Australia’s 5 time FIWC champion, Stephen Coorey, was lucky enough to play the latest Fifa 10 build at EA headquarters today. Here are his impressions of the new game…
Today was the day I have been waiting for since the FIWC final in Barcelona in May – my first look at Fifa 10. I’d read about all the new features and improvements, but you never really know until you try it out yourself. A note before I start – the build I played today is 3 builds newer than the demo which hits the Xbox Live Marketplace and PS3 Store tonight, and I was told there are a lot of improvements in it, compared to the demo which has a few keeper bugs in there still.
Ok, let’s get straight into some heavily hyped new features…are they as good as the reviewers say?
First game I chose Arsenal and kicked off, passed back to Fabregas and started moving. What followed immediately was the first of many OMG’s. Personally, before today, I was skeptical about 360 dribbing, as far as I could tell in Fifa 09, I could move in any direction I wanted to, not just 8 ways. The first few steps Fabregas took blew that out of the water – he actually moved his body for every little amount of pressure I put on the left thumbstick, whatever angle I moved it. I know that is probably hard to picture, but the point is, even the most basic of movements makes this new feature evident – it affects every aspect of the game . No longer do you just push the left thumbstick left and run straight at goal, numerous times I thought I was doing that but found myself running at a 10 degree angle towards the corner flag because I wasnt angling it exactly enough. Then I thought to myself, “how can I use this to rape the defense?” and started dancing back and forth, trying to dribble through the whole opposing team. No good though, the defenders can move EXACTLY where they want too, and if you collide with an opposing player – you really collide. I gave away a lot more free kicks than usual, but they were realistic, because I was leaving my foot or shoulder in the tackle to hurt the attacker and stop his momentum. Watching my player raise his hand and admit to doing something dirty was highly amusing.
Quick Free Kicks
That reminds me, if you are given a free kick and are near the ball, your player will put his hand on the ball, while the action continues around him, and if you want, you can quickly get on with play and catch your opponent napping. I know this has been in PES for a while, but seeing it used in Fifa was a dream come true for someone that has always detested free kicks and wanting to get on with the game quickly without giving the ball away.
1 v 1 / Goalkeeping
I cant finish 1v1’s anymore. I played all the guys at EA who have been playing it for months, and they couldnt finish them either. The goalkeepers are now AWESOME. I tried casually walking up to the keeper and chipping as he dived at my feet – no good. I tried running diagonal across him and finessing it to the far corner – no good, he will save it or you will MISS (even with top players). I tried blasting it – no good (still miss). You really need to unlock the defense to such an extent that you have someone unmarked to pass to as you draw the keeper. If you are successful at chipping the keeper, and he gets a hand to it, with the ball bouncing in front of goal – the keeper will “accidently” take your striker out as you race towards the ball, leaving you both on the ground as the defense rushes back to clean up. This will make attacking teams angry, but after all, a scramble is a scramble.
So if you’ve played me in Fifa09, you know that I perfected a really dirty cross to the back post which 7 times out of 10 would result in a goal. Of course this was going to be one of the first things I tried on Fifa 10 – the SCOOREY cross. It didnt work. Not only did it not work, the keeper caught it – similar to the anti-corner glitch that became popular in the last few months of Fifa09 where the keeper would catch the corners if people tried to go back post. This time, the defender doesnt need to do anything – the keeper just catches it by himself if you try the glitch. Well done EA on that one. So I tried out a few other crosses. Normal crosses look way cool on Fifa 10. You can make them swerve and dip with the left thumbstick, and the strikers make intelligent runs to both posts much more often than in 09 when I had to practically force them. Heading is a little more difficult, but I did score a few nice ones, and alternatively you can chest it down and then go BANG, but this takes some luck as usually you will be challenged by a defender while trying this.
