Determined to squeeze every last ounce out of the FIFA licence, Electronics Arts have released yet another footy sim for the PC--and oddly enough it concerns the World Cup. Taking the essence of FIFA 2002 and modifying it for the world's greatest tournament, EA have restricted the scope of the game, offering only two modes of play (full tournament and friendly) and the 32 teams which are taking part in the tournament. That said, it still plays the same as its older brother and the look and feel given by the inclusion of the new stadia and enhanced sound effects really brings the game to life. Owners of the full-fat 2002 game will want to think very seriously before paying out for this "special" release, but for those who've not come across the franchise before, or those looking for a break from Pro Evolution Soccer, this game has entertainment by the sackload. Graphically it looks the business and the pre-match build-ups are eye candy to please any jaded palette. In-game, too, the player graphics are nicely detailed and there are some wonderful individual animations covering all manner of complex looking moves, swerves and dives. In fact, the only thing that really lets the side down is the speed of the game during more hectic midfield moments, when the frame rate stutters appallingly--a little poor for a game that's been through so many development revisions. Control on the PC is nice and simple and it's a breeze to pick this title up and start booting the pigskin around the park within a couple of minutes, though mastering the finer points of ball control and the elusive "lob in" will take a good deal longer. 2002 FIFA World Cup has a lot going for it. It's not as technical as the ISS games, and it doesn't have the scope or gameplay modes of FIFA 2002, but it does have atmosphere by the bucketload. If you're a newcomer to the franchise or you've missed the last couple of major releases then it's certainly worth a look. --Chris Russell
Official and exclusive content - The only interactive soccer game licensed to use the official FIFA World Cup, insignia, mascots and the 20 new World Cup stadiums in Japan and Korea.
Star Players – Lifelike representation of all the star players participating in the World Cup Tournament, combined with the exceptional individual talents that characterize their style of play in real life.
Accessible and exciting new game play -‘Air Play,’ delivers intuitive one-button headers, volleys, scissor kicks, juggling, and more. Showboating and high-tempo, high-impact play is both exciting and accessible from the first touch of the ball.
New player-to-player animations – New player-to-player animations result in aggressive jostling for the ball both on the ground and in the air.
‘World Cup Moments’ - Key dramatic moments during the tournament including the beginning of a match, the end of a match and key goals are highlighted by epic cinematics. Using replays, player animations, original scores by the Vancouver Symphony and special effects, World Cup Moments underscore the emotional range of play with increasing intensity as games become more important.
‘Moment Zooms’ - New camera angles and replays capture intensity of World Cup games as they dramatize nearly missed shots, fouls and goals by focusing on player facial animations as they grimace and fall to their knees in frustration or pump their fists and cheer in celebration of a goal.