There are many possible reasons that the sport of soccer hasn't taken off in this country the way that it has in the rest of the world. It's not as conducive to television viewing as other sports – there's no easy way to break for a commercial. It can often be a low scoring affair and as a nation we tend to like to see points/goals/runs rack up. Oh, every few years, people in this country get excited about the sport, but usually that's a momentary world cup thing. Maybe if the game was as fast-paced in real-life as it is in FIFA Soccer 10 it would be more popular in this country.
The latest version of the franchise features numerable updates to a game that was already solid. There is a completely revamped Manager Mode, which is roughly equivalent to the Franchise Mode that exists in Madden, the player gets to choose a team and manage it (both behind the scenes and in-game) through several years so as to both win and make money. It is here where the depth of the game really comes through and where most people will probably spend the majority of their time.
Of course, as much fun as it is to set things behind the scenes, the essential question in any sports game is how well it performs on the field. FIFA Soccer 10 is as smooth as the arc of a perfectly bananaed corner kick and a huge amount of fun to play.
The big on-field innovation this year is something EA calls 360? Dribbling. Essentially, this new dribbling style means is that no longer is the user restricted to moving up, down, left, right, and at the exact middle points to those (up and right equally, up and left equally, etc.), the game can now handle a movement that is mostly up but just a hint to the right and little bit less up and a little bit more to the right, and so on and so forth – the user now has full 360-degree control over where the on-field player goes. There does however, appear to be some real physics involved – if a player is sprinting while dribbling, it does take more time to make course corrections.
Opponent AI can be set at various skill levels, which will help many users get the hang of how exactly the game plays out, but unfortunately the AI doesn't learn over the course of a game or a season. Set on the easy level, should one choose to be Manchester United (and why would anyone want to be any other team, even though there are a truly staggering number of leagues and teams available), every time one gets the ball starting a half or following an opposition goal, the ball gets tapped to Wayne Rooney who can sprint all the way down the field, past all defenders with ease, and end up with a one-on-one with the goalie. It shouldn't be that easy, and it definitely shouldn't be that easy again and again and again… Rooney isn't allowed to dominate the field like that on higher difficulty settings, but as great as Rooney and Man. U. are, such a move should never be allowed. In these instances one can't help but be reminded of Bo Jackson in Tecmo Bowl, and that is something of a disappointment.