James Batchelor


While one member of Team MCV is convinced football is nothing more than kicking a ball around a field, a simple glance at the list of improvements made for FIFA 10 proves otherwise.

The intricacies of the Beautiful Game have all been tweaked and refined for the latest instalment of the best-selling franchise, giving gamers unprecedented control over their players. Veteran FIFA fans are certain to enjoy the deeper control they have over their teams, but it’s the new additions that will really drive FIFA 10 at retail.

“There is a huge level of buzz and anticipation around the release of FIFA 10 with an unprecedented level of pre-orders and a great showing at this year’s Gamescom,” says EA Sports marketing manager Trevor Uzice.

“We are optimistic that this will be our biggest FIFA launch to date.”

One feature EA is proud of is Virtual Pro, which provides gamers with the chance to get closer to the game than ever before. Players will be able take a photo of their face and map it to a 3D head for use on an in-game footballer.

With their Virtual Pro created, they can enter all of the game’s modes and take to the pitch as themselves, bringing them closer to their dreams of becoming a real pro footballer. As they progress, they can develop their Virtual Pro’s skills through 200 accomplishments. Once each of these is earned, gamers can tweak their player’s attributes and improve his abilities on the pitch.

The new multiplayer mode, Pro Club Championship, allows FIFA fans to create online clubs with their friends and take on other Virtual Pros from around the world in 10-on-10 matches. Naturally, leaderboards will be in full effect, with clubs competing to be Regional and World Champions.

Another new mode is the Practice Arena. For the first time, FIFA players can practice their skills and get to grips with the controls before stepping onto the pitch for a proper match. They can practice alone, or set up simple five-a-side or full-size matches to try out their moves.

They can even use this mode to set up their own customisable set pieces. Gamers can position each player for specific moments in matches, such as corners and free kicks, and record them for later use. When playing a match in any game mode, they can then use this set piece with a tap on the D-pad.

By taking full advantage of the Practice Arena and customisable set pieces, players will be able to hone their skills and master the game. As they do so, they’ll begin to understand the intricate refinements made for FIFA 2010 that gives them more control over their in-game footballers than ever.

Developer EA Canada also dedicated a lot of time and resources to improving the already acclaimed game engine.

“The primary focus as always has been on the world class game engine that the highly accomplished team are developing in Canada,” says Uzice.

“They have spent a great deal of time and energy listening to consumers’ feedback from FIFA 09 to make the best offering possible and the appropriate signs suggest that they have delivered upon expectations.”

One of the sport’s crucial areas has played a major part in the FIFA 10 overhaul: dribbling. The game now boasts a true 360-degree dribbling system that gives players complete control over the ball, enabling them to weave between defenders in a way that hasn’t been possible before.

Tackling has also been improved, so skilled players will have more accuracy when sliding to retake the ball. It’s also easier to avoid simply colliding with the opposing footballer. Both tackling and dribbling look more realistic thanks to new animations.

Finally, Manager Mode has also been enhanced, with more than 50 major improvements made to make this campaign more authentic.

As a crucial release for EA and the year in general, FIFA 10 will be supported by a mammoth marketing campaign. Given the impressive sales of previous FIFA games and the series’ growing prestige, an audience has already been established.

Uzice adds: “We will be targeting gamers and football fans with an extensive launch campaign and throughout the 09/10 season featuring standout creative across TV, print, online and outdoor in addition to working with our fantastic pack talent to generate substantial PR coverage for the title.”


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