FIFA 10 - Header

So, as every Tottenham fan (which we all are at TechHuman, save our editor, who doesn’t give a cornfarthing) will tell you that Sunday’s 9-1 thrashing was one of the most complete performances by a team in a game of football since the Christmas ceasefire in WWI. But for those of us who have been playing FIFA for the better part of our lives, 9-1 doesn’t seem that amazing. FIFA has set the standard for all football games basically, every year since its inception so now it’s time to see how this year’s, a World Cup edition, performs in relation to its highly regarded predecessors.

The style is very familiar. That said, why fix what isn’t broken? So if you know how to play FIFA 1998, you’ll feel right at home with the style of FIFA 10. EA have tweaked FIFA 10 here and there creating a smoother feel in the menus and actual gameplay with 360 degree dribbling control system, which makes it easier to latch onto any through ball and punish the keeper.

EA have perfected the “Be a Pro” mode, which allows you to control a single player instead of the whole team. This is amazingly life like and paired with the kick ass graphics you practically feel like an overpaid, undertrained Spaniard, albeit with great hair.

The new manager mode kind of sucks but in fairness, it always has. I suppose that’s because I enjoy actually playing the game. If you enjoy managing teams, signing new player and dealing with suspensions then you’ll be nursing a semi for the manager mode. If so, then you’ll skip right on past straight to Football Manager 10 which will do something to you that cannot be described around children.

FIFA have perfected the graphics so much that you’re practically getting mud on your living room carpet. Seriously. The spectators are as ugly as they are on TV, the stadiums look awesome and players’ movements and details are superb. EA put a lot of effort into making the characters “more human” So much so that highly marketable players like Wayne Rooney were strapped up to computers and sensors to measure their own specific actions, style of play and body control. It’s not all peaches and cream though. Some players are still the wrong nationality and their heights aren’t entirely correct with players like Peter Crouch and Theo Walcott being much the same height. The graphics are fantastic, but as with all technology it still has room for improvement.

Gameplay is mostly unchanged with easy passing, through balls, movement, sprinting and crossing. The more recent introduction of skill moves is a really nice addition. Shooting has also had a small revamp; it is slightly more sensitive, with positioning and strength playing vital roles in the accuracy of the shot.

Once mastered, goals come fast and easy. A few issues are apparent with sprinting and goalkeeper’s automatic decision making. When sprinting, all players kick the ball a few metres from them, this enables the opposing player to make a simple ball retrieving tackle. A little patience and timing resolves the issue but it is still annoying nonetheless. The ball keeping skills are brilliant but when the gameplay requires some intuitive thinking the ball is entirely ignorant, so snapshots and 40 yard Bentley-esque goals will be very few and far between.

FIFA 10 has stuck when it has needed to stick and developed where it was severely needed. There are a few small problems but as a whole package it is pretty damn awesome. It is a game well worth the credit and effort put into it is surely appreciated by all FIFA lovers.

Granted the next FIFA is not going to be vastly different. They will still focus mainly on United and Barca players, and at the end of the day, you will require to get the ball into the net without the use of the players’ hands. But it surely will stretch the limits of what can be enhanced.

Josh “Swift” Sack
Games Editor