NSIAP: Fifa 10 REVIEW (uk)

Discussion in 'Soccer Board' started by POWESHOW, Sep 28, 2009.


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    Keep in mind that IGN is not capable of reviewing sports games because nobody in that office has ever actually played sports. It gives you an idea of some new stuff and tweak though...


    UK, September 24, 2009 - Realism – it's a term often bandied around when talking about football games and each year we've heralded the annual crop as the most faithful take on the sacred sport yet. We probably said it first back in 1988 with Microprose Soccer, the top-down game that formed the template for Sensible Soccer, and no doubt we all said it again a couple of years later when Kick Off 2 was released. In 1995 it was International Superstar Soccer that wowed with its authenticity, only for its successor, Pro Evolution, to deliver a template that was so exacting in its representation of the sport that its games offered an almost eerie verity.

    My Live Season is an excellent touch - click here for a video rundown.

    FIFA 10 makes a mockery of their pretentions, showing at once how far videogames have come in 10 years and how far FIFA has come from its days as a critical kick-bag. It's astounding in its depiction of the big game, its matches flowing with all the drama, grace and random action of the real deal. This is football as you know and love it, and it's an absolute joy to play.

    FIFA 10 is a culmination of the efforts poured into the franchise since it made the leap to the current generation, efforts that have helped it leapfrog Konami's Pro Evolution Soccer and become the premier football game these past couple of years. If FIFA 08 and 09 were statements of intent, then this is Shitty AMC Show blow, and it's going to take something extraordinary for anything to come close to this for some time to come.

    So what's changed this time round? The additions for FIFA 10 are small but numerate, and features that might seem petty on paper all conspire together to create an experience that, after time, feels far removed from last year's game. The headline improvement is no doubt the 360-degree dribbling, freeing players from the eight-point axis that's previously constrained them and allowing for more flexible football.

    Keepers are one of the beneficiaries of FIFA 10's tinkerings, proving both more reliable and a little more human.

    But it's the subtler, less headline-worthy tweaks that make all the difference to the game. There's more urgency to the way players behave, whether that's defenders changing their positioning in reaction to the flow of the game, an attacking player showing more nous in their off-the-ball run or someone making a desperate lunge to keep the ball in play.

    Tie this in with improved ball physics, wherein lofted and through balls are more reliable than ever before, and it results in a game that behaves exactly as you'd expect a real game of football to play out. This fidelity conversely makes FIFA 10 easier to play, and more importantly it's much more enjoyable than previous FIFAs. Whereas the realism of FIFA 09 was often stilted by inconsistencies, here it's a more cohesive and coherent whole, with the journey started by EA Sports with FIFA 07 now feeling complete.

    What really impresses is the range of styles the gameplay model facilitates – pit two top tier teams such as Chelsea and Man United against each other and the quality on the pitch shines through in various different ways, whether it's the way Nani or Zhirkov bound down the side-lines or the likes of Drogba and Berbatov anchor themselves in the box, holding back defenders and controlling the ball with a muscular grace.

    The set piece creator is likely to appeal to the hardcore only.

    Take it down a couple of leagues and it's equally impressive – pit Exeter against Millwall and the encounter will be a suitably bare-knuckled affair, with elegance replaced with brutal physicality that highlights the game's more nuanced take on one-on-one tussles.

    All of this is now easier to engage with as well, thanks to a fully-featured practice set-up that makes a belated debut to FIFA. Available from the arena that prefaces the start-up menu, it allows for free kick and set-piece practice. Standard fare elsewhere, perhaps, but this being FIFA it goes a few steps further, taking the series into the unexplored realms of user-generated content with the set-piece creator.

    It's admittedly fiddly in its execution, with movements created by taking each individual player and recording their runs in turn, but in the right hands it will no doubt prove lethal. Perhaps too much so, however, and while it's being allowed for online play at present, if it's exploited – and we imagine it will be – then it will be taken away.

    On the pitch, then, FIFA 10 delivers a game that's unprecedented in its scope, its authenticity and flexibility working together to create a football game that can stake a very serious claim to being the very best ever seen. Its cause is only helped by EA's veneer of polish and professionalism, with the network of official licences all being put to excellent use.

