There is no doubt that FIFA 10 is good. Just check out our review, and you’ll see that no other football game quite compares its fluid, good-looking control. But, it’s not perfect. In fact, while playing the game, we feel a tinge of sorrow. Those tiny flaws could be ironed out so easily, but EA just need someone to show them in a list format…
Quite frankly, there’s nothing much to improve here. The 360 degree dribbling has tightened up almost everything worth complaining about in FIFA 09; the slow turning times, the importance of speed, to getting round people without taking a road trip round the field. Still, there are little hitches. If the ball is passed to you from range, you can’t run forward to collect it, meaning defenders can easily intercept. Goalkeepers can’t seem to hold anything that’s shot at them from the sides, and it’s frustratingly difficult to score from corners and free-kicks. Minor problems, but we feel confidant FIFA 11 can easily rectify them.
FIFA doesn’t change much over the years. Undoubtedly, we’ll see a massive leap at one point, but we feel that point won’t be reached for a few years yet. So, a nice brush up here and there, right? Well, while FIFA 10 does look good, it has some rather damning acne. First off, the crowd. How come, with all the power of the PS3 and 360, we still get last-gen cardboard cutouts? Sure, the fact the stadium isn’t packed out for a friendly is nice, but who cares when all the crowd jump up in unison? A real improvement needs to be made to their guys; seeing them behind the goal during a penalty makes us want to smash the ball in their blurred faces.
Uh-oh. We’re not going to be kind here. Apart from a solid licensed soundtrack, FIFA’s sounds are horrific. Commentary is stale, poorly delivered, old, or in some cases, plain wrong. I don’t want to hear, for the 15th time, that Andy used to play for Hull. You say that English referees don’t give advantage much, eh? Well, they seem to be right every single time on this game. Fools. Make it better, or at least have an option to change it to random Italian babble.
Oh, and we’re back to the crowds again. Not only do they look rubbish, they sounds rubbish too. There’s little jubilation when someone scores; the stadium should near explode with noise, but instead there’s a half-hearted ‘yay’. When you score away, you’ll be lucky to even get a cheer; it’s a good idea, poorly executed.
My biggest beef with the game. The arena is nice, and the menus, while old, or still simple and clean, but why oh why do I have to play every Championship game in the same stadium? With only 20 or so grounds, FIFA is stretched within the English League, so only has 1 or 2 stadiums per tier. I’m bored of Ivy Lane; can’t we have some proper grounds? To boot, the backgrounds are low-res and boring; the same council house over and over, with a few trees here and there. Let’s see the car park, the local river, city centre in the distance, not just a group of terraced houses and a rather crappy hill. The same goes for the arena; it seems to be Japan, a training ground in the middle of nowhere, or Brazil. And all seem to be deserted, like that bit in 28 Days Later. Terrifying.
In fact, my worst experience with FIFA was when I won the F.A. Cup. Sounds strange, but listen to this; I’ve just won the season, and now it’s on to the F.A. Cup Final against Bolton, after my plucky Preston lads had defeated the likes of Aston Villa and West Ham. It’s a tightly fought game, with neither side being able to break through, until, 8 minutes before the final whistle, Chris Brown storms in on the left and slots one past the keeper. The crowd goes wild (Well, jumps up together and shouts ‘woot.’). 3 minutes from time, wonder boy signing Victor Moses slots home a second, and the F.A. Cup is mine. My prize? Seeing 7 of my team in the middle of the field while the crowd sits down. I fought back tears. Where’s Martin giving me a pat on the back? Where’ the podium? Why isn’t there a pitch invasion? What happened to the confetti? WHERE’S THE CUP?! No, my prize for winning the F.A. Cup AND getting promoted was a dreadful cut-scene and only £3 million to spend. Utterly dire.
Manager Mode is great. The new Transfer system is rough around the edge, but it adds so much more in terms of choice and longevity. However, Be A Pro is a different story. It was always annoying in 09, when you’d lost points for almost nothing, but in 10, it reaches astronomically ridiculous levels. I gained points because my keeper saved a shot. I lost points for another player not tackling properly. I was awarded a big jump because I took a shot at 30 yards that went to row Z. I actually got 4.0 in a match for being injured. That’s like FIFA coming out of my TV and slapping me. Then stealing my dinner. Then weeing on the floor. Twice.
While, at first, it seems hard to fault FIFA, there are stumbles behind the smoke and mirrors. Want your say? Put it in the comments section.