FIFA 10 Hands-On

With the game now 95% complete, we met with producer David Rutter for a final hands-on of FIFA 10.

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EA Sports certainly hasn't been shy of the press with this year's FIFA. From the game's early unveiling in April to the almost monthly hands-on sessions since, we've had unparalleled access to the development of this year's game. We were incredibly happy, then, to see the game in an almost complete form at this year's GamesCom convention in Cologne. Currently, 150 people are testing the game and feeding back the final bugs for David Rutter and the team to eradicate before the game is released in October.

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Rutter still has plenty to reveal about the game, though, even this close to release. The headline GamesCom announcement is the new Virtual Pro feature, which allows you to import your face into the game using EA's Photo Game Face technology. If you have access to a computer with a webcam, all you need to do is go to the FIFA 10 Web site and upload front- and side-on photos, which can then be imported into the game upon release.

Once you've created your player and set up attributes, such as height and weight, you can then gain attributes by playing with your Virtual Pro in every game mode. These include accomplishments for meeting certain criteria, such as winning 50 jumping headers or scoring so many goals, and all 200 of these attributes are tracked in a sticker album. The idea is to boost your attributes in the areas you've been strong in--more post-goal celebrations are unlocked the more you show off after scoring, and the more balls you win through jumping, the stronger you become in the air.

EA Sports is also making a big deal about the inclusion of the Bernabeu stadium, with Real Madrid's home ground downloadable for free upon the release of the game. According to Rutter, the deal to get the stadium in the game came too late to go onto the disc itself, but we're glad to see that this will be offered for free. The developer has also announced that custom set pieces, another new feature for this year's game, will be playable online. There's one caveat: If someone figures out a way to cheat using the custom set pieces, then EA can disable them online, but there are currently 150 people at EA trying to make sure this doesn't happen.

We should be getting a final build of FIFA 10 in to the office shortly, so the last of our niggling questions will hopefully be answered soon. The game is playing incredibly well at this stage--it's faster and more fluid than last year's game, and the 360-degree control really adds to the gameplay. The full game will be released in October, and we'll bring you our definitive verdict then.

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