    As we've come to expect for the series, this means all the teams and all the players in all the right places, wearing all the right kits – and, in a first for the series this even extends to the Dutch national side. But this year it goes further still with Live Season 2.0, a significant improvement on last year's effort that brings in all the data from the world of football, meaning players can take charge of their favourite clubs and change their destiny.

    Virtual Pro adds an RPG twist to the game - click the image for more.

    It's a superb idea, with weekly updates giving people the option to alter the course of the previous weekend's action, but it's sullied slightly by being a paid-for service.

    But it's hard to take offence when there's so much content already in the box. Manager Mode now, at long last, presents a lasting single-player proposition, with the errors of logic and unlikely scenarios that betrayed it in previous incarnations now ironed out.

    The core game remains relatively untouched – achieve managerial success by fulfilling a club board's requirements, whether that's matching the ambitions of one of the bigger clubs by taking the league and the cup or fulfilling more modest goals for the smaller clubs by simply avoiding relegation - but true to EA Sport's aims, it's now a more believable world that surrounds the player.

    Be a Pro returns with its own suite of improvements, foremost of which is My Virtual Pro. Tying in with EA's Game Face technology, players can create a footballer in their own image and build up their attributes over time. It adds a surprising twist to the game, with the RPG-lite levelling creating a compelling grind, and the ability to seed the player across all of the game modes is inspired - it's possible to include the player in your Manager Mode side, take them through various Be a Pro seasons or simply play with them online, tying a common thread through the game that is much appreciated.

    The player and the ball now feel like distinctly different entities, and the game benefits as a result.

    Complaints are few, though there are a small number. For all of its professionalism, EA's slick presentation drains a little of the life out of the game, with the Manager Mode often like a list of statistics that keep the player at arm's length. That mask can occasionally slip as well, as uncharacteristically for an EA game there's a handful of minor bugs that can break the illusion, whether it's an erroneous sound-bite from the otherwise exemplary commentary partnership of Andy Gray and Martin Tyler or the loss of texture on some of the players.
    Closing Comments
    FIFA 10 perfects the formula laid down when the series made its debut on the current generation and the end result is a game that’s one of the most refined, polished and compelling takes on the beautiful game – and arguably of any given sport. While this year’s improvements might seem slight on paper, each one is perfectly pitched and works together to create an experience that’s an improvement on last year’s game in every conceivable way; the on-pitch action is superlative, its matches playing out with an authenticity that’s unprecedented, while the numerous modes present near-countless ways to engage with the action. The only question is where EA can take the series next? Improving on this is going to be one hell of a task.

    IGN UK Ratings for FIFA Soccer 10 (PS3)
    Rating Description
    out of 10 click here for ratings guide

    8.5 Presentation
    It's got the typical EA shine, though it can sometimes leave the player feeling a little distanced from the action.

    8.5 Graphics
    A slight overhaul means better character models for the high-profile players - but some of the unknowns still look like Neanderthals.

    9.0 Sound
    Martin Tyler and Andy Gray are, as ever, an engaging double act, and they're supported by hearty crowd chants and a slick licensed soundtrack.

    9.5 Gameplay
    FIFA 10 retroactively makes the admittedly excellent 09 seem like a halfway house, such is its brilliance in depicting the game of football.

    9.5 Lasting Appeal
    Manager Mode is now worth sticking with, My Virtual Pro an inspired addition and improved matchmaking means online is better than ever.

    Outstanding OVERALL
    (out of 10 / not an average)

  2. Weedlord420

    Weedlord420 Jabooty Football
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  3. Rabdoid

    Rabdoid Member
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  4. ChileanNole

    ChileanNole Soccer Expert
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    Real MadridFlorida State SeminolesMiami MarlinsMiami DolphinsLeeds United

  5. Ned Yocho

    Ned Yocho Please don't get lost in the sauce
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    Newcastle UnitedBig 8 Conference

    why does europe and australia get it 18/19 days before us?
  6. tne

    tne Now tagging people with spaces in their name
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    i want to be inside of this game, like sexually
  7. ChileanNole

    ChileanNole Soccer Expert
    Staff Donor
    Real MadridFlorida State SeminolesMiami MarlinsMiami DolphinsLeeds United

    I wanna say something. I'm gonna put it out there; if you like it, you can take it, if you don't, send it right back. I want to be on you.

    Wait. Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. I... I wanna be on you.