2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Preview for Xbox 360

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If Rooney gets injured, we're done for.
If Rooney gets injured, we're done for.

If Rooney gets injured, we're done for.

Thierry Henry has just set up an equalising goal by patting the ball - twice - with his hand, and Clive Tyldesley and Andy Townsend are going mental. Like, they're spitting feathers. It's a scandal. A bloody scandal is what it is.

If you don't know what we're on about, get out. Go on, turn off your computer, mobile phone or whatever device you're reading this on and get out. France's cheating victory over brave Republic of Ireland in the 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers was the biggest football story of 2009. If it passed you by, if you weren't incensed by the sheer injustice of it all, then you're not a proper football fan.

After the event, the Irish went ever-so-slightly over the top. They called for the game to be re-played. They called for every member of the French government to give themselves up to the Garda for questioning and/or a spot of torture. It was an international incident. A third world war was only averted when the combined diplomatic power of Bill Clinton, Tony Blair and a resurrected Mahatma Gandhi stepped in to calm the situation.

The fact is, France are going to the World Cup and Ireland aren't. But how many Irish fans wished - and probably still wish - that they could somehow go back in time and right that unspeakable wrong? How many wish they could jump in a DeLorean, hit 88 miles per hour, and give Thierry Henry a serious case of diarrhoea just before the big game, thus changing history forever?

EA Sports' 2010 FIFA World Cup won't let you realise this dream, but it will let you do the next best thing: change history virtually. And we're trying to do it right now as we sit down for a hands-on with the game. We're trying to get the ball to speedy Fulham winger Damian Duff at every opportunity. We're trying to listen to the new, bespoke commentary the Vancouver development team recorded just for this match. We're trying to get Celtic superhero Robbie Keane into the damn game. We're trying to score a winning goal. It's hard. The French are defending en masse, and time is running out.

The World Cup has more of a festival atmosphere, with camera flashes, streamers, and crazy supporters.

The World Cup has more of a festival atmosphere, with camera flashes, streamers, and crazy supporters.

This one off challenge is part of an all new game mode called Story of Qualifying, which includes over 50 games taken from qualifying, each one allowing you to change history. As well as the France Ireland farce is the Algeria defeat of Egypt in the playoffs, a game played in Khartoum, Sudan, after the two teams finished their group matches level on points and having scored and conceded the same number of goals. There's even a bonus scenario from the 2006 World Cup in Germany to unlock. Story of Qualifying, producer Simon Humber says, is for the hardcore FIFA fans. He's right. Our attempt to change history has worked, but not as we'd hoped: rather than grabbing a last-minute winner, France scored another two goals. Sorry lads.

Even more exciting, EA will drum up new scenario packages as the World Cup is in progress, and make them available to download for free. It'll work like this: say, for example, England lose their group game against the USA one nil (god forbid). The day after the game, you'll be able to download a scenario package which will challenge you to score an equaliser in the last five minutes. Quick hint: put Peter Crouch on and hoof the ball up to him at every opportunity.

Story of Qualifying is part of a concerted effort from Humber and his development team at Vancouver, Canada, to pack the World Cup game with as much new content as possible. He's well aware that many consider the tournament editions of the FIFA series a poor cousin to the main annual titles. Cynics have already suggested that World Cup should be a downloadable expansion to FIFA 10, or that it should be a budget release, or that it's not worth a punt at all. This, of course, is nonsense.

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A1J2P3's Avatar

A1J2P3

this looks cash-worthy
Posted 14:20 on 29 March 2010
renegade's Avatar

renegade@ Wido

I do disagree with the DLC argument, but this should be a lower price around the 25 mark not 40.
Posted 12:29 on 29 March 2010
Wido's Avatar

Wido

I won't be paying out £35-40 quid on a game which EA could of easily just add as DLC for FIFA 10...
Posted 12:05 on 29 March 2010
El-Dev's Avatar

El-Dev

I think the original ISS had something similar to the new feature but it is quite a good feature. If this game is cheaper than a normal release I'd consider it, if it's £39.99 then no chance.
Posted 11:24 on 29 March 2010

Game Stats

Technical Specs
Release Date: 30/04/2010
Developer: EA Canada
Publisher: EA SPORTS
Genre: Sports
Rating: PEGI 3+
Site Rank: 905 17
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