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2010 FIFA World Cup Preview


As I sat down and prepared to write my impressions of my brief play through of the new FIFA World Cup game, I was made aware of the new producer blog written by the main man Simon Humber. If you haven’t read the lengthy, informative article, I suggest to race over there before reading any further! (click here to view)

Now, you may be thinking that Mr Humber would hype his own game to the Nth degree, but let me assure you, there is definitely substance to his words. The game has taken some very encouraging and bold steps from what was seen in Fifa 10.

From the offset you will see that the game has full world cup presentation thanks to it’s official license, that even includes all teams that participated in qualifying. The team selection menu now takes form of a world map, where use of the analogue stick allows you to pinpoint the country you wish to select. For those who were content with the tried and tested navigation system of old, you can still use the d-pad to cycle through continents and teams. Once the teams have been selected you will then be taken inside the stadium where you will be greeted with full world cup themed fanfare, from streamers and confetti to placards and camera flashes.

Something you’ll spot once you see the stars come onto the pitch is a more accurate representation of their likeliness. During the presentation of the game we were shown some of the new player faces from within the game, that included Rio Ferdinand and Peter Crouch. To my pleasant surprise they both looked extremely detailed, with new skin textures and further refined facial features. Aside from the players, the most obvious difference come from the pitch textures. They’ve been completely overhauled, with a more believe look and feel to them.

Once I finally kicked off I instantly noticed that the game feels both more responsive and also more fluid. From wanting to make sharp turns, to playing those round the corner passes, it all seemed to work much better than FIFA 10. And as I entered my first physical battle with the opposition, the promised refinement to the “shoulder to shoulder” tussle system seemed more believable and less frustrating than before.

As the action continued to fold on the pitch, I noticed the managers making their return, popping up at key moments to further suspense of the on-pitch action. It was great to see them again, as it adds another element to spectacle.

Even though I didn’t have long with the game, I did managed to score a goal (thank goodness) and was greeted with a slightly different celebrations view. When you score the camera zooms right in, in an attempt to capture the emotion of scoring a goal. This surprisingly works well, and perhaps is one of the main reasons player likeliness was a focus. On scoring the fans errupted, with the sound of steel drums and air horns somewhat defening. It was an excellent reward for scoring a goal, and made it really stand out and feel like a world cup atmosphere.

Overall, due to the short alloted time with the game, my expereince was short but very sweet. There’s a clear difference between this and it’s predesessor, building on the good Rutter and Paterson achieved. From the smarter positioning by AI defenders and more realistic closing down by keepers, to the refined shooting system that allows volleys and piledrivers to be pulled off, Humber has seriously looked at everything. From the videos released today I’m postive you’ll notice some key differences, but the true feeling of change will had once you play the game for yourself.

2010 FIFA World Cup is not FIFA 10, nor does it pretend or attempt to be. And whilst I need more time with the game to really hammer it out, there is definitely enough substance to make me quietly optimistic that the game will be remembered more than simply Fifa 10.5.

(preview written by Adam Webb from XBOXGamingBlog)

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