The World Cup may only come around once every four years, but when it comes to the associated videogame there's usually a sense of over-familiarity. EA Sports' FIFA games are the best football titles out there at the moment, but with updates already arriving annually, spin-off games specific to international tournaments are a bit like the Premier League's aborted "39th game" plan - an idea that seems to suit the stakeholders primarily, with only token concern for the fans.
2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa hopes to change that. As a World Cup game, it's defined to some extent by what it doesn't have (300 domestic clubs, most obviously), but EA Sports has compensated by drawing up several interesting and varied game modes, and uses the legendary status of World Cup shoot-outs as an excuse to rethink penalties.
Most importantly, it tweaks things on the pitch. Goalkeepers stand their ground rather than charging suicidally out of goal, and there are myriad interesting deflections to contend with, so it's harder to pass your way through midfield. Passing may prove divisive - there seems to be more "error" than before - but then aerial passing is now a practical aspect of attack, which is welcome. The referees have also calmed down, rarely blowing for harmless shoulder barges as they did in FIFA 10.