FIFA 10

Spotlight

Key events

Uncharted 2 dominates BAFTA Awards

Batman: Arkham Asylum wins Best Game.

Batman: Arkham Asylum shocked the BAFTA Video Game Award 2010 audience by winning Best Game - a trophy expected to fall to Uncharted 2. The Rocksteady-developed superhero game also took Best Gameplay.

Phase two of FIFA 10 World Cup begins

PS3 tournament wants 10 more champs.

The second phase of FIFA 10's online World Cup tournament starts on PS3 today, and follows an immense first-leg where 400,000 hopefuls were whittled down to just 11.

PES 2010: Pro Evolution Soccer vs. FIFA 10

Over the past couple of months we've been banging on about how FIFA 10 is the undisputed king of footy games on PS3 and Xbox 360, how it's the most realistic and complete virtual rendition of the beautiful game your cash can buy. Pro Evo has remained the more forgiving, free-flowing choice for those with a penchant for pitch-long dribbles and 40-yard scorchers into the top corner, though the series' lack of innovation in recent years has been a concern. But that's the story on PS3 and 360. What we have on Wii is an almost complete role reversal for the two franchises.

So let's kick off with Pro Evolution Soccer 2010, a game that siphons all that was best from last year's version and sadly does precious little to build on the series' innovative core. For those of you yet to experience PES on Wii, the key selling point is the ability to direct play by pointing the Wii remote where you want to pass the ball and your team-mates to run. This results in an immersive action experience married with a top-notch strategic centre that allows you to simultaneously control the player in possession while orchestrating the movements of your team. It takes some getting used to, but once you've mastered it you'll soon find yourself enjoying console-based footy action in a completely new way.

PES 2010 kicks off with the series' usual collection of veteran and newcomer tutorials, the latter of which introduces you to the game's smattering of nuances. These include the ability to bend a free-kick like a Brazilian maestro. With a little practice you're soon firing shots over the opposition wall with enough curl to make a boomerang feel inadequate. You're also given control of positioning your goalkeeper before set plays, usually resulting in a smug I-told-you-so sense of self satisfaction as he palms away a scorcher or red-cheeked shame as he flaps impotently at a ball. In general, net minders are slightly more dependable than their somewhat butter-fingered counterparts from PES 2009, while pulling off skill moves also feels a little easier. However, a few irritants do rear their heads, such as passes going to the wrong player (again) and defenders going AWOL during key moments.

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Xbox 360 vs. PS3 Face-Off: Round 23

Digital FoundryXbox 360 vs. PS3 Face-Off: Round 23

Dragon Age, Beatles, Guitar Hero 5, FIFA 10, PES 2010.

In what's likely to be the last Face-Off of 2009, Digital Foundry does a little housekeeping, sifting through the teetering piles of code dotted around the office, picking out the most intriguing games we've yet to cover, and combining those with the definitive word on one of the year's biggest releases - BioWare's Dragon Age: Origins.

As is the norm, the feature is crammed with the media that matters. One of our TrueHD workstations is pretty much full to the brim with lossless digital dumps of the HDMI ports of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, giving us access to the very best 24-bit RGB comparison shots and untouchable video assets, presented to you in pristine h264 video, manually encoded on a per-game basis for ultimate quality.

Onto the all-important line-up, then. Just the five releases covered this time, but all of them with an interesting story to tell, plus some bonus PC action included too.

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Moore "delighted" by FIFA 10 in Japan

Shares his thoughts on market difficulties.

Peter Moore has aired his frustration about Western games not doing very well in Japan, and promised to keep pushing EA Sports games there after FIFA 10 did the unthinkable and pierced the top 10.

UK charts: FIFA 10 beats Uncharted 2

Brutal Legend appears. Full Top 40 inside.

PS3 blockbuster Uncharted 2: Among Thieves swung into the UK all-formats chart at number two this week, denied top-billing by an unmovable FIFA 10.

Moore "glad" some of FIFA's issues solved

Promised patch in Sony/MS certification.

EA Sports boss Peter Moore has acknowledged that the scale of FIFA 10's early sales success caught the publisher's online service people off-guard, but also said he is "glad our teams have solved many of the capacity issues that plagued some of you in the first few days out of the gate".

New FIFA 10 patch this week, EA keen to address remaining issues

EA Sports has told Eurogamer that a large number of the problems reported with FIFA 10 on the official forums have been addressed or will be addressed by a new patch, which should be out this week.

"We have already created one patch based on gameplay feedback after the demo went live, and we are now creating another one that will go out this week (fingers crossed), in order to give our gamers the best possible experience," a spokesperson for EA Canada told Eurogamer overnight.

We asked whether issues with Game Face, Live Seasons, Club Mode and disconnections were connected, and whether there was any progress sorting them out.

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UK Chart: Goal-pie for FIFA 10

Second biggest UK launch ever.

FIFA 10 is the UK's second fastest selling game ever behind Grand Theft Auto IV, smashing FIFA 09's opening weekend by a fearsome 48 per cent.

FIFA team eyes playable TV replays

Football "dream" revealed.

