Review: 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa (PS3)

2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa

Title: 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa
Format: Blu-ray Disc
Release Date: April 27, 2010
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: EA Canada
Original MSRP: $59.99

Once every four years, the World turns it’s eyes to the massive sporting event known as The World Cup and EA dutifully trots out their video game equivalent.  So, while this is certainly cheaper than a plane ticket to South Africa, is this package worth the price of admission or is it just FIFA 10 watered down?

EA’s FIFA games have recently taken great strides in becoming the premiere Football (Soccer) titles in the world and from a gameplay standpoint, this World Cup title follows that tradition. While it’s a bit thin on user controlled options compared to FIFA 10 and your AI teammates can be a little dopey at times (not moving to pick up a loose ball just feet away) this is a great representation of the sport overall.

The most difficult thing about a game centered around a single sporting tournament or event is replayability. Thankfully EA has put in some fine additions to give this title some legs. Nothing too deep, but just enough to make it stand apart. You can play as any of the thirty-two qualifying teams in the actual brackets for this year’s tournament or you can take it a step further as you’ll have all 199 teams available to you to pick from as you try to make you way through the qualifying rounds and into the World Cup on your own.

There’s also a “Captain Your Country” mode which has been built off of the “Be A Pro” mode from FIFA 10. Taking their cue from “Season Showdown” mode in NCAA Football 10 (the other kind of football), FIFA World Cup has the “Battle of Nations” mode where you’ll pick a country to represent for all your online games. 

You play as any country you want in online matches but points for all victories, more for winning with traditionally weaker countries, go towards your chosen allegiance. The points are totaled and put into world wide rankings to see who’s on top as the winning country is declared on July 12, 2010 at

One of the more interesting elements to me however is the “Story of Qualifying” mode. This mode takes critical moments from the actual qualifying matches from the past year and puts you into the thick of them with the chance to change the outcome. As you complete these scenarios, you’ll gain points which will unlock scenarios from the 2006 World Cup.

The exciting thing here is that as the actual 2010 World Cup progresses, this area will be updated with heart stopping moments and scenarios from the latest matches. It’s a really cool concept that I’d love to see integrated into more EA sports titles.

Running off a modified version of the FIFA 10 engine, the visuals tend to look great. Each of the stadiums are faithfully recreated and the lighting is excellent. You’ll go from the practice pitch to all the glory and excitement of the World Cup stage and it really feels like you’re a part of something big.

The one place things fall a bit flat for me is in the close up of the players in pre-game introductions and such. The lighting just isn’t there and the faces all tend to be a bit flat and fake looking. The close ups of fans in the stands also tend to suffer from the general EA Sports mantra of “take a group of three or four characters, change their hair color, skin color and team colors and you’re good to go”. If you’ve played Madden, you’ll know what I’m talking about. 

More variety is really needed in these shots as it tends to take you out of the game. These are minor quibbles however as the rest of the game does a great job presenting the excitement of the World Cup in all its glory.

Excellent. What more can I say? The sounds of authentic World Cup Football (or Soccer depending on where you’re from) are all presented here in spectacular fashion. Crowd noise rises and falls with the ebb and flow of the game, songs are sung throughout the stadium and the sounds down on the pitch are all faithfully recreated.

The audio commentary has also seen a big improvement from FIFA 10 as the announcers get much more specific about the countries playing and weaving the storyline as you march to the finals. It’s really great to hear. 

I’ve also found the EA Sports Trax to be a refreshing change from the Hard Rock/Alt-Rock/Hip-Hop heavy offerings in most EA Sports games. Being the World Cup, the music is a great taste of different styles and sounds from all over the planet and it’s a really nice touch.

With all the good in this game, the overall scope is still limited and I can’t help but feel as if this should be priced more as an expansion to the FIFA 10 season at maybe $40 tops. As it stands you’re still going to be getting a lot of bang for your buck but if you’re a more casual player, this may not be the game for you, at least not at full price.

In the long run, there’s more gameplay to be had in FIFA 10. If you’re a die hard Football/Soccer fan, then this is a no brainer. The opportunity to take your country from the qualifiers right through to the World Cup is just too tempting.


Written by Josh Langford

Josh Langford

Josh has been gaming since 1977 starting with the Atari 2600.
He currently owns 26 different consoles and 6 different handhelds (all hooked up and in working condition) including all consoles from the current generation.

Josh is currently the US PR & Marketing Manager for Fountain Digital Labs and has recused himself from any involvement on PS Nation arising from posting or editing any news or reviews stemming from FDL.

Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook