FIFA 10 Xbox 360
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Released on 02/10/2009
On the heels of winning 25 international gaming awards with FIFA 09, the top-selling football franchise from EA SPORTS™ is surpassed with FIFA 10. Responding to consumer feedback from more than 275 million online games played, FIFA 10 refines an already potent game engine, focusing on what matter most to fans.
On the pitch, critical gameplay fundamentals have been enhanced to ensure that FIFA 10 mirrors real-world football, providing more sophisticated ball control, and physical interaction. On attack, players now analyze space more effectively, curve their runs in an attempt to stay onside, create passing lanes naturally, and drive for more variety in attacking options. On defense, new concepts like position priority enable defenders to multitask so dangerous spaces left open by teammates out of position are covered. Plus, slide tackle targeting, press marking, and better urgency clearance logic provide new options that make defending a tactical skill in FIFA 10.
Three new innovations change the player control experience in FIFA 10. The first-ever true 360° dribbling system gives players finer control of the ball, enabling them to find spaces between defenders that previously were not possible. Using an all-new animation technology, skilled dribblers now have the ability to face the defender and use highly responsive lateral dribbling to skip past him. An innovative concept called Freedom in Physical Play enables players to perform wider dribble touches and new collision sharing creates a varied, less predictable, and extended fight for possession between the dribbler and a defender.
A deeper iteration of the ever-popular Manager Mode features more than 50 major improvements, including new match realism, ultra-realistic player transfers based on multiple decision points, and true-to-life player growth curves.
New game modes, and innovations to popular features like Be A Pro, will be revealed in the upcoming months.
Features of FIFA 2010 include:
- 360° Dribbling - The first-ever true 360° dribbling system in a football game provides finer dribbling control, enabling players to find spaces between defenders that previously were not possible.
- Skilled Dribbling - All-new animation warping technology provides unprecedented control. Skilled players now have the ability to face a defender and use highly-responsive lateral dribbling to skip past him.
- Freedom in Physical Play - Wider dribble touches and new collision sharing creates a varied, less predictable, and extended fight for possession between the dribbler and a defender.
- Player Urgency - Improved urgency AI logic, with over 50 new movement cycles, delivers more responsive positioning so your players stay focused on the ball and move at a speed appropriate to the action.
- Improved Trapping Intelligence - Players now have a better awareness of where the easiest, most natural trapping position is so they can get the ball on the ground and under control easier and earlier.
- Advanced Positioning - Defenders multi-task and play the pitch more intelligently by covering dangerous spaces left by out-of-position teammates. In attack, players analyze space more effectively, curve their runs to stay onside, create passing lanes and vary attacking options.
- More Accurate Passing - Players better analyze space resulting in pinpoint passes that give their receivers more options and time to outrun defensive pressure.
- Authentic Shooting - Refinements to the shooting system and modifications of the ball physics create a wider, more realistic variety of shots that enhance the exhilaration of scoring.
- Varied Defending Options - Slide Tackle targeting has been enhanced so skilled players have more reach and avoid tackling through the dribbler. Better effort clearance logic gives defenders more options when attempting to get a foot on the ball before an attacker. Effort, such as sliding to block crosses and overhead kick clearances, give defenders more tools to prevent goal-scoring opportunities.
- Refined Goalkeeper Intelligence - numerous improvements mean that goalkeepers now have more urgency and better perception of where to intercept loose balls, resulting in a more responsive and powerful rushing system. New animation warping technology provides game-realistic goalkeeper positioning and momentum, resulting in more varied scoring opportunities.
- Manager Mode Authenticity - More than 50 major improvements were designed to create an authentic experience to mimic the real-world game. Match results are based on team and player strengths and weaknesses. Player transfers are determined by multiple decision points, including club finance and prestige, availability of similar players, and competition from AI-controlled clubs. Player development is more realistic with true-to-life growth curves based on factors such as age and environment.
- Continuous Gameplay - Maintain the atmosphere, pace, and intensity of a match with quick free kicks and referee carding.
