As we start revving up to the World Cup, computer and video game players around the globe can already take to the field in any of the ten official stadiums thanks to EA Sports' 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa.
Presentation and graphics
EA has done a stellar job of capturing the excitement, look and feel of the tournament. All ten official stadiums are spectacularly rendered, while confetti cannons, vuvuzelas, Zakumi the mascot (who like Wally pops up everywhere) and all other manner of décor add to the SA flavour. The styling of the menus has been given an "African" theme without it being overly kitsch, while the game's soundtrack is representative of the world’s eclectic sounds. That said, why is SA’s Gang of Instrumentals the only SA band featured on the soundtrack?
The actual graphics aren’t a major upgrade from FIFA 10, although certain elements do look better. Player as well as coach models, for example, have been done rather well, especially Carlos Alberto Parreira and Diego Maradona, while player physics have also been improved upon. Right after tense moments on the field for example, the camera will cut to the anxious looking coach shouting instructions from the confetti strewn sideline or the fanatic supporters kitted to the hilt in outfits showing their support (or their disappointment) for their national team. Even the billboards on the field stream adverts from the official sponsors of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Unlike FIFA 10 with its choice of club, country and every league you’ve ever heard of, 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa only offers you a selection of national teams. If you play World Cup mode you only get to play with the teams that are taking part in this year’s finals. Should you however wish to play through the qualifying rounds, you can lead any of the 199 teams who made it to the qualifying round to glory in the finals.
A new two button control mode (pass and shoot) ensures newcomers to the FIFA scene can pick up and play the game right from the word go. The normal controller setup, which allow for much greater shot and movement control, is still available.
Penalty kicks are also more difficult and realistic, whereby you have to worry about placement, composure as well as power to ensure you don’t blast the ball into the stratosphere. Also included is altitude effects, so now during games at altitude the ball goes further, while down by the coast players fatigue more slowly.
You’ll are also able to play the first 2010 FIFA World Cup online tournament, which will allow you to pit your country against real opponents from around the globe, from the group stage through the knockout rounds of the competition.
2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa is the best FIFA game available, at least for gamers that are looking forward to the World Cup. For those who want to play in their favourite league and other tournaments such as the UEFA Champions League, best stay put until FIFA 11.