GamesCom 2009: FIFA 10 Hands On Preview - Strengthening The Foundations
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In simple British terms, EA Canada did a “bang up job” with FIFA last year. It wasn’t enough that they had the best selling sports title of the year, but for the first time in I don’t know how many years, they can also say they created the best football title of the year as well. The battle for the crown is shaping up to be a little more fiercely fought this year and we were on the frontline at this year’s GamesCom to see how FIFA 10 was coming along.

Leading the way in terms of new gameplay tweaks and additions in FIFA 10 is the game’s 360 degree dribbling – ultimately giving players the ability to move in any direction with the ball instead of the traditional 8 angles. According to FIFA 10 producer David Rutter, gone are the days of the restrictive 8 way directional controls in football games. Honestly though, going hands on with the title, I couldn’t tell what difference it made... not even slightly. Maybe I didn’t have a skilful enough dribbler at my disposal to take advantage of the new controls? We’re not sure, either way it’ll be interesting to see how it translates into the final version with players who have high dribbling attributes.
EA maybe touting the 360 degree dribbling as being their major feature this year, but for me, the real major improvements have come with things like improved player urgency, positioning, more realistic and intense jostling for the ball and improved trapping. It gives the game a more physical feel, and if you’re a fan of the Premiership’s heavy style of play, you can’t help but be impressed. The first time it will really strike home is when you last defender throws himself in front of the ball in a last gasp attempt to stop a goal. Or even better, when your keeper makes a sublime triple save, but that doesn’t mean that the game has had to sacrifice realism for these new additions. On the contrary.

Let’s talk modes for a second. Major new additions to the game in terms of modes this year come in the form of Virtual Pro and the Pro Club Championship, which are essentially major extensions of existing FIFA modes.

The Virtual Pro mode allows gamers to put themselves in the game for the first time, making use of the Photo Game Face that has proved popular for EA. Your Virtual Pro can then be used across any game mode, but it essentially feels designed for FIFA’s “Be a Pro” mode. After importing your face, you can change the appearance of your Virtual Pro and such, which affects the attributes you’re born with; so smaller players are likely to be more stable but have less strength. Throw in over 200 unlockables which are unlocked by performing certain tasks that affect either your attributes or your aesthetical appearance, and the ability to perform certain accomplishments to unlock traits like the long throw; and Virtual Pro mode is shaping up to be a fine addition to the franchise.
The other major addition, Pro Club Championship, takes the 10-on-10 action from FIFA 09 to an entirely new level. The Pro Club Championship takes the online Clubs from last year and turns it into a virtual league for your Virtual Pro and other Virtual Pros around the world – wow, that’s a lot of virtual! Not got enough friends to start a team? Fear not, the addition of public teams means it’s now easier for players to drop into a team without waiting for a manager’s approval. You can even just drop into a match without committing to a team, so it’s also a good way to build your Pro from there. Thanks to leaderboards tied to the mode, if you perform well, you could get your Pro noticed as well and maybe earn an invitation to play for one of the best clubs.

You’ll also see improvements in the practice arena (allowing players the chance to play 5-on-5 now, which according to Rutter is great after you’ve come home from a night out), over 50 major improvements in the managerial mode to improve realism, and of course, the new customisable set piece feature.
From a personal standpoint, the customisable set piece feature is one of my favourite additions to the franchise this year, and it’s a mode that fans of the beautiful game could literally lose themselves in. Players can create a variety of set-pieces including everything from making players dart into the box, peel off, or even act as a distraction if you so wish. You can create 4 set pieces per zone – selected using the d-pad when taking them – and there are 8 zones to create them for, so you can create 32 separate set pieces in all. So if in the past you’ve been frustrated by the lack of movement in the box or wondering why there wasn’t someone sat on the edge of the box for set pieces waiting to strike a volley; those days of frustration are now over. A huge selling point for FIFA 10 if you ask us.
EA Canada’s mantra on FIFA according to Rutter is simply, “refine, respond, innovate” and it’s safe to say that they’ve achieved that with FIFA 10. The additions are more subtle this year and feels like more of a general progression over last year’s title, with the majority of the work being done to expand the experience, rather than revamp it. It feels very much like FIFA 09 from a gameplay standpoint with noticeable improvements in the game’s physicality and realism, and it seems the emphasis was put on giving you more option, and more importantly, more bang for your buck. With the new set piece editor, Virtual Pro mode, Pro Club Championship and well implemented gameplay improvements, FIFA 10 seems to be keeping EA Canada’s good run of form going. Is it enough to hold off PES for another year though? We’ll have to wait to find out the answer to that one, but it certainly seems like a fairer fight this year. All we need now is a more football season friendly release date? We look forward to putting the final version through its paces in October.

FIFA 10 is coming to Europe October 2nd and North America October 20th.


User Comments

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #1 by ALEX IS L33T
Wednesday, August 26, 2009 @ 08:53:28 PM
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Puyol FTW!!!!