- New Practice Arena - Work on individual skills in a fully featured practice mode before stepping on the pitch.
Can you kick it?
Last year EA's FIFA franchise did something that it had been threatening to do for years; it usurped Konami's Pro Evolution Soccer. So much better was FIFA 09 that even players who had once sworn by PES suddenly profaned a new allegiance. That's akin to a Celtic fan suddenly deciding to support Rangers. Gamers are a loyal lot; this sort of thing hardly ever happens.
It was difficult to condemn, though, because FIFA 09 deserved the plaudits. Where PES had degenerated into ping-pong to-and-fro, EA's effort had a smooth flow, intelligent overlapping, and physics that made it all remarkably lifelike.
It wasn't perfect though; one of FIFA 09's big exploits saw people pick Man United, play tons of defenders, and hit long balls to Ronaldo to race in behind the opposition's back line. Another quirk meant that pacey players felt overpowered; so even someone like Andy Johnson in relatively a moderate-skilled Fulham side was practically a worldbeater.
This isn't reinventing the wheel... FIFA 09 fans will be instantly familiar with the way FIFA 10 plays.
Having spent a good few hours with FIFA 10, we can happily say that those two little idiosyncrasies have been fixed, and lobbed in together with other refinements that should make FIFA 10 an altogether worthwhile update.
Refinement is the operative word, though; this isn't reinventing the wheel as football games go, so FIFA 09 fans will be instantly familiar with the way FIFA 10 plays. Passes still have their own power meter; long dribbles are still incredibly difficult and the emphasis is still on counter-attacking play. This time, however, it's more authentic: passes are more prone to going awry; dribbling requires more dexterity and the AI is even more capable of countering your counter-attacks.
And that's because FIFA is no longer an angular experience. For the first time, FIFA 10 adopts full 360 degree analogue control, leaving behind the eight-way run of past generations to offer a much more organic, but also trickier experience.
It's trickier, because it's more subtle, and because animation has been further refined to represent the little imperfections you'd find occurring on a football field. So, players can turn in smaller increments, but that just means you need even more accurate use of the left analogue (and if you're a D-Pad lover, FIFA 10 is the game to finally make you switch to the stick). Likewise, passing, as mentioned above, is more error-prone, making the radar even more essential in finding your team mates.
There's every chance that FIFA 10's increased sophistication will open up even greater gameplay possibilities.
Then there's the fact that the ball now bobbles around more, bounces off players knees, flies through the air faster, and controls differently depending on the receiving position of your player. Add that all to the rebalanced pace – with acceleration on the ball significantly decreased – and what you have is a game that's initially slower, more frustrating and results in many a low-score draw. At least until you've gotten use to it; because when you have, there's every chance that FIFA 10's increased sophistication will open up even greater gameplay possibilities.
As possibilities go, no one new feature speaks more of FIFA 10's commitment to player experimentation than the Set Piece Editor. Imagine the FIFA replay system, with you able to control player movement, and you won't be going far wrong. You select a player, hit record, and move them wherever you want them, and a blue arrow traces their path. Do this for all of the players you want moved, test it against computer players, then save, and you have something straight from the training ground to use against the computer – although EA still haven't decided if this will make the cut for multiplayer modes. It'd be a shame if it didn't.
Where modes are concerned, refinement is once again the buzzword. Of course we can expect the return of Be A Pro, 10v10 online play, and the novel same-screen multiplayer lounge mode. The biggest change though will be in Manager Mode, which for FIFA 10 promises something far closer to Pro Evo's Master League – the one thing PES still does considerably better than EA's game.
There's a sense then that EA is confident in its game, and yet at the same time wary of its big rival. Will fans switch back to Pro Evo, or can FIFA take the footy videogame title two years running? A lot will depend on improvements made in the Japanese dressing room, because, like we said, gamers are usually a loyal lot, and the temptation to switch back to Pro Evo will be strong for the franchise's long-time fans. PES has disappointed in the past, though, and FIFA 10 looks very, very strong. It's going to be an interesting battle, but there's no doubting that FIFA 10 is the firm title favourite.
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