At the EA Sports Fall Starting Lineup '09 event we had a chance to look at the newest FIFA 10 game, soon coming for Wii, PS3 and Xbox 360.
FIFA 10 for the Wii was the first of the three I checked out. Chatting with the on-duty game producer about what they've done with it gave me a few insights. Working on the animations to make things smoother, and giving the players a slightly more cartoony look was a big point; apparently the Mii head mode from the last FIFA was a bit of a failure due to older players thinking it was too cartoony and younger players refusing to play a mode older brothers and sisters thought wasn't cool.
The gameplay is being made a bit more cartoony this time, but nothing over the top. Kicks and saves being turned up a notch are among the other changes, including tweaking of the Momentum bar, making the way it fills more natural; when the bar is full, the crowd goes a bit crazy.
All-in-all, nothing huge for the Wii so far; lots of minor upgrades and tweaks to make the game easy and fun to play for the casual audience. However, there is a new game mode to be announced later in the summer so stay tuned for that!
The more hardcore FIFA 10 for PS3 and Xbox 360 is at the 70% completion mark as with the Wii version, but has a lot more of the gory details to share. The game producer emphasized their work on polish and fan-feedback requests including the following:
- Set the number of attackers in practice arena from 4-11.
- You can select which player takes the free kick.
- During free kicks, you can move the wall.
- Goalkeepers will be more proactive, coming out of the net more actively and backpedalling faster.
Gameplay is smoothed out with proper 360-degree movement control for players, rather than just eight directions; micro-control over the ball is improved to let you control which foot to use when dribbling. The area in front of a player that the ball can be controlled in is widened too, making it possible for two players to have the ball in their control area at once; this makes fighting over the ball more interesting. Slide tackling has been tweaked, letting you slide even when out of range. They also have more power, but a longer recovery time.
The biggest change for FIFA 10 on PS3 and Xbox 360 is the addition of set pieces -- this is where players can be set in place and given directions to follow. There are eight set piece regions in front of each goal and you can assign a set piece formation to each direction on the D-pad for a total of 32. However, due to concerns cunning players with a lot of spare time will be able to uncover set piece configurations that will result in an automatic-goal against AI configurations, EA isn't planning on enabling set pieces for online play.
For both titles, the company is still looking for more input from, well, you. Yes, you. And the person sitting next to you. Maybe even the heavy breather lurking in your closet! So, if you have ideas for how to improve the games, or want to snark at EA about something that makes you crazy (go on, you know you want to) now's the time!
FIFA 10 will launch October 2 on all platforms.