Forum Posts: 3
Comment #2 by OblivionGod123
Wednesday, August 26, 2009 @ 08:53:33 PM
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sounds awesome...and they really was not much to be added to fifa sorry to say PES will never be top again

Forum Posts: 148
Comment #5 by Medaking
Wednesday, August 26, 2009 @ 09:53:00 PM
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Want. Now. 09 became less realistic as times went with unnecessary patching. Just hope to god UT returns with some big improvements i.e no roided players meaning when I get a Torres in a pack it is fucking amazing! Sorry guys long day :P

Forum Posts: 12
Comment #6 by LondonLouis
Wednesday, August 26, 2009 @ 10:56:52 PM
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I literally can't wait for this game. I just hope Pro raises their game and releases a game worthy of competing with Fifa. The fact that Pro was released a week after Fifa last year (and a month after transfer deadline day) and yet barely any of the players had been transferred (whereas with Fifa they had) was the last straw for me.

I've been Pro all my life until last year, so irregardless, i hope both are great games.

For Fifa 10 i'm really hoping for better shooting and heading (they balloon over too often), more fouls (it's so infuriating being clipped from behind and not getting anything), and really more emphasis on being able to dribble past, and beat players (particularly wingers!!).

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #7 by Roo 55564
Wednesday, August 26, 2009 @ 11:16:13 PM
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i'll be getting this.
can't wait 2 play fifa 10.
Looks great

Forum Posts: 144
Comment #8 by Skidillydoo
Wednesday, August 26, 2009 @ 11:27:16 PM
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i cant wait grrr

Forum Posts: 41
Comment #9 by DipCheese83
Thursday, August 27, 2009 @ 12:23:30 AM
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I hope they still have Ultimate Team

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #10 by zakirm
Thursday, August 27, 2009 @ 01:25:51 AM
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There are so many great games comin out soon, i cant wait!! Modern warfare 2, halo 3 odst, arkham asylum, assasins creed 2 and of course fifa 10 seem like they're all gonna be great

Forum Posts: 22
Comment #11 by mijihon
Thursday, August 27, 2009 @ 03:02:11 AM
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Sounds awesome, cant wait for it!

Forum Posts: 677
Comment #12 by adriano28
Thursday, August 27, 2009 @ 03:08:05 AM
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@10: arkham asylum is already out, but i get your point. So many great games before 2010. MW2, ODST, Brutal legend, all sorts and this will be another in the list.

Forum Posts: 105
Comment #13 by Adasi
Thursday, August 27, 2009 @ 03:29:12 AM
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I hope they dort the horrible lack of transfers in "Be A Pro" mode out - the fact that three years on i was in the premiership with Sheffield United but still had the same **** CB's and wingers was poor....the game needs to realistically make tranfers for your team

Forum Posts: 1097
Comment #14 by bloodswan
Thursday, August 27, 2009 @ 04:13:28 AM
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@12 Arkham Asylum is not out aint out in Australia til next week for example

Forum Posts: 7
Thursday, August 27, 2009 @ 04:14:47 AM
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Hopefully they'll sort out the problem in the online clubs with people usin glitched teams,,vvv annoyin!!!people glitchin teams like barcelona?!?not already enough good players like?? That aside massively lookin 4ward 2 this

Forum Posts: 16
Comment #16 by danny hampson
Thursday, August 27, 2009 @ 04:18:44 AM
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should be good, i just hope of defence of whoever your playing is abit deeper than staying near there own halfway line, makes the game to easy when you counter attack i think.

Forum Posts: 208
Comment #17 by xHHx CURT
Thursday, August 27, 2009 @ 04:55:10 AM
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maybe my game of the year... always loved fifa except 07 on the xbox... 09 was my favourite game of the year but there is more competition this year... atleast the gameplay hasn't changed much this year thats the one thing i thought might ruin the game

Forum Posts: 101
Comment #18 by bensonrecon
Thursday, August 27, 2009 @ 04:59:53 AM
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Why do I get the feeling that UT will once again be a DLC mode and more than likely as with 09 UT mode they won't test it properly before release.

Forum Posts: 13
Comment #19 by Dniworrom
Thursday, August 27, 2009 @ 05:45:21 AM
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not in europe

Forum Posts: 1211
Comment #20 by CFC07
Thursday, August 27, 2009 @ 05:59:45 AM
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can't wait

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #21 by TE JOSH TE
Thursday, August 27, 2009 @ 06:02:27 AM
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Forum Posts: 26
Comment #22 by Flameswordsman
Thursday, August 27, 2009 @ 07:25:17 AM
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They better have the Champions League in their Manager-Mode this year. I was pretty dissapointed when I realised I'd have to finish 5th or 6th in the League just to get a taste of European football.

Nice to know defenders will bust a gut to stop the ball, but strikers better do the same to score, really gets on my tits when all your striker has to do is poke his head out an inch to nod the ball in... but he doesn't.

Forum Posts: 119
Comment #23 by Desmondo2000
Thursday, August 27, 2009 @ 07:54:17 AM
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my god ea your making me poor with all these great sport games, I have tiger10 and madden10 now i'm gonna have fifa10 too

Forum Posts: 26
Comment #24 by jcloverboy
Thursday, August 27, 2009 @ 10:48:29 AM
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If Ultimate Team isn't included out of box that would be ridiculous.

