The beautiful game
2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa captures the sights and sounds of the world's greatest football competition. The EA Sports development team has worked closely with FIFA to ensure absolute accuracy, from the make-up of the squads, to the stadiums used for each match, right down to the entrance music as the players take to the pitch.
Great care has been put into capturing the unique carnival atmosphere of the FIFA World Cup and how it is presented on TV. For every match the touchlines are covered in streamers and ticker tape and music can be heard from the crowd depending on who is playing, whether it's a brass band for England or a samba beat for Brazil. For added authenticity, when the ball goes out of play the camera cuts to extravagantly dressed fans enjoying the party and reacting to what's happening on the pitch.
While realism runs right through the game, you have the option of creating your own FIFA World Cup groups from the teams available. You can also embark on a full qualification campaign as any of the 199 national teams recognised by FIFA. Even the tiniest nations such as New Caledonia and Belize are meticulously recreated and can be guided all the way to the FIFA World Cup Final, if you've got the skill.
Story of Qualifying mode offers a glimpse of each team's qualification campaign and the chance to take on varied challenges. You're placed in various situations from the real-life qualifying tournament - France going 2-0 down against Romania, for example - and tasked with meeting a series of objectives - winning the game without conceding any more goals, in this instance. During the FIFA World Cup, new challenges from the tournament itself will be made available via PlayStation Network.
The world at your feet
2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa uses an enhanced version of the FIFA 10 game engine. The action is now faster and the development team has tweaked the gameplay according to feedback from fans. For example, goalkeepers are now far less susceptible to the chipped shot and referees are more lenient.
Penalty shoot-out drama is one of the hallmarks of the FIFA World Cup and the spot kick mechanic has been updated to reflect this. You now have to stop a skill meter at the right point to determine the taker's composure and you also have the option of stuttering your run-up to throw the goalkeeper's concentration.
FIFA 10's Be a Pro: Seasons mode, where you control one player throughout their career, becomes Captain your Country mode in 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa. The aim is to take a B International from your chosen nation and earn the captain's armband for the FIFA World Cup Final. You can create your own player, use an existing star and even import your Virtual Pro from FIFA 10. Before each match, the manager will give you a set of instructions that you'll want to meet if you plan on rising through the pecking order.
Up to four players can play through Captain your Country mode on the same TV, making for an interesting dynamic as friends work together to win the match while competing for that precious armband at the same time.
Battle of the Nations
2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa lets you go online, via PlayStation Network, and play through the entire FIFA World Cup against real opponents. Once you have chosen the team you want to represent, you will be paired against another player who is also just starting the tournament. They will join your group and, after you've played them, you will be paired against another player looking to play their second group game, and so on. If you fail to progress from your group or lose in the knockout stages then you will have to start again, just like in real life (albeit without a four year wait).
You can also compete in single matches against online opponents as any of the 199 teams available. Your results here are reflected on ten divisions of league tables - earn enough wins and you could be in contention for promotion, but suffer defeats and the misery of relegation awaits.
Another innovative feature is Battle of the Nations, which sets out to discover which country is home to the best virtual footballers. Good performances in online game modes will earn points for the nation you have chosen to represent. Those points will go onto a global leaderboard and, at the end of the tournament, everyone will be able to see which country has accrued the most points. You get more points for beating a stronger team than the one you choose to play as so get online, cause a few upsets and work with your compatriots to put your chosen nation on top of the world.