October is the month each soccer fan is looking forward to as in this period of the year EA unleashes a new version of its FIFA game. The company last year already put down the building blocks with FIFA 09 after which FIFA 10 had a whole year to get tweaked. Let’s see whether this successor is worth its money.
FIFA 09 was a game that was put together well in just about every aspect. With a huge offering of different modes, beautiful graphics and a sublime atmosphere EA didn’t only raise FIFA but soccer games in general to a higher level. Everyone will understand EAs choice to reuse last year’s version straight as base for FIFA 10.
Most innovative feature this time is the introduction of a 360° dribble system. Instead of the usual eight directions you can now truly run in all directions. A badly played ball can now be recuperated by slightly adjusting your direction and also shooting at the goal enjoys this finesse. With the introduction of this new system a lot of work has been put in realistic physics and the players’ physical condition is now crucial.
Players use their body well in duels, professionally protect the ball and pull their opponent’s shirt. A bear of a defender will usually win against a light attacker but just as in reality the fast and agile attackers have a chance to pass the “slower” defender. Falling, tripling, pushing, tackling… it sometimes sounds like a battlefield, which is ok for me!
FIFA 10 is filled with different modes which are split between offline and online. The biggest addition to online is the possibility to join a fixed online team of homemade characters. Together with other people you set up a team and take on other teams. This option can easily be compared to a clan and offers interesting possibilities.
If you’re not interested in the social aspect and rather play alone then FIFA has a lot of offline content. Playing tournaments, making it as manager in the Ultimate Team mode, training your Virtual Pro until he’s a world class player, and so on. Next to that Live Season, some sort of DLC that needs to be bought seperately, allows weekly downloads of different leagues so you can experience the shape, injuries and flaws of the teams yourself. Unfortunately this mode is again limited to a couple of competitions.
Graphically the game looks almost identical to its predecessor but don’t see this as a negative comment. Things still look great with very detailed players, fluent animations and beautifully created stadiums. The commentary is something I’m a lot less happy with as almost all sentences are identical to those of FIFA 09. A plus for people from The Netherlands, however, is the addition of the Dutch team including official logos and names. No Von Nistelbaum, Neutenboom, Ronhaar or Ballebaster anymore, but only their real names.
Is FIFA 10 as revolutionary as FIFA 09? Certainly not, but there’s a decent evolution present. The rough edges from the previous version have been softened a bit and some interesting features like the 360° dribbling system, Live 2.0 season and a more extensive Practice Arena have been added. FIFA 10 is a must have for any soccer fan, that’s for sure!