I owned my first pair of cleats at age 5; growing up in Germany, this was nothing out of the ordinary. Dreaming of playing for the big teams like HSV, Bayern Munich or Werder Bremen rather than doing homework, or playing afternoon matches with your friends until the sun went down, were constant and joyful activities – back then you KNEW that one day you too were going to stand on the pitch in one of Europe’s largest stadiums, hearing the crowd cheer and whistle to show their dismay at the opponent who had just fouled you.

Although I have (hopefully) grown up since then, to me there still is nothing quite like the sound and the atmosphere of a packed soccer stadium, 22 players and a ball.

So it was with great anticipation that I received the latest installment of EA Sports FIFA franchise, FIFA 2010. Ready to forgo any pending Halloween activities I could not wait to settle in and start up the game. The last version I had played since then was FIFA Soccer 2005 for XBOX – a game I had spent a significant portion of my life on, yet, I truly did not know what to expect from EA’s latest showing.

Impatiently I waited for the start up screens to pass…and within seconds was presented with Wayne Rooney ready to play a one-on-one with a goalie….sweet! 2010 does not mess around…it KNOWS it’s a gorgeous looking game and it lets to take a look the minute all the needed loading is completed. Running Rooney through the initial paces already made me fall in love with the games’ physics; animation is awesome, ball physics spot on and timing, a really key component when barreling toward your opponent, is superb.

Make NO mistake, this is not an easy button mashing game and it is highly advisable to actually run Mr. Rooney through his paces by working the one-on-one against a goalie; it’s fun, easy and gives you a real appreciation for the awesome graphics, the ball aiming engine and the shoot, lob and pass options.  Extensive use of actually useful videos teaching you the “finer” art of ball and pass control were also needed to get my rusty soccer thumbs into some semblance of shape.

fifa10_sc 12

...and just like that! You're on the pitch!


This is a *#&^$ awesome looking game. Playing a match looks almost perfect. The player animations and physics are so detailed, you almost want to jump out of your seat and yell at the opposing team for having fouled your favorite midfielder.  Game controls are also tight – passing, lobbing and shooting are very effectively tied into the overall aiming system – as I said before, this game DEMANDS accuracy and timing; if your aim is off by just a bit and your timing is out of sync, you see your original vision of glory fizzle into a completely misplaced ball or a successful legal tackle by your opposing defender.

fifa10_sc 13_defenders

FIFA 10 is a passing game. You must maintain a steady passing flow forward or backward to maintain ball control. Slowing down your player is very effective in using some of the more elegant ball control combos you practiced so much earlier (and practice you did, right? Otherwise forget about that fancy option). Alternatively, you can use the fast forward option, speeding up your player but you will run into a heck of a lot of trouble if you do not chose wisely on when to leverage all that speed – the opposing AI players are no dummies and are quite good at frustrating your unplanned and impulsive rushing play.

As will all FIFA games, individual player statistics are detailed down to the tiniest degree – a statistician’s dream, but it is not a requirement to thoroughly enjoy this game. The interface is well designed and easy to use.


The real  game mode that really stands out in this version – the introduction of Virtual Pro where you have the ability to create your own player, design his playing style and have the freedom to even slap on your own face.  Once created, you can play with your Virtual Pro player in any game mode you choose to play. Wow – this should be an option for any future EA game releases.


There is really very little not to like about FIFA 2010. I am a big XBOX Live Gamer however, and although the game does a great job at matching you up with online players of similar skills, I did notice quite a bit of lag during the matches. That can be a significant source of frustration when trying to line up a strategic passing play where all of the sudden your player gets stuck for a split second.  This however, does not happen very often and could be attributed to the usual heavy usage of Internet in my house.

Here’s the Deal

If you, like me, have ever dreamt about crowds cheering at you while playing that perfect match FIFA 2010 is your game! With its awesome graphics, wonderful visuals and fluid motion it is not difficult to imagine actually being there. Yes, it is that awesome an experience. The game play is tight with lots of options to keep players who just want to play the game and statistics/management addicts engaged for hours to come. This game demands time from you to get good at playing it, button mashers need not apply, even if you opt for the assisted amateur mode. With new 360 degree viewing modes, the days of playing straight diagonally off the pitch are gone. EA has done a superb job in making a great game even greater. This is well worth your money. PD 9.5/10

~ by consolecreatures on November 6, 2009.

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