It became their best feature in 09.

The 10 v 10 play is great if you can actually find a team of 10 to play against as opposed to 10 v. 3, 5 v. 9, etc. No more ridiculous 10 v. 10 achievement hopefully.

Forum Posts: 262
Comment #25 by II M1CK3H II
Thursday, August 27, 2009 @ 11:41:23 AM
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I still piss myself everytime someone claims ODST will be a great game xD Halo died years ago man...

Forum Posts: 9
Comment #26 by NATH4Nx
Thursday, August 27, 2009 @ 11:47:31 AM
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ODST is better than FIFA lmao

Forum Posts: 32
Comment #27 by blackbriar83
Thursday, August 27, 2009 @ 12:51:12 PM
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@25 you piss yourself man!!! sorry to hear that, but hey we all have our problems... i have to laugh though when people put down the halo games, just means they our crap and that is because halo actually requires, whats that word? oh yes skill!!! unlike FIFA 10 AND ODST cant wait

Forum Posts: 3
Comment #28 by OblivionGod123
Thursday, August 27, 2009 @ 01:18:24 PM
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@27 halo doesnt require skill lol....any clown can camp at the back with that shitty sniper or go invisible and beat them down from not sayin its a shit game im just saying call of duty is a lot better...and fyi every game requires skill to play...apart from viva pinata lol

Forum Posts: 32
Comment #29 by blackbriar83
Thursday, August 27, 2009 @ 01:39:07 PM
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@28 there will always be clowns camping in any shooter games. and yes anyone can pickup and play any game. but when it comes to that wee extra touch thats were the skill comes into play.or unless ya have a modded controller!!! lol. just have to laugh when people say halo is shit. fair enough might not be your thing but that does'nt mean it's shit, don't get me wrong love the COD'S and will be getting next one but halo just seems to require that little bit more. oh and ya need no skill whats so ever for AVTAR!!! lol

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #30 by hanvey82
Thursday, August 27, 2009 @ 02:08:08 PM
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there is always arsenal sucmbags on ere slabbering halo3 is shit UP THE CODs p.s. i love spurs

Forum Posts: 77
Comment #31 by CTW001
Thursday, August 27, 2009 @ 04:23:04 PM
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@27 Its those kinds of people which make Halo crap online and is why I prefer COD, Halo 3 storyline was fun with co-op though.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #32 by Rooster5k
Thursday, August 27, 2009 @ 05:00:28 PM
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woopde doo

Forum Posts: 53
Comment #33 by JT Gregory
Thursday, August 27, 2009 @ 06:03:31 PM
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same as the other fifa games in my eyes

Forum Posts: 9
Comment #34 by Oxagarh
Thursday, August 27, 2009 @ 07:15:42 PM
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would it be the ultimate fifa ?

Forum Posts: 4
Comment #35 by KinG oF IrOnFisT
Thursday, August 27, 2009 @ 07:33:33 PM
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@21 The achievements on fifa 09 are easy anyway, you just cant be good if you find them hard

The set piece customisation sounds amazing :play as spain freekick 20 yards out david villa takes it, chips it across the box to iniesta iniesta volleys it top corner! :D SICK

Forum Posts: 300
Comment #36 by toonsage
Thursday, August 27, 2009 @ 10:42:04 PM
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messi ftw!!! =)

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #37 by FlimFlam
Friday, August 28, 2009 @ 05:59:38 AM
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@ #33

Er... Yes because if it was different it wouldn't be FIFA?

Kind of hard to change a game based on a game, right?

Bring on the demo, I want to see how it plays! Less floaty long balls, better long range shooting and crossing please, apart from that, it plays a great game of footie so don't tinker too much with the on pitch action!

Forum Posts: 127
Comment #38 by IX Kenneth XI
Friday, August 28, 2009 @ 06:01:42 AM
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@10. Couldn't agree more >< So frustrating that I don't have the cash :P

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #39 by haggy 909
Friday, August 28, 2009 @ 07:24:38 AM
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pre orderd it from tesco direct 35 pound with 2 pound delivery bargain lol cant wait :)

Forum Posts: 308
Comment #40 by Darf Spud
Friday, August 28, 2009 @ 09:28:59 AM
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Getting this on 2nd October. First team I play in manger mode will be Arsenal or Norwich. First match I play? I has to be Accrington Stanley v Burton Albion, don't get much bigger than

Forum Posts: 5
Comment #41 by XMindsetX
Friday, August 28, 2009 @ 11:48:08 AM
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I just hope the fuckers on the defense can mark the opponents this year...

Forum Posts: 10
Comment #42 by Sgt L Stubbings
Monday, August 31, 2009 @ 08:35:37 PM
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Personally i hope they have improved the through balls, offsides and refeee's, because through balls are sometimes way off, offsides occur far too often and referee's are way too biased

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Game Info
EA Canada
Electronic Arts


US October 20, 2009
Europe October 02, 2009

ESRB: Everyone
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