PS3 Review – 2010 FIFA World Cup

EA Sports’ latest installment of the international tournament has now arrived. After months of playing FIFA 10, it’s about time for another football title.

The first thought which comes to mind is inevitably, “is it a rip-off of FIFA 10?” For the most part, the answer is no. 2010 FIFA World Cup has a completely revamped engine, and delivers a different experience than last year’s FIFA 10 in both single and multiplayer modes.

Core gameplay elements feel and play better than FIFA 10, without a doubt. The developers have also reiterated on multiple occasions during press events that the engine they would be using for 2010 FIFA World Cup would be the best yet in the EA Sports franchise. They weren’t lying. Passing, crossing, and shooting feels authentic and satisfying. The movements of the players are nearly identical to FIFA 10, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It feels more fluid and real, and the same can fortunately be said about the passing physics.

2010 FIFA World Cup boasts some of the best new gameplay modes in the series. The plethora of modes, each mode compelling in its own way, adds to the game’s overall value. And it’s probably one of the reasons you’ll keep coming back for more. Firstly, a new mode, entitled “Story of Qualifying” allows players to relive previous qualifying matches and ultimately change the result. This mode has me hooked.

Another mode is Captain Your Country. It’s FIFA 10’s ‘Be a Pro’ Mode, but instead, you’re playing to become the captain of your country by making it to the first team. This mode allows you to choose one player in a team and only play as him. Captain Your Country allows you to play as either your FIFA virtual pro from FIFA 10, or create a new player in 2010 FIFA World Cup. The mode is a unique experience, and gives a new take on the game.

The presentation is one of the most important factors–as this is the World Cup, players will want to see how the game mirrors the real World Cup, and it has many subtle details, from the vuvuzela horn to fans in the stands with country flags painted on their faces. You may also notice confetti spread throughout the pitch, a nice little touch from the developers. The scenes where the players come out from the tunnel and prepare for kick-off are stunning due to the attention to detail. The players’ faces all look authentic and are a major jump from FIFA 10. For example, England midfielder Frank Lampard’s face is extremely detailed and is almost lifelike. EA Sports wants you to believe that you are in the real World Cup finals this summer, and they’ve delivered.

Instead of Martin Tyler and Andy Gray, EA Sports has opted to bring some new voices in for commentary duty. Clive Tyldesley and Andy Townsend come in to replace the constant boring shouting from FIFA 10’s lot. The commentary in 2010 FIFA World Cup does go over the top at times, though, such as when the commentators shout, “Amazing save!” when the keeper didn’t even have to twitch to catch the ball. However, there’s a lot more variety in the commentating–it feels more real and at least the commentators don’t shout the player’s name like he’s died before even shooting the ball (I’m looking at you Martin Tyler). In addition, the shooting and passing sound perfect. The 2010 FIFA World Cup tournament also famously features the loud ‘vuvuzela’ horns. However, along with the confetti, fireworks, and streamers, the vuvuzela noise can be turned off, allowing players to focus on playing some good ol’ football.

The pinnacle mode of any FIFA game is, without a shadow of a doubt, online multiplayer. The amount of time I’ve spent playing FIFA 10’s online multiplayer is unimaginable. 2010 FIFA World Cup’s online mode plays similarly to FIFA 10, in that it’s simple, fast, and has a range of international teams to play online with. The lag can sometimes get irritating, but the overall experience with playing other gamers around the world is solid and entertaining. One of the game’s best online modes is 2010 FIFA World Cup Online. Players can pick from one of the 199 playable countries, play against real gamers in the group stages, then progress to the knockout stages and eventually reach the final.

With over 10 million copies of FIFA 10 sold, one might think that EA Sports mainly created 2010 FIFA World Cup for an easy cash-in, but it’s clear that they instead they opted to create one of the best World Cup, and indeed, FIFA games around, with a revamped engine, a plethora of modes, and visuals which truly excel. If you don’t already own FIFA 10, 2010 FIFA World Cup should help you ease into the World Cup spirits and is a must-buy for any sport fan.

PlayStation LifeStyle’s Final Score

Massive jump from FIFA 10

Plethora of excellent online and offline modes

Stunning visuals complement above-average audio

8 out of 10