FIFA Soccer 10

Within its first week of release, FIFA Soccer 10 sold 1.7 million copies in Europe, making it the fastest-selling sports game and EA's biggest European launch

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EA Games FIFA Soccer 10
  • EA Games FIFA Soccer 10
  • EA Games FIFA Soccer 10
  • EA Games FIFA Soccer 10

Pros

  • New AI, physics, 360 degree dribbling and all sorts of new content, tonnes of value and replayability, feels much more fluid and responsive than last year's title

Cons

  • The passing mechanic could use some slight tweaking (but it's hardly worth mentioning)

Bottom Line

FIFA Soccer 10 is surefire winner all around. Fans of sports games definitely have to buy it, even if they don't have a strong interest in soccer--it's just that good.

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There's a senseless yet subconscious question we ask ourselves when we experience a video game that's incredibly realistic and enjoyable; we can't help but think, "How can this get any better?" I first asked myself this after experiencing the perfection of MLB 09: The Show, and now I'm asking myself the same question after experiencing FIFA Soccer 10.

And even though I don't need the vindication, it's nice to know that the world seems to agree with me. Within its first week of release, FIFA Soccer 10 sold 1.7 million copies in Europe, making it the fastest-selling sports game and EA's biggest European launch. That right there should give you a basic illustration of this iteration's excellence.

The Real Deal

FIFA Soccer 10 seems so real that it nearly blew my mind. The game builds on last year's instalment to a great extent with new AI, physics, modes and features. The presentation and structure is nearly identical to that of 09's--not a bad thing at all--but FIFA 10 does an admirable job of retaining what works while adding subtle improvements that make an existing product even better. To that end, the control scheme is far more fluid and it allows players to orchestrate their team's movements in an intuitive and satisfying fashion.

But what makes the FIFA series so great is the actual sport itself: there are theories that the reason why soccer is so universally popular is that it is, at least on the surface, such a simple sport. Everyone knows how to run and kick a ball, after all

And that sense of accessibility and familiarity translates well over to the FIFA 10 experience. It's an incredibly easy game to pick up and play, from the game's single-player modes to its exemplary multiplayer. After inviting my friends over, a 2 minute primer was all it took for my soon-to-be teammates to get a grasp of the controls. Within a few tackles and yellow cards, my friends were acclimated and invested in the action. NOTE: The feature that amplified everyone's skill was the X (+ turbo) technique on defence (the coolest thing according to them). With all new AI, 360 dribbling, physics, innovative options and the traditional elements of previous FIFA instalments, the game becomes more casual while still possessing enough realism to also work as a hardcore sports title. That's a perfect mix in my book.

We Got Your Sim

I don't think I've ever been wrapped up in a sports game quite like FIFA 10. While it's fun as a party game, the game also has a great sense of realism that's delivered in a number of novel ways. For instance, do you prefer to orchestrate your team through a generated season, or online against friends? Do you prefer to control a team or play as a customised character and work together with other users? Then there's the question of how deep into simulation and customisation you want to go. There's plenty of modes and options for you to customise, giving you a great sense of content and value.

To illustrate, let me tell you how I play the game. I primarily play exhibition against my buddy (who's a high school soccer coach/expert), Manager Mode, and Pro Club. I customise my corner kicks, formation (and most options therein), tactics and attacks. That's just my approach; here's how my buddy, the soccer coach, plays: He customises his free kicks, runs man-to-man coverage and controls the offensive/defensive direction; he was also totally blown away by the Live 2.0 option. Since he follows soccer like the rest of us follow football, he can combine his score tracking with his video gaming habits. I could go on and on about the various experiences within FIFA 10, but that would take some time, and I have some drills to practice.

And it's a GOAL!!!

Needless to say, FIFA 10 is superb. The more I type of this review, the more I wish I was playing it right now. I feel pretty confident in saying that it is the most enjoyable sports game I've ever played. It has the depth that diehard and sim fans require while also offering up the option for a simplistic experience that casual fans can enjoy, and with a ton of new goodies, FIFA Soccer 10 is surefire winner all around. Fans of sports games definitely have to buy it, even if they don't have a strong interest in soccer--it's just that good.

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