Football at its peak
Never has there been such a football simulation made to perfection until now. It’s difficult for developers to please the fans with a new instalment every year. Usually fans complain about annual instalments being a cut and paste job of last years game with minute new features.
Over the years football fans have favoured PES over Fifa for its arcade simplicity and enjoyable football experience, until Fifa 09 arrived. While PES has failed to offer anything new to the franchise, the ever evolving Fifa has won the hearts of video game fans the world over.
As if Fifa 09 didn’t let the elegant game of football shine enough, EA has gone the extra mile with the latest Fifa instalment in providing more than just an annual Fifa with minor adjustments.
First and foremost I have to mention the 360 dribble system, breaking the ice of the usual 8 axis direction of movement, it is now more fluent than ever making angles and tight spaces you didn’t discover natural in motion.
On the pitch, football is about tactics and positioning yourself in the right place ready for an opportunity on goal. In Fifa 10, scoring a goal is the most rewarding experience with the new realistic AI implemented. Defenders will no longer wait for the right opportunity to slide tackle the ball from you but now have been revamped to tussle and barge you out the way in battle for possession. Another element defenders have is something EA likes to call defensive urgency whereby defenders will do anything to prevent a goal leaping out the way for clearance.
The goal keepers AI has also been notched up a bit, keeping attackers at bay more often, even on the rebound. You’ll find that more often playing defence is a common ground. It’s similar to a see-saw, in one half your playing defence the next minute you’re on the attack to find that the space you worked hard to get into was a wasted opportunity while trying to nudge defenders out the way.
It’s features like this that makes the build-up to a goal intense, nevertheless satisfying. The referee tends to interfere with matches less often, even jumping out of the way of a speeding midfielder.
A little bug here and there I found on the field is being able to slide tackle your own team mates and running right through the referee. They don’t occur that often to ruin your experience but it’s definitely worth noting.
An enhancement on the practice arena is the option to have a practice match of up to 10 on 10 player matches. This is the only feature I missed PES for but now Fifa’s got the best of both worlds. Set piece taker is one of the trickier new features to make use of but defiantly lethal when you get to grips with it.
Virtual Pro, a variation on last years Be A Pro, now utilises EA’s game face technology to immerse your face into the virtual world of Fifa 10. Virtual Pro now allows you to take your creation into exhibition matches and online.
EA is really going to struggle to overcome its succession in this years instalment.
Manager mode is another mode that returns but boy is it buggy, in fact you might even say broken. One problem I encountered was a newly signed player I loaned just entirely vanishing on me. When searched I discovered he was somehow playing for another team.
When attempting to buy another player, I was informed that two players were signed when in fact I had one. The list goes on, and ultimately the manger mode proves to be dysfunctional and without a doubt a pain. For football fanatics who enjoyed the pay to play service in Fifa 09, live season 2.0 is the latest update on last years integration.
Presentation is never disappointing, graphics of players and crowd live up to high expectations as usual. One repercussion of scoring a goal is the sequence of events leading up to the celebration. There’s a delay in transition to the celebration cut scene. During the delay players of the scoring team run into the netting of the goals and get stuck.
Fifa 10 is the closest simulation to televised football; EA is really going to struggle to overcome its succession in this years instalment. All the modes and features live up to expectations except for manager mode, but could possibly be fixed with a patch or update. Put aside the problems and you’ve got a beautiful game of football to near perfection. I can assure you that this game is going to be picked off the shelves like hot cakes.
The Bad: • Jumbled menu ; • Fans who enjoy playing manager mode won’t be pleased with the many bugs within the mode; • Live Season 2.0 updates aren’t free;