|System: X360, PS3||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: EA Canada||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: EA Sports||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Apr. 27, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
As you can see, there really isn't much new content to enjoy, let alone worth shelling out 60 clams for. Moreover, far fewer FIFA gamers will actually pick up this edition, so the level of online competition will necessarily be seriously hampered when compared to previous editions of FIFA. Both these complaints would have been acceptable had the presentation been outstanding. Disappointingly, everything has been rushed through development such that I can hardly believe it was EA Canada that developed this title.
Perhaps most annoying, especially as a fan of US Soccer, is that many teams' player pools are questionable and the likenesses are god-awful; Landon Donovan looks conspicuously weird (changed for the worse) and respected players like Clint Dempsey and Tim Howard aren't even customized. In my opinion, every player on every national selection that has made the World Cup Finals should be fully detailed. That's the least they can do for our $60!
These issues aren't as pronounced for top-tier squads such as Spain, England, and Brazil, but there are still several instances where curious squad selections and generic player likenesses are a problem. If poor attention to detail doesn't bother you, sloppy coding will. Infrequent but persistent console freezing issues occur, out-of-match loading, saving, and menu transitions are choppy, and a menu glitch where a loading graphic persists in the lower-left corner just scream phoned-in development.
Also, the camera shots of supporters are appalling - the same four fans are shown with slightly different complexions, perhaps a new hairstyle or hat, and some face paint. It's pathetic! A game about the World Cup needs to embrace the fanfare. I want to see hot Brazilian chicks dancing to a samba beat. How about some pasty Brits chanting a terrace song? Maybe, if it's not too much to ask, we could get some stand-covering flags and shots of ultras going bonkers after a goal. As it stands, this game is essentially devoid of anything that makes the World Cup great; it has a decidedly vanilla, box-store quality that falls utterly short - perhaps Sep Blatter's leadership and outlook for FIFA should shoulder some of the responsibility in this regard.
On a final note, other than the African-inspired soundtrack, the in-game sounds are stunningly poor. This is especially true of the commentating duo, which was obviously given just a handful of phrases to read off - there's more to the game than just getting "stuck-in" on a tackle Clive! Even worse, the pronunciation of names outside of the world's elite players is quite bad; it's almost like listening to the crew at Sports Center struggling through a Champions League highlight reel, but with British accents. Not good at all!
It pains me to say it, but this game's weak. This is essentially the movie tie-in of sports titles; about as interesting and worthwhile as games fashioned after the Olympics or the X-Games. There is no reason why this shouldn't have been relegated to a premium add-on through the FIFA Store. If EA wanted to charge full price, then they needed to deliver a meaningful, lovingly-crafted experienced. Both the World Cup and loyal fans like myself deserve at least that much.
CCC Editor / News Director