Fifa 10

PUBLISHED: 14:23 07 October 2009 | UPDATED: 14:43 24 August 2010

Fifa 10: bang on form

Fifa 10: bang on form

Widely recognised as last year s reigning champion of football games after delivering a knock out blow to PES, there is a tough season ahead if Fifa 10 is to remain top of the league. But there s much to be excited about in this latest iteration as the be

Widely recognised as last year's reigning champion of football games after delivering a knock out blow to PES, there is a tough season ahead if Fifa 10 is to remain top of the league.

But there's much to be excited about in this latest iteration as the beautiful game comes one step closer to consoles with almost photorealistic graphics, 360 degree dribbling and the joy of creating your own set piece tactics.

But there's something else going on under the bonnet, something in the game engine that has allowed slicker controls than was evident in triumph that was Fifa 09.

The players' touch is more deft and there's delicate refinement all over the pitch that gives you what feels like a faster, more intense experience that more truly mirrors the real game.

The developers have gone to extraordinary lengths, studying video of instances in the real game that were not, for previous programming limitations, possible in last year's rendition.

Now the variations in all those flash dribbles, dramatic injury time goals, free kicks, back heels, barn storming volleys and over head bicycle kicks are more evident than ever.

Responding to consumer feedback from more than 275 million online games played, critical gameplay fundamentals have been enhanced including more sophisticated ball control, and physical interaction between players.

Players move, behave and position themselves more realistically and on the attack analyze space more effectively.

The game AI sees them curve their runs in an attempt to stay onside, create passing lanes naturally, with more variety in front of goal.

When defending, concepts like position priority enable defenders to cover dangerous spaces left open by teammates who are out of position, while slide tackle targeting, press marking, and better-urgency clearance logic provide new defending options.

Refinements to goalkeeper intelligence are evident with a more responsive and powerful rushing system and realistic saves.

Other improvements include better balance on chipped balls, more realistic shooting mechanics with less shots hitting the post, a practice arena to perfect skills, and quick free kicks.

But the big revelations that gamers will need to try for themselves are the 360 degree dribbling system for finer control with new animation technology allowing skilled forwards to beat the last defender with lateral dribbling.

The new Freedom in Physical Play system allows a varied, less predictable, and extended scraps for possession between a striker and centre-backs, while the Manager Mode has more than 50 major improvements, including new match realism, realistic player transfers and true-to-life player growth curves.

Andy McCorkell

Fifa 10

Five stars

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