FIFA Soccer 2003 Preview
EA's FIFA series has been running strong for years now, with little-to-no competition anywhere in that time. Expanding on its long-running series, EA Sports not only updates rosters but also adds new elements of gameplay and a sleeker design.
FIFA 2003 will include updated rosters and feature a better overall visual presentation. Faces sport more detail, stadiums are rendered more clearly, and background involvement -- such as referees and the crowd -- also look marginally better. New cut-scenes have also been added -- including multiple celebrations and shows of defeat -- in hopes to depict the drama and emotion that's going on in the players' minds.
FIFA's presentation is slightly different from previous installments and now includes a more organized looking menu screen, with the screens having smaller fonts for text and more appropriately mapped out. In these screens, you'll find the same play modes as last years version, as well as a few subtle new additions here and there.
Perhaps the most noticeable improvement are the new animations, which make the game run smoother and help the overall look seem more natural and fluid. The goalie animations, for instance, are now stacked at a wealthy number. Moreover, the AI is also stepped up a notch, with smarter plays and more human-like ways to move the ball. The ball is also handled somewhat differently, giving the player more control over what he does, and this makes it easier to elude the defense.
FIFA 2003 looks to have the typical improvements of a sports game, but new modes or a whole new incentive to play the game is much needed. Hopefully EA Sports will give us just that. We'll have more as it becomes available -- look for screens as well.
9/9/2002 Joseph Comunale