Why 2010 FIFA World Cup is the best football game yet

Hands-on with EA’s slick soccer sim

Near 200 national teams. All the stadiums, carnival atmosphere and glamour of the world’s biggest sporting event. A refined, sexier version of the most sophisticated footie engine ever. Yup, it’s safe to say EA’s latest World Cup game is shaping up to be pretty tasty. We got hands-on with the game recently and can confidently state its set to become this generation’s finest footie title yet. Read on to find out why.

It's got 199 international sides

Just let that sink in for a minute. That’s every team that took part in the qualifying rounds for the World Cup. By comparison FIFA 10 had 41.

Oh sure, you can recreate international tournaments in the last game. But with such a paltry selection, it’s hardly going to be an authentic World Cup experience. Hell, according to FIFA 10 most of Africa doesn’t exist. Thankfully, that’s something the new title rectifies with all the big African nations like Ghana, Ivory Coast and Togo in the mixer.

The presentation is incredible

EA say it wants to recreate the carnival atmosphere of the world’s most popular sporting tournament. And with pre-match confetti, full 3D crowds for all the teams (which includes supporters with face paint, hats and banners) and all 10 stadia that’ll be used in South Africa, the game’s atmosphere is easily more authentic than FIFA 10.

Commentary is also up to the series’ usual high standards. As hateful as grating ITV commentator Clive Tyldesley normally is, paired with Andy Townsend in the UK version, the pair’s banter is winningly believable.

Above: Amazingly, Tyldesley (on the left) and his mate aren't as annoying as they look in 2010 FIFA World Cup

They even provide insight into each side’s manager, which is handy because the gaffers of all the biggest nations feature in the game’s cutscenes. We see two impressively rendered coaches before one of our matches as England’s Fabio Capello (who’s as scary and stern as ever) and Spain’s Vicente del Bosque shake hands.

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