September 29, 2001

FIFA 2002 - Preview

Release Date Publisher Developer Rating Players Price
2/11/2001Electronic ArtsIn-House1-4$99.95

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Player detail is improved yet again.
When it comes to the various sports around the world none come anywhere near the popularity of football, or soccer as it is called in many countries. Indeed one of the first EA Sports games was FIFA Soccer which was released on the Megadrive and PC. The game sold by the truckload, and since that time has spawned yearly sequels and upgrades. With an extra year of development time on the Playstation 2 there is a lot of hope that the developers have ironed out the creases from last years game to make this the best version yet in the FIFA series.

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This one of the in-game viewpoints.
Already recognised as the worlds most beautiful game, FIFA fires its most powerful shot at the competition. With all-new "open passing", you have more control and precision than ever before. Find a breaking forward with a perfect 40-yard ball into open space, embarrass the tightest defense with cunning one-twos, or fool any keeper with deep swerving crosses. It remains to be seen how well this has been implemented, but the passing has generally been regarded as the weakest aspect of the series. Other improvements include a deeper Season mode, more licensed leagues and teams, a unique card-based reward system, and total customisation of the games and players.

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The crowds still fail to impress
As previously mentioned EA have used the extra years development time to add new features and enhance the game. Firstly the development team have added an all new tackling and referee model - the timing and angle of your tackles determines success or a potential card from the referee. Also included are new user selectable set plays, which give you more control during the key moments in the game. FIFA 2002 includes over 75 licensed national teams - and 16 licensed leagues including the English Premier Leage, German Bundesliga, Spanish Premier League, the French LNF, and Major League Soccer (MLS). Finally the game, as in the previous years, includes official licenses including the FIFPro license which has allowed the developers to include all the names and likenesses of FIFPros member player associations.

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Check out the action on the screen.
FIFA 2002 looks a little more polished graphically. The detail on the players has been improved while the game should run at a constant 50fps with no slowdown. If it does have some I'll be very disappointed with the company. Unfortunately the crowds still look very flat with little detail and no improvements over the last couple of versions of the game.

Yet another yearly update from Electronic Arts, and once again the second generation PS2 sports title looks set to polish off last years version. If you like soccer then FIFA 2002 should keep you quite happy. The game is currently expected to be released in early November.