Publisher: EA Sports
Developer: EA Sports
by: Nick Puleo
For many Americans the World Cup isn't on the top of their must watch sporting events, yet for the rest of the world this is the biggest sporting event that occurs every four years. While FIFA 10 has already been released earlier this year, EA has launched a special World Cup game based on the same engine for this world wide celebration of soccer. As soon as you fire up the game you're suddenly immersed into a South African themed menu system with music and visuals setting the stage for some impressive atmosphere.
To truly experience the biggest soccer competition in the world, 2010 FIFA World Cup adds a huge online mode that not only allows you to compete head to head with other players around the globe, but one that also tracks all play, offline and online, to rank the top countries in terms of wins. The latter is a constant reinforcement of just how big soccer is - at the time of this writing Mexico was leading the way with over 550k wins. That means over 550,000 games of soccer were played using team Mexico taking them to victory. To further brag about your cleat skills you can save replays and upload them online.
So what about those who don't want to take to the online pitch? 2010 FIFA World Cup also offers an offlline cup mode to play the tournament exactly as scheduled to date as well as a management style mode where you can just simulate games and manage players and formations.
I never played FIFA 2010, but the World Cup version of the game plays particularly well and for the most part, represents a realistic soccer match. There's plenty of options for game strategy and player tactics to tweak your game to your liking. For me it's all about a quick passing game and long runs down the wings with a cross for scoring chances, but I've seen the AI try to mix it up with inside runs and plenty of other strategies. The AI is particularly brutal on defense and when you do get that elusive goal it's incredibly satisfying. The game does a great job with audio as the crowd roars upon a goal making you feel like the hero of a country. There is some odd graphical hiccups as the game switches views from an isometric cam to the close up player cam, but it's a minor issue and one you'll quickly learn to ignore.
Soccer fans already own 2010 FIFA World Cup so they won't need convincing they need to pick up the game. By the time the tournament starts this weekend you might find yourself getting that "itch" to play video game soccer, and 2010 FIFA World Cup is the perfect game to scratch it. There's plenty of difficulty levels and control options to make it accessible to gamers of all skill levels.