2010 FIFA World Cup • Page 2

Terry and June.

On the field of play, we're promised new and improved lighting and a prettier pitch, bordered by those LED ad boards - which Eurogamer has proven are a magnificent innovation in the real world.

Player models, which were still a little hit and miss in FIFA 10, have also gone under the knife. Humber shows comparative images of Ashley Cole from FIFA 10 and World Cup, with the newer model a much more realistic mix of smug and unlikeable. Meanwhile, EA's Peter Crouch is now a dead ringer for the real deal. On balance, Iain Dowie must be glad he's retired.

I mentioned Capello. Managers of key teams are included, meaning a series debut for legendary Argentina boss Diego Maradonerkebab, though sadly not in playable form. It's window dressing, sure, but it looks to do a brilliant job of capturing the intoxicating atmosphere of the World Cup.

One area that doesn't look like it will be dealt with in this iteration is online quitting. "It's a complex problem," Humber concedes. "We do have the five minute rule: if you find your connection's poor you can drop out within the first five minutes. After that there should be a penalty; just in the online world there are complexities that mean by the time the data comes back to our servers, something there means it doesn't award the win to the right person. So we're always looking to improve that."

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People's Hero Fernando Torres refuses to make eye contact with Former People's Hero Xabi Alonso.

But for 2010 FIFA World Cup? "We haven't done anything different for this game as far as I know."

Nevertheless, perhaps with more of an eye on FIFA 11, Humber suggests there are solutions being looked at, such as rewarding "people for completing matches rather than quitting out".

A quick hands-on with the build reveals a solid, polished, pretty and compelling football game. EA develops its mainstream and tournament football titles in tandem, so World Cup boasts the sublime core of FIFA 10 but should benefit from advances delivered by the gameplay team. How significant those are is not possible to gauge on a brief kickabout.

The issue of who the game is for and whether you should buy it is addressed neatly by EA Sports big cheese Peter Moore. "It's obviously not a full FIFA game, it's a World Cup-focused game. I'm less worried about that. I know we've built a great game, a phenomenal game built on the core engine, so we'll be in good shape."

Clearly and for obvious reasons there's fewer teams and players the regular FIFA. But citing that in criticism, Humber maintains, is a wrong-headed approach.

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"Stand in the goalmouth? While an attacker is bearing down on me? Never!"

"I always get perplexed by the 'less content' aspect," he explains. "Every ring of that disc is loaded with data. We've gone as deep as it's possible to go on this game. We've spent a year with a full-size team to produce a product that's worthy of the biggest sporting event in the world."

With a full online World Cup, the option to qualify through to the main tournament from all corners of the globe, refined AI to mimic international home and away tactics, there's a lot of talent in the dressing room.

Beyond what we know about, EA is promising more significant revelations to come: "There's some stuff we're not yet announcing," Humber teases. "Bigger gameplay initiatives."

Perhaps a mini-game involving John Terry holding someone's wife aloft like a trophy before slobbering all over her. It'd be a shame to waste the animation sequence after all.

2010 FIFA World Cup is due out for PS3, PSP, Wii and Xbox 360 on 30th April.

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