nothing new to some other football games but it is the first time it has been implemented into FIFA and the game comes away all the stronger for it.
Individual stars also get an injection of real life personality into their virtual models with players like Wayne Rooney from Manchester United actually playing the game just like he would real life. These little nuances go some way into instilling a feeling of actually being in the game rather than being a watcher from the sidelines – very few football games have had player personality in the past and this is a massive selling point – all the little individual AI traits throughout the teams.
Equally so, while the English premiership teams in the game act with more flair and ball skill, the lower leagues behave as you would expect, with much grittier, tougher games being played out before your eyes. All the players and all the teams have the correct names and kits and this even translates now to the Dutch national team. Live Season 2.0 is a massive improvement over the last version and it brings all the live data from the world of football which means gamers can take hold of their favourite teams and alter their path! In practice this is as good as it sounds with weekly updates offering the option to change the course of the previous weekends results however this is a paid for service which might leave a sour taste in people’s mouths.
Whether you love them or loathe them, EA always release games with the highest level of interface polish and FIFA 10 make no exception to this rule. The UI is well designed and looks like something you would experience on a SKY HD TV box via the interactive menu system. The level of quality shines throughout with the EA network of official licensing systems all being expertly incorporated into the game. The heart of the game is the same as before as you attempt to achieve success as a manager by achieving your specific teams board requirements which range from huge ambitions with teams such as Arsenal or Chelsea to more modest desires from the lower division clubs – such as being able to avoid relegation. The goals are as lofty or as modest as your own.
Be A Pro makes its 2010 debut with a raft of improvements such as My Virtual Pro. Using EA’s Game Face Technology, players can create a football player in their own image and build up attributes over a period of time. This adds a great facet to the game with Role Player elements at the fore and the ability to move your player across all the modes is a stroke of genius. You aren’t forced to lose ‘yourself’ once you move outside the original mode which will appeal to a huge audience. Manager Mode has also been updated to offer a long lasting single player experience with the mistakes from the last time being effective nulled to ensure that no errors and unfeasible scenarios will crop into the scenarios.
Graphically we already mentioned the new physics incorporated into the game and the level of texture detail and modeling is also improved on the last incarnation – which is quite an achievement when you consider the maturity of the technology in both ‘next generation’ consoles today. On an audio level the game is slick and has all the crowd ambience you could hope for with voiceovers handled by Andy Gray and Martin Tyler, two of the leading British Sky TV commentators.
FIFA 10 is pretty much the perfect football game and EA do deserve some credit for consistently improving the experience over the years to the point now when I find it hard to believe it could actually get much better than this. The list of minor improvements all combine to create a product which is much superior to the last version and is a sports game that will be a firm favourite in parties for the next year. This is as slick as it gets and I can highly recommend it to all football fans.
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