FIFA 2001 isn't flawless, but the game is extremely well rounded and it excels in every category.
Internationally, FIFA 2001 on the PS2 is easily the most anticipated EA Sports title. FIFA 2001 will mark the first time the renowned soccer series has appeared on a next-generation console, and while this year's effort on the PlayStation was a tired rehash of last year's brilliant game, the PS2 version of FIFA is an entirely different matter. FIFA 2001 on the PlayStation 2 is nothing short of stunning, and while it may not be as graphically impressive as its PC counterpart, the PS2 version of FIFA 2001 is the best console soccer game available.
FIFA 2001 includes all the standard game modes from the FIFA series. You'll be able to play a quick and friendly exhibition or take the team of your choice through a complete season. Glory seekers will be able to jump directly to actual tournaments, and you'll even be able to construct custom tournaments. The game also offers a training mode, as well as complete create-a-player and create-a-team modes. Unfortunately, all of these game modes are buried under a clunky and poorly designed interface that makes it needlessly difficult to access all the game's options. The game packs plenty of value this time around, with 17 national leagues ranging from soccer powerhouses like the leagues in England and Brazil to lesser leagues like those found in Israel and Norway. The teams of the MLS and 60 international sides complement the international leagues, making for hundreds of playable teams, each with its own stats, strategies, tactics, and accurately modeled players.
The game really struts its stuff on the field. The gameplay in this year's offering is classic FIFA, and it features plenty of depth and a very intuitive control scheme. The game takes advantage of every button on the PS2's controller, and the control scheme should appeal to both long-time FIFA veterans and those new to the series. Offense and defense are both controlled through the four primary buttons on the pad, while more advanced maneuvers and in-game strategies can be executed through the shoulder buttons. Using different combinations of these buttons will allow you to execute complex passing routines, difficult goal shots, and flashy maneuvers. Passing in the game is once again performed through the passing indicator icon - a reticle that highlights both the pass target and the estimated reliability of the pass. Icon passing and defending from corner kicks and penalty locations are alive and well in this year's game, and the penalty kick layouts have been improved. A new feature in this year's game is a striking-power gauge that appears when you attempt a shot on goal. This gauge is similar to the one found in EA Sports' NHL series - the gauge quickly fills as you hold down the shoot button, and it will eventually turn red if held long enough. A full bar translates into a quick and powerful shot, but a red bar is a wild and inaccurate shot. This new scheme brings more strategy into shooting, and it gives goaltenders a better chance against solo strikers.
This year's game boasts the most advanced AI the series has seen. The computer controls the offense and defense of teams in exactly the manner the team's coach would. Less talented defenses rely on penalties and the offside trap, while powerful offensive lines plan their attacks and deliver the ball to speedy strikers. Defenders will work offenses and disrupt passing lines without overcommitting, while forwards and wings will rush the box and try to retain possession during the attack. The game features three different difficulty levels, and each level raises the ruthlessness of the AI in classic FIFA fashion. The lowest setting is a little too easy for returning FIFA players, but the next two settings are sure to smash the confidence of everyone but the hardened pros. Unfortunately, the AI in FIFA 2001 still suffers from a few glaring flaws. Goaltenders will occasionally defy gravity and physics to make amazing saves, and defenders will sometimes forget to claim a loose ball after a harrowing save. Still, FIFA 2001 easily flaunts the most complete and accurate AI yet.
- Player Reviews: 5
- Game Universe:
- FIFA 2001 (PS2, GBC),
- FIFA 2001 Major League Soccer (PC, PS),
- 2002 FIFA World Cup (PS2, PC, GC, XBOX, PS),
- FIFA Soccer 2003 (GC, GBA, PC, PS2, PS, XBOX),
- FIFA Soccer 2004 (GC, GBA, PS2, PC, XBOX, PS, NGE),
- FIFA Soccer 2005 (PS2, XBOX, GC, PS, PC, GBA, NGE, MOBILE, GIZ),
- FIFA Street (XBOX, PS2, GC),
- FIFA 99 (PC, N64, PS),
- FIFA 2000: Major League Soccer (PC, GBC, PS),
- FIFA International Soccer (GG, 3DO, GB, GEN, SNES, AMI, SMS, PC, SCD)
- Offline Modes:
Competitive, Cooperative, Team Oriented
- Number of Players: