September 25, 2000
There can be no denying the popularity of Soccer around the world (or football as it is known in most countries). At its core the sport is undeniably simple. Kick the ball into the goal. The rules are also rather simple, well compared to NFL or AFL, but the game runs at a frantic pace. These are the perfect ingredients for a great video game. Electronic Arts' FIFA series began way back on the MegaDrive in the 1990's and has improved remarkably over the years. FIFA 2001 is the first version in the series to hit the Playstation 2, and it looks amazing.
This version of FIFA includes 17 leagues in total with each team and every single player on the rosters. No matter which team you follow, they are likely to be there. Naturally the developers have created some amazing stadiums to play but it is the small details that you will notice. The fields are populated not only with the players but also the linesmen, TV cameras and even the irate coaches. They are all fully animated and add a sense of reality never before seen in a video game.
If you've ever played a soccer game in the past, and who hasn't, then you should know what to expect here. The controls include passing, shooting and switching players as well as setting up various team formations. With the added power of the Playstation 2 the computer AI should also be bumped up which should result in some amazingly lifelike matches. Replays of goals and fouls add a very TV like quality to the game, and can provide huge enjoyment, especially if your friends are the opposition.
Perhaps the most atmospheric part with any soccer match is the sounds generated by the crowds. The rhythmic beating of drums, the sigh as a goal is missed and the roar when one is scored. Electronic Arts have spent a lot of time recording sounds especially for FIFA 2001 which should result in some amazing moments. The game's theme music is apparently going to be supplied by Moby, one of the worlds most respected DJ's.
If your a fan of soccer and plan on getting a Playstation 2 then this game is an essential purchase. Electronic Arts' sports titles are rarely matched for gameplay or excitement and this version looks like continuing the series in fine style.