EA has outlined its "dream" for FIFA - synching up with a live game to offer playable replays of the action fans have just witnessed. And EA Sports' marketing boss reckons the huge technical challenges involved will be overcome "very soon".

FIFA 10

FIFA 10

It's there.

In 1986, my beloved Liverpool were rampant: already 16-times First Division champions, FA Cup holders, four-time European Cup winners, with Ian Rush leading the line and Kenny Dalglish in a manager's seat embossed by our first ever double the previous season. The subsequent decline throughout the nineties was largely self-inflicted, but it didn't help that a sweary Scotsman had arrived at Old Trafford, and started making good on his promise to "knock Liverpool off their f***ing perch".

Pro Evolution Soccer finds itself in the Liverpool role these days. Demoted to second-best in 2008 after a few years of increasing stagnation, Konami will not enjoy FIFA 10. Conflicting embargoes mean that we can't put the two latest instalments head to head until our PES 2010 review on 15th October, but unless something dramatic has happened since last month, the gap is ever more significant. If last year saw FIFA knocking PES off its perch, this year it's chasing it around the birdcage with a plank of wood and a sledgehammer.

FIFA 10's 360-degree control is the key revelation. FIFA 09 still worked on diagonals - although not in such a pronounced way as PES 2009, to the latter's cost - but you don't realise how restrictive that was until you've played FIFA 10 for a few hours and try to go back. You can angle runs, shots and passes to your exact specifications, and it makes the world of difference to a game that was already a splendid simulation of the real thing. It's tempting to say that if FIFA 10 was simply FIFA 09 with 360 degrees of control, it would be worth that elusive ninth mark out of 10 anyway.

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FIFA 10

The Dutch national team finally makes it in properly.

The Dutch national team finally makes it in properly.

Demos galore line the PS3 Store

Katamari! FIFA! LBP! Fat Princess!

Demos for Katamari Forever, FIFA 10, Fat Princess and LittleBigPlanet are the star attractions on the PlayStation Store this week.

Live Seasons expanded for FIFA 10

New mode mirrors real-life leagues.

EA has fleshed out the premium Live Season feature for FIFA 10, introducing a new league mode that stays toe-to-toe with all the action from the real world.

FIFA 10 demo dated, detailed

Roughly two weeks away.

EA has announced that a FIFA 10 demo will be released on 10th September for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360. The US will be offered the demo seven days later on 17th September.

FIFA 10

Kicking our way through EA Canada.

Five years ago, it would have shocked no one. Turning up at a FIFA event in London and being introduced to a set-piece creator would have made perfect sense. It's another line for the back of the box. Five years later though, perhaps it should be shocking. Nowadays you almost get the sense that FIFA developers David Rutter and Gary Paterson delight in making the box designers squirm. "I'm militant," creative director Paterson tells me as we sit down in one of EA Canada's many conference rooms a month later. "I'm not doing anything just for the back of the box. It has to be somehow linked to a fundamental of the game." And by the game, he means football.

FIFA set-piece creator will work online

EA won't turn it off unless exploits emerge.

EA Canada has decided to let you use FIFA 10's set-piece creator in online matches after all, but may turn it off if people find a way to take the piss as they did with last year's Custom Tactics.

EA splashes nine games over the Expo

L4D2, NFS, Dragon Age, Brutal, more!

Well, it's that time again - more top quality titles have been announced for the Eurogamer Expo and, like some kind of cross between Gareth Barry and an BidUp TV infomercial, we're passing the facts on to you with unerring accuracy.

Create A Set-Piece has been revealed as the latest addition to the FIFA 10 feature set, allowing players to program unique choreographed curve balls for use in-game.

EA: FIFA 10 Wii will work online

Disconnection issues a thing of the past.

EA Sports has declared that FIFA 10 on Wii should not suffer from the same disconnection problems that afflicted its predecessor.

FIFA 10

EA shows the Create-A-Set-Piece system. Freer kick!

"So that was why you could only turn 45 degrees," FIFA producer Dave Rutter tells me, brow furrowed, while sliding two mobile phones around a table. He's trying to explain - aided by whatever was in his pockets - how the animation system had to change to accommodate the introduction of 360-degree control.

FIFA 10 given release date

FIFA 10 given release date

Start of October.

EA has announced that FIFA 10 will be released in the UK on 2nd October.

You'll be able to pick it up on DS, PC, PS2, PS3, PSP, Wii and Xbox 360, and judging by past years, everybody with electricity will do just that.

FIFA 10 makes several new changes, including the addition of 360-degree control, which alters the feel considerably.

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FIFA man bigs up 360-degree control

"It totally changes the way you play."

FIFA 10 producer Dave Rutter has told Eurogamer TV that the addition of 360-degree control in this year's update is "going to totally change the way you play the game".

E3: FIFA 10

Early kickoff.

Transforming any star performer into a true champion can often come down to the minor details: tweaking, polishing and refining an existing set of skills to eke out that extra couple of per cent. It's a challenge that now faces EA Canada, the development team behind the current undisputed king of football simulations, the FIFA franchise. After FIFA 09 cemented the series' dominance over the increasingly identikit Pro Evolution Soccer, EA Canada finds itself faced with the unenviable task of improving its already excellent football formula.