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2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa XBox 360 Review - -

Gameplay 8.8
Graphics 8.9
Sound 8.7
Value 8.5
Distributor: EA
Review Date:
May 2010
John Wright


2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa

Every four years… soccer fans become frenzied because of the World Cup and 2010 is that year. Although everyone country has their own soccer leagues and international teams, nothing is more satisfying and creates more unified nationalism than the World Cup. With that said, EA bring forth the console answer with 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa that is dripping with World Cup and South Africa merchandising and glamour.

I must admit that when it comes to sport games, EA Sports truly have it in the bag and nothing is more superior than their FIFA series which seems to get better and better every year. And before the naysayers butt in, I do agree that we’ve had a few dodgy games in their prestigious series but thankfully 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa is not one of them.

This is made more evident as soon as you boot up this soccer game on the 360 that drags you into the hype from the snazzy, almost MTV like menus and of course, the great soundtrack. However when you jump into the game and you hear the momentum of the crowd building, this is as close to us humble mortal gamers will get to living the dream.

So let's get down to the nitty gritty shall we? The game uses the FIFA 10 engine which mean the gameplay is almost identical to this title but with a few new tweaks to the controls and graphics. However where the title shines as mentioned is through the World Cup trimmings that successfully manages to recreate this atmosphere... even though it hasn't happened yet. The control system works well on the 360 and everything feels just right and you actually have quite good control on your players as you attempt to procure and hold the ball, albeit with your feet. There is some tweaking to the engine with the subtleties of defending and attacking your opponents for those victorious goals. Easy to play but hard to master so newcomers may need to try on the baby level.

If your country or favourite country failed (HA!) to make it to the World Cup, you can even change history by allowing them to compete and hopefully make it to World Cup Glory. With 199 national teams that where in the qualifiers, it does make for some almost unlimited gameplay. Fancy some online play? The game offers a sturdy online mode that gives the player a real 2010 FIFA World Cup tournament that even offers detailed statistics as your country battles it.  The good thing about the online mode is that eventually when the World Cup does start, it will start to mimic some of the online play.

To delve even more into this engine, EA have created some really cool cutscenes that shows the crowd and even your coaches which may be fluff but for what it's worth, it's actually quite cool. The biggest highlight for me besides the great FIFA 10 engine is the crowd which roars with how the game is going and is easily the most realistic crowd algorithms. 

This is especially fun when you Captain Your Country that allows to control only one player on the field and does give a great sense of realism but sometimes the camera angles do get in the way. It's similar to FIFA 10's Be a Pro and you can also play with an additional three friends as well. The only issue we had with the game is a little lack of customisation but considering that they are trying to keep it with the World Cup theme, it's understandable.

The single-player story (qualification mode) is interesting as you attempt to fight your way into the qualifications that offers both single-player and team scenarios. It does add an element of story to a sports game which is a step in the right direction. It's also good for practicing if you've been away from the FIFA series for awhile.

Graphically, the game is oozing with World Cup 2010 authenticity from official stadiums to realistic players that move with a real-world grace. The detail on the players is quite outstanding as are the crowds. The frame rate remains quite high throughout the game and we only noticed a few slow downs here and there but nothing too major. In terms of sound, all the soccer sound effects are there from the players to the crowd and of course the commentary which is quite fluid and merges well with the gameplay.

Final Thoughts?

It's amazing how far soccer has come on consoles and I still remember the simple games such as Kickoff and then all of a sudden we're in 2010 and sport games have gotten so much more realistic since then. The game has a great control system and mimics the up and coming World Cup 2010 quite well. Some may see it as just an add-on for FIFA 2010 but why would you want to miss out on this frenzy, especially if you're a soccer fan? It's time to change the tide of the World Cup!


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