Game: Fifa 10
Developer: EA Canada
Publisher: EA Sports
World dominance in terms of football games seems to be a fickle mistress, flitting between PES, in it’s various forms (all the way back to ISS 64), and the Fifa series year on year. With Fifa ’09 however, EA really were back with a bang, shining a harsh light on the inferior PES 2009, proving it to be the metaphorical black sheep of the football game family.
EA seemingly didn’t have much they had to do to create a fantastic football game this time around. My advice to the development team would have been, “Just don’t f*ck this up okay guys!” and EA have followed through in fine form; presenting the polished end product that we all expect from the only licensed football game with fantastic gameplay and a wealth of new features to boot (pun intended).
That being said, the remainder of this review will focus on the things that EA don’t get quite right, just in case someone reads this and I’m whisked off to aid development for 2011!
Firstly, the new virtual pro GameFace; giving the player the opportunity to download their own face into the game so that you can see your chiseled features as you hack down Ronaldo’s smug millionaire face in the first five minutes of a game. I’d like to say that this great idea is flawlessly executed in Fifa 10 and that I’ve been using my computer generated version of me to bring home the silverware. I’d like to, but I can’t. The simple problem being that, at time of writing, the website takes too long and throws me out at a frustrating rate. I tried three or four times attempting a task that should be made as simple as possible before feeling that I really could be spending my time better, continuing my season managing Colchester United.
Online, Fifa works well; my issues with it are perhaps more to do with the Playstation Network and online gaming in general than the game itself. I found it took an inordinate amount of time, even with a relatively fast broadband connection, to actually be able to get into a game and play. Also, the hundreds of options to tailor your gaming erred on the confusing side, and it annoyed me having to figure out just what everything meant when all I wanted to do was play a game. Once playing though, it must be said that there was no hint of lag and play worked really well.
My final little niggling bugbear is the commentary. Whilst certainly authentic, with vocals from Andy Gray and Martin Tyler, there is little variation from match to match: by my second game I was feeling more than a little déjà vu. It would have been nice to add a couple more commentators for a little variety. As it stands however, this is a very minor negative.
Fifa ’09 allowed you to create a pro, drop him into a team and develop him over four seasons. Fifa 10 takes this idea and really runs with it, allowing you to improve your pro in just about every mode, with a number of challenges that, once completed, give your pro stat boosts as well as unlocking new clothing and celebrations.
Overall then, I would argue that Fifa 10 is the best football game around. The move from Fifa ’09 certainly seems to be evolutionary rather than revolutionary but that’s not a bad thing; if it’s not broken, why fix it?
GRAPHICS: 5/5 The best graphics you’ll get from any football game around
SOUND: 4/5 Some of the music choices are a little confusing and obscure. There don’t seem to be any instant classics like ‘Kids’ by MGMT, as there were in ’09. The commentary is good but a little bit on the repetitive side.
GAMEPLAY: 4/5 The 360 controls work perfectly and the player movements are smoother than ever. Online isn’t quite as good as it could have been though.
LONGEVITY: 5/5 Perfecting your virtual pro will take you right up to next year’s release. The virtual pro mode and manager mode have an impressive level of depth and complexity.
OVERALL: 5 Footballs out of 5. This truly is the greatest football game around at the moment (even if Luton Town aren’t in there Kamiza!). I would go as far to say that this is better than Fifa: Road to the World Cup ’98.