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Hype Train: FIFA '09
by Linford Butler

An exclusive preview for tech-site Pocket-Lint has revealed the latest features for this year's FIFA title, FIFA 09, currently being developed for PC, Wii, 360 and PS3.

In an attempt to entice gamers into choosing it over Pro Evolution Soccer 2009, the company have updated their aged footie series with a lick of paint, a few gimmicks
and one bucket-load of exciting new features.

The PC version of the game has recieved a major 'going over'. New PC-specific features have been added which make use of updated technology and larger amounts of available RAM space; for example, a new collision system has been developed that will determine how players will react in the event of a collision based on their size and strength.

Another cool feature is the inclusion of a new widget mode that will enable users to create a personalised homepage similar to Google's iGoogle service. Widgets will include stat counters for teams and real world news and stats.

The PC controls have also been upgraded for the latest title, with the mouse being used thoroughly throughout. New point-and-click technology will enable players to execute pin-point attacks, pass to teammates or make space, and send runs. These mouse controls will be added to by the standard WASD keyboard controls.

On Nintendo's console, things seem to be shaping up nicely. The Wii version, according to EA, will be 'easy for casual gamers' - the game will feature a begginers mode as well as an advanced mode, to allow players of all skill-levels to play. The Wii version will also include an 8 versus 8 match option and the ability to import your 'Mii' avatar to feature alongside Ronaldiniho and Wayne Rooney (Editors note - Why, oh why).

The focus for the 360 and PS3 versions is said to be on realism, rather than adding new game modes. EA claims there will be 250 key improvements which range from customisation to improving player physics and reactions on screen.

Gamers will have the ability to customise team tactics using 11 tactical perameters that you can share. EA warn, however, that this is really for the hardcore FIFA gamer rather than casual gamers having a quick game after an evening down the pub.

On the multiplayer side of the next-gen versions, there will be an increase from 5v5 to 10v10 player online gameplay. This will allow you to play every outfield player. EA say that you won't be able to control the goalkeeper though, but they hope that they can add this feature in a future FIFA game.

FIFA '09 is expected to hit high-street shelves sometime this September.

- Linford Butler

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