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One for the fans

entertainment Updated: Nov 02, 2009 17:46 IST

In FIFA 2010, EA has stuck with it’s winning formula, introducing only minor, though significant, changes FIFA 09 is a tough act to follow. So understandably, in FIFA 10, you get a game that is an improvement, without bringing in too many changes to last year’s winning formula.

The big addition is Virtual Pro, your own player whose look you can customise via the Gameface feature. Virtual Pro is brilliantly implemented and you can include your pro in all offline game modes as well as non-ranked matches online.

Experience the modes
The main offline modes — Be A Pro, Seasons, and Manager — return as well. Be A Pro lets you control a single player while the rest of the team is run by the game’s AI. You’re judged on the basis of position play, passing, shooting, etc. It’s addictive but the only problem is that the AI is a bit poor. The main offline mode is Manager, which, unfortunately, is quite unplayable. It has so many bugs that it’s hard to keep track of them. It’s nearly impossible to sign on even average players despite offering massive sums, you’re often fired by the board of directors and, strangely, 90 per cent of matches take place in the rain. EA has promised to fix the bugs that plague Manager Mode but, for now, you’re better off skipping it.

Good changes
There are definite improvements in the gameplay. There is a bevy of new animations that make FIFA ‘10 feel like a new game. Defenders make desperate lunges to block a shot and teammates move out when they’re in the way. These nuances make for a very impressive game. The jostling mechanic has also been tweaked to give defenders more power, without taking away the potency of a good striker. The controls and buttons are also more responsive.

The opposition AI feels more human, and they’re more susceptible to counter attacks now. Defenders are more powerful and you won’t see strikers running through defenses effortlessly, unlike previously. Players can move 360-degrees, allowing you to bend and avoid challenges more easily. In practice though, it doesn’t make as much of a difference.

Barring Manager Mode, the single player experience in FIFA 10 is much improved. But the offline and online multi-player modes are disappointing, with old flaws continuing here. Defenses refuse to hold their lines and one-on-one situations often result
in goals.

Online modes are same as FIFA 09, with the addition of Pro Clubs, where all the players are Virtual Pros instead of real ones. The game has excellent audio-visuals. The soundtrack is an eclectic mix. Commentary from Martin Tyler and Andy Gray is recycled from FIFA 09 and is always in sync with on-field events.

FIFA ‘09 was the best FIFA game in a decade, and FIFA 10 is an improvement on it. However, there just aren’t enough improvements to make it a must-buy. It lags in the multiplayer department and there are still some gameplay issues. Hardcore fans should pick this up, other should stick with FIFA 09.