reviews\ May 9, 2010 at 8:00 pm

2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa PS3 review


The World Cup, which begins in June, is all about the best soccer – or football – players in the world, representing their countries in a tournament that is electric in nature. It is about the world tuning in, following with rabid enthusiasm, living and breathing with each goal its side scores, and dying a little with each goal against. Fervor runs high with national pride on the line.

EA Sports 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa takes that passion and does a solid job of translating it to the game. 2010 FIFA will allow players to select their team, work through qualifying and get to the big tourney’s pool play. But moving through qualifying is not as easy as it might seem. Crowds can play a part in pulling up team that may be inferior on paper and turning it into a side that has a distinctive home-field advantage. And that’s only the beginning. Once at the World Cup, the stadiums are glorious and the game buzzes with atmosphere.

The World Cup iteration is the second FIFA release of 2010, and more casual gamers who have purchased the initial release may not find enough incentive to snag the World Cup edition. Sure, gameplay has been tweaked, tackles are a little harder and the referees seem to hand out fewer cards for infractions, and the AI is generally tighter from the goal mouth to the front line. Passing is more defined, and shooting will require the right pacing on the ball, angled attacks and a bit more finesse in order to beat the goalkeepers. The penalty kick system has received extra attention and is more challenging. It makes the format of the regular 2010 FIFA game look simplistic by comparison. Taking a PK in the 2010 World Cup edition is not only challenging, but much more suspenseful.

The hardcore crowd will likely add this in for the sheer glory of the qualifying and the tourney. And the online component is very strong, with players from around the world dropping in to represent their nations.

The game oozes the personality of the event, from the graphical display to the music and pre-game commentary (provided by Clive Tyldesley and Andy Townsend). If there are any stumbling blocks, though, it might be that EA Sports was being so politically correct that it inserted a kind of parity wash over the teams. Honestly, while there is the outside chance of some smaller countries faring well, there are teams that are positively stacked and will likely cruise through some matches. This is not the NCAA tourney where the lower seeds can surprise round after round. This is a grueling tourney and stars typically shine brightest on this stage. Generally, the game modes are solid – and players can create a player and work up to the captaincy spot through meeting challenges along the way. But that’s not why you will want to plunk down $60 and buy this game, if you choose to do so.

The World Cup attracts the biggest crowds of any sporting event in the world. You won’t buy it for that reason, either, though. Here’s what makes this game stand out – 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa is the game that EA Sports should have been turning out, and it is the foundation upon which all future iterations of the franchise should be built.


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