I’m looking for a football pun…ah yes, a tale of two halves is the one I was looking for. It is a phrase that describes the PC version of FIFA 10 perfectly.
You see, FIFA 10 on the PC is, in the graphical department, nothing like the version you will find on the 360 or PS3, it is a testament to EA’s idea that the PC version should be kept behind the graphical levels of the so called ‘next-gen’ iterations because of an idea that only 10% of PC users have a machine that would be able to run it on the newest engine they have.
EA have their reasons for holding back the PC version of the game in this aspect, and it is unfortunate that it makes such an impact on the game, even with all the graphical settings pushed to the max the game still looks like it has stood still for the past few years. When you look at the graphics in the PES10 demo on the PC you realise that you are really playing with an outdated looking game.
I’m not normally one to hark on about a games graphics, but it is a kick in teeth of PC gamers to realise we have been passed off with a PS2 looking game. Simply put, it is the graphics which are holding back the PC build of the game from being the premiere footballing game on the PC.
You see the rest of the game is really quite fun, a marked improvement I must add from the 09 release of the age old franchise. The clearest sign of improvement comes in the movement of players, FIFA 10 features 360 degree movement which allows for an incredibly fluid game. You are no longer stuck to running along in rigid channels, with just a slight flick of the analogue stick (I’m using a 360 controller) your player can turn nimbly on the spot and slot a pass to a teammate, or if you are anything like me it will head straight to the opposition!
The new movement is not the only new feature, you are now able to play a complete season in any of the leagues available, complete with cup competitions, without worrying about the weak attempt at copying Pro Evolution’s Master League. No dealing with buying and selling players, just a season full of footballing action. There are plenty of leagues to chose from ranging from the English Premier League (and down to League 2) to the Irish league via Sweden and many more. While I didn’t expect to see the Welsh league in the game it isdisappointing personally not to see the Welsh national team in the game.
The lack of the Welsh team may seem a small issue, but it has impacted on my ‘Be a Pro’ journey. This is one of the best parts of the game, you create your own player, be he a defender, midfielder or striker and put him in the club of your choice. As you progress through the season you improve you abilities by completing various match tasks like being the first to score and not being caught off side. You may also get called up the international team to help them make it to the World Cup. Alas, if like me you create a Welsh player there is no hope of this.
Enough ranting about Wales and onto the commentary! I have to be honest that Martin Tyler and Andy Gray have done a good job with FIFA 10, of course you will hear the same phrases repeated, but it is not as dire as I was expecting. It is disconcerting though that in one instance my ‘keeper was sent off and when play resumed they were wondering if thesubstitution was because of an injury. Were they watching the same match?
Match sounds are very, very good, they range from chants (Glory Glory Man United! and such like) to the fans booing at a decision which goes against the home side and even the occasional shout from people on the touch line or other players. The atmosphere in a match is built around these sounds, and it is nosurprise they manage to generate a great feeling. It is a shame that some of the stadiums are a let down, likely due to the older game engine. You often find lower league teams using the same stadium which gets a bit tedious when playing a season in the Championship.
FIFA 10, on the PC at least, is a great game presented through an out of date engine, it is sad to say that it is the main reason for this only getting a ‘Hit’. The presentation isn’t good enough for a game from the giant that is EA, I have other problems, players getting bunched together and tripping over each at illogical moments of a match and a lack of decent support for the 360 controller.