EA Sports’ latest efforts in the soccer realm may just be the best in-genre that I have ever played. Instead of being a reskin of FIFA 10, there are a number of serious steps taken with this title. The amount of uniqueness brought forth soccer sims by this title is simply stellar, as individuals can expect to play as any one of nearly 200 different national teams. Furthermore, the inclusion of 10 different stadiums (all being used in the World Cup) imbues further realism to the title. The choice of stadiums is an important one, as there are specific benefits and detriments (such as higher elevations causing more in the way of injuries) that are present.
The graphics on this title are what shines the brightest. Players are given enough soul, spit and polish to properly represent all the most storied current players on a side, where the “Story of the Finals” options allows players to replay pivotal moments, to the degree that these different finishes and outcomes could completely change the FIFA lineups. Along with the different scenarios, the inclusion of a lively soundtrack keeps a sense of realism intact. Rather than merely including songs from those flavor of the month types of acts, the soundtrack here allows players to enjoy a smorgasbord of tracks from FIFA-member nations, be it Portugal (Buraka Som Sistema’s “Restless”), India (MIDIval Punditz’s “Atomizer”), or even Chile’s Latin Bitman (“The Instrumento”). For those completists, a long list of accomplishments are present; rather than being linked to goofy or otherwise questionable tests of skill, most of these goals correspond to different exhibits of a player’s skill.
Where it seems that a number of games created for a specific event (such as the Summer or Winter Olympics) seem to fall on their faces (created as a quick cash grab rather than as a well thought-out title), 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa is a title that stands as one of the few memorable sports sims currently out on the market. Regardless of whether one typically likes soccer, I’d suggest giving this title a spin – there is something here for everyone.
2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa (Playstation 3) / 2010 EA Sports / http://www.ea.com / http://www.fifa-world-cup.easports.com / http://www.fifa.com