Platform: PC, PS2, XB

Genre: Sports

Publisher: Electronic Arts

Developer: EA Sports

ETA: Fall 2003

 

Related Links:

Review: FIFA 2002 (PC)

Review: Winning Eleven 6 (PS2)

Review: World Tour Soccer 2003 (PS2)

 

 

 

 

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FIFA 2004

 

fifa 2004 preview          fifa 2004 preview

 

Thereís a new sheriff in town.

 

After dominating the console soccer scene for the last five years, FIFA was kicked to the side by the Winning Eleven series, which aside from a guest appearance on the PSOne, had previously been released in Japan and Europe. For most soccer enthusiasts, FIFA had strayed too far from an accurate portrayal of the game. I owned every FIFA up until the 2002 version and the last great FIFA was í97 on the PC.

 

Nonetheless, the game still received solid reviews across the board. It appears FIFA, like many other EA Sports games, may settle into a niche as the more arcade soccer alternative with lots of goals. The press release promises online play (PS2 only) and the inclusion of EA Bio. As always, FIFA should have top-of-the-line graphics and boasts 16 leagues, 350 teams and 10,000 players. Since I never played last yearís game, itís tough to say what this yearís game should improve upon. I do own Winning Eleven 6 and it will be interesting how the two games stack up. It can only help that the two successful soccer franchises drive up their quality in lieu of the new North American competition.

 

 

Here's the official hype:

 

For true soccer fans that demand the finest gameplay and comprehensive game modes, FIFA Soccer 2004 is the most complete and authentic soccer experience. A new Career Mode gives you the chance to take a team from the lower divisions, battle through ranks, sign new players, and turn them into champions. The action is deeper than ever with advanced levels of player detail and responsiveness. When you want to take on new competitors, connect to EA SPORTS online for the PlayStation 2 or PC for matchup gameplay, tournaments, downloadable content, and more. With immersive atmospheres, benchmark presentation, total realism with the world's premier clubs, and industry-leading gameplay, FIFA returns as the true authority in soccer gaming.

 

Key Features

Groundbreaking Gameplay: FIFA 2004 offers a fine-tuned game engine, and new animations dramatically enhance the smoothness in player movement through organic motion.

 

Expanded Database and Controls: Enjoy richer depth to team AI, attributes, tactics, playing styles, and individual player personalities. New depth to control keeps FIFA easy to pick up and play but gives greater depth for the master.

 

Be the Ultimate Player Manager: Be your own player manager with FIFA's deep Career Mode. Build your franchise and guide your club to the Championship by making calculated front-office decisions. Manage your team's budget and promote or relegate your players to sustain franchise objectives on the pitch. When one season ends and another begins new challenges will present themselves. The most successful player managers should also be ready for promotions, as some of the world's top clubs may have new job offers.

 

In-game Management: You think it's easy being the coach? Prove your tactical genius on the fly. Don't second-guess yourself after the final whistle-make adjustments mid-game and call plays in real time via D-pad.

 

Immersive Environments: More than 300 new crowd chants at an ever growing list of officially licensed stadiums help put you in the best seat in the house. From stadiums small and large, no soccer gaming experience offers a more complete library of the game's authentic environments. An all-new dynamic weather feature even affects gameplay, so choose your home wisely.

 

Broadcast Plus: Get a fresh perspective on game presentation with the cutting-edge in broadcast. New camera angles, intelligent commentary, rich effects, and game story arcs are all part of the authentic package.

 

fifa 2004 preview          fifa 2004 preview

 

Play With The Best: More than 500 official licenses, including 16 leagues, 350 teams and 10,000 players are available. From the fast pace of Europe's super leagues to the Americas Club Championship, which allows you to play with the top clubs from Major League Soccer and South America, FIFA 2004 provides for the most authentic selection of the world's top teams, players, and environments.

 

EA SPORTS Online Competition: Take on opponents from anywhere in the country via EA SPORTS online (PlayStation 2 and PC only). An online lobby area where gamers can meet, greet, chat, and play FIFA head-to-head provides the ultimate interactive experience.

 

EA SPORTS Bio: Memory card based tracking/rating system recognizes and rewards gamers for playing multiple EA SPORTS titles.

 

- Tim Martin

(June 29, 2003)