Chip Through ball
This was the most widely abused glitch on Fifa 09, run to the defense, and time a little chip through ball over the top, letting go when your striker was level with them, and watch the defense stop and look up like stunned mullets while CRonaldo or Rooney powers through on goal. All the talk was that this was no longer possible, but I was still able to do it the same way. The difference now is though, when you are past the defense it takes time and skill to control the ball, and while you are controlling it, the defense comes back or the keeper rushes up and there is nothing you can do before he smothers you. The defenders no longer stand still watching the ball, so it is a genuine contest, but if the striker is faster/stronger, he will still get to the ball first. What happens after that though is much more random.
Tackle from behind
As mentioned earlier, there are a lot of unexpected fouls, as the collision detection is much more realistic. You can no longer body check someone who is running full speed at your goal and expect to get away with it. Your player will put his hand up and admit the foul and cop a yellow card – even if you didnt press slide tackle. But just when I thought my defenders were being picked on, I lost the ball a couple of times and pressed tackle (slide or normal) straight away to see my player move his legs AROUND OR THROUGH the opponent, not touching him, but just the ball and winning it back straight away. I know it has been claimed for 2 years now that the ball was no longer attached to the person in possession, but this is the first time I’ve really believed it. You can make a play at the ball from anywhere and if you hit it cleanly, the ball bounces out of the attacker’s possession and where it goes is anyone’s business from then onwards!
Long Range Cracks
The return of long range cracks aye? I think after the long range finesse shot glitches of 07 and 08, people were happy when 09 made it almost impossible to score from outside of the box (regularly). Who better to try out this new feature than Stevie Gerrard. I picked up the ball around 40 yards out on the right side of the field, cut in and BLASTED…no finesse, just blast, and into the top corner it sailed, diagonally past the outstretched arm of the diving keeper. Long range cracks are back baby!
Imagine the ball bouncing between two players, one on each team. Neither player has possession. On Fifa09, they would run into each other, chest to chest, and whichever player was stronger would magically come out of the contest with the ball, with the other guy left behind like a piece of trash. Now imagine the ball bouncing and the defender thowing himself at the ball with a karate kick because it is too high for a normal kick, but too low for a header. THAT IS WHAT HAPPENS IN FIFA 10. The animations are amazing. There are so many new ones. Your player wont go to the ball in 09? In 10 he slides at the ball to clear it desperately, or slides at it to knock a pass on to someone else.
Through balls look real! It is not just hit and hope, it calculates the correct angle and puts the player who makes the intelligent run in behind the defense and ready to play the assist. Unlocking defenses is now not just a challenge, but it makes you say out loud ‘good ball’ because it is exactly what you envisaged (and sometimes surprisingly better).
There are lots of little things like this which you only notice after playing a few games – and I am sure there are many that I missed in my 3 or so hours that I was playing everyone in the EA office (Thanks EA for letting me stay longer than the original hour that was planned 🙂 ) Anyway, as you can probably tell, just like everyone else who has played this masterpiece, I cant go back to playing Fifa09 anymore. So while I wait for the demo, here are all the player ratings that I can remember. (Note that these might not be final, it was just before the transfer window shut, Dunne was still in Man City, but Madrid had all their Galacticos).
Messi 90, Ibra 89, Titi 85, Iniesta 88, Xavi 87, Yaya 82, Puyol 88
Cronaldo 87 (89 if move him to striker), Kaka 88 (striker by default), Benzema 86, L.Diarra 84, Xabi 83, Pepe 84, Ramos 84
Rooney 87, Berba 85, Vidic 88, Rio 87, Hargreaves not fast anymore
Drogba 85, Anelka 85, Lampard 87, Ballack 85, Essien 85
RVP 84, Eduardo 83, Arshavin 87, Fabregas 87, Nasri 82, Rosicky 83, Walcott 82
Aquilani 83 (and very fast and skillful), Gerrard 88, Torres 88, Kuyt 84, Carragher 85
Adebayor 84, Robinho 83, Bellamy 80, Wright P 81, Ireland 78, Tevez 82, De Jong 77, Toure 87
Eto’o 87, Milito 85, Cambiasso 86, Mancini 81, Queresma 83, Motta 85, Maicon 84, Lucio 85, Samuel 85, Zanetti 82
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