Soccer is the biggest sport in the world. It is something that every country can take part in, from third world countries that are still developing like Ivory Coast and Honduras, to world leading countries like the United States, England, and China. The biggest event in the “soccer world” is the World Cup. It happens every four years, much like the Olympics, and has a different host country every year. This year, South Africa is playing host to the biggest sporting event in the world.
Only six months ago, EA Sports released the best soccer game in the world in FIFA 10. However it is tradition to also release a World Cup edition. Make no mistake; this is not the same game. The biggest perk to 2010 FIFA World Cup is that you can compete in the World Cup tournament. You can hone your skills against the CPU, which has actually gotten better compared to previous editions (the CPU actually shoots from a distance instead of trying to dribble into the goal every time), in a tournament that you can control as many teams as you would like, and then really put your skills to the test in online tournaments. You can select your country and battle friends and rivals on Xbox Live and PlayStation Network. Online games can be fun, but even the slightest bit of lag will sometimes cost you a match.
There is also the usual single player mode called “Captain Your Country,” which allows you to take control of a single player (either created or a known hero) and help battle your team to recognition and qualifying to make it to the World Cup. This is usually pretty exciting, but it’s the same basic concept as FIFA 10’s “Be A Pro.” Even though there are only 32 countries taking part in the tournament, by playing Captain Your Country or taking part in the qualifying games you can rewrite the history of those teams who didn’t make it by playing your way into the Cup. You can select one of 199 teams that entered for qualification in these modes, and it is a much different experience to take a low-ranked team to the finals as opposed to the powerhouses of usual. Unlike FIFA 10 that has the option of playing as clubs and international teams, FIFA World Cup only has the option of playing with international squads.
The actual gameplay is noticeably smoother than FIFA 10 (which was already incredibly impressive), and each player, and even the referee, has a very accurate physical presence on the pitch. You will occasionally see the ball ricochet off the referee and players having to hurdle other fallen players as opposed to running through them. Players can also be called for fouls because their momentum cannot stop them from bumping an opposing player off his line. Slow motion replays and responsive control of the players are also pretty accurate, but not without flaws. In Captain Your Country, as you are making a run and call for a through ball, your teammates will many times be one step ahead and already be in motion for your pass. Then when the pass is on its way, instead of calling for the pass your action is turned into a pre-determined one-touch pass or shot, which is usually not intended and results in loss of possession.
EA has provided gamers with a few different ways of controlling their players on the pitch, one that includes a new “two-button control” system that gives those new to the FIFA series an easy way of getting comfortable with the game. Only two buttons are used, one button for passing and pressing (offense and defense) and the other for shooting and slide tackling. The standard button layouts can be adjusted to the player’s style and preference, and do not take long to feel comfortable with. However, one frustrating part of the controls was switching between players semi-automatically. During tournament play, switching between players is supposed to be automatic, but gives you the option of doing it yourself if you don’t want to wait. Countless times I would switch to a player that I wanted to pursue the ball handler with, and after I had switched to that player, the automatic switch would take place and switch to control of a different player. Most of the time this would result in me attempting to run towards the ball, but not knowing I’m now controlling a different player, I ended up running away from the ball instead.
The video celebrations look great and give you a chance to customize your celebration as you run, and the fans and stadiums clearly have been given that extra amount of detail to make them almost as exciting as watching the real thing. During practice modes and friendly matches, you can tweak your team’s strategies for upcoming games and for specific matches. You can take your team online without too many problems, even though there is very little to do online besides play friendly matches and a tournament. 2010 FIFA World Cup doesn’t offer the same depth as FIFA 10. After Captain Your Country and the World Cup tournament, there isn’t much to explore. EA has promised to give more additions to the online store with new scenarios and objectives, but that is yet to be done.
The 2010 World Cup is going to be an amazing World Cup. Nothing will get you prepared and excited like playing with your favorite countries in the tournament with 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa. There are some great new additions to 2010 FIFA World Cup and, even though it doesn’t provide the same amount of depth or online options as FIFA 10, this is definitely a game worth having in your collection.