Electronic Arts has released its newest addition to the FIFA franchise, FIFA World Cup. This installment is targeted towards the upcoming international soccer tournament that arrives every four years, known as World Cup. The host nation for 2010 is South Africa, in which FIFA World Cup features as the theme for the game.
FIFA World Cup offers 105 of the official international teams, and 10 stadiums and locations from South Africa to play on. There are 6 different game modes to play; Kick Off, FIFA World Cup, Penalty Shoot-Out, Captain Your Country, Local Multiplayer, and Training mode. With 4 levels of AI opponent difficulty settings, players of all skill levels can enjoy, including: Amateur, Semi-Pro, Professional, and World Class.
The first thing people want to know about are the controls. With the previous FIFA 10 [$6.99] game on the iPhone released last year, the main complaint was about the controls. I'm happy to say that the controls in FIFA World Cup are much improved. The learning curve has gone way down thankfully, to a new layout of buttons. Instead of A, B, and C buttons, there are now Pass, Shoot, and Skill buttons for more clear controls. There is also no more complicated "Slide from A to B and back to A to make a 1-2 pass". More natural controls are implemented like, holding longer or double tapping the button for a different desired action. Another new feature is that the player your facing will have a blue indicator above their head, notifying you that if you pass the ball, it will go to that player. It's an extremely nice addition, allowing you to have better precision on your passes. The indicator will turn red if a long pass is available to be made. And also, there are through-ball indicators placed on the ground in yellow to let you know a through-ball can be made and in what direction.
Where I expect people to spend most of their time is playing in the World Cup tournament. Here you can pick any of the teams, even if they haven't qualified for the real tournament, and lead them to victory. You can choose to play your way through the entire qualification stages and then progress to the finals, or start off at the finals in group play and make your way through the last few rounds of 32 teams in 8 groups to make it to the championship match. As you play through, you can see standings from each group, next matches, manage your team, player performance charts, and more.
Here is a video with some gameplay so you can see the new features:
Overall, the game plays great and is a good improvement over EA's first FIFA game, they have learned from their mistakes to provide a better soccer game for the iPhone. With the top-notch graphics, a well-balanced AI, and an enjoyable soccer experience, it's hard to pass this game up if you are a soccer fan waiting for the World Cup to start.