FIFA 09 Review

The virtual football season kicks off with FIFA 09.

Review by Darren Cartledge
Published 22nd October 2008


  • Developer: EA Sports
  • Publisher: EA Sports
  • Release Date: 3rd October 2008

EA Sports have introduced many new features into this years range of sports titles and as Konami have made major changes to this year’s version of PES its no real surprise to see several new additions of FIFA 09.

FIFA 09 major enhancement sees the addition of adidas Live Season, a feature that modifies the form of players in FIFA based on the current form of their real world counterparts. It’s a nice addition that can see some underrated teams vastly improved upon as the real world football season progresses.

In terms of game modes on offer in FIFA 09 the biggest single addition is that of Be a Pro seasons. This builds on the Be a Pro mode that was introduced last year in that you can play multiple seasons with your created player or chosen pro and build a career that sees you playing for multiple clubs, and can even lead to international call-ups.

It plays very much like last years Be a Pro with you starting in the reserves and having to force your way into your managers first team plans by meeting objectives for each match and for the season. As you play games you again gain experience points which can be spent on improving your player’s abilities.

Other notable new game modes are mostly multiplayer affairs, such as Be a Pro team play, which allows 20 players to compete in teams with each player controlling a position on the pitch. However the major new multiplayer option is FIFA 09 clubs, this game mode allows you to create your own super club comprising of a team made up of friends and players you scout out. Teams are all equally rated so the outcome of the ranked matches is purely down to the skill of the players you have recruited for your team. As an added incentive and to make sure you recruit a strong selection of players’ user created clubs will also face promotion and relegation battles.

Of course all the old favourite modes return such as leagues, quick matches and tournaments, with you being able to take part in a number of national and international competitions. Like past games FIFA 09 is packed with teams and players from all around the world and as we’ve come to expect all the updated players and competition information is present.

Aside from the new game modes on offer in FIFA 09, the games playing mechanics have also been tweaked in a bid to provide an ever more realistic football simulation. FIFA 09 allows you to control a player’s role in a team on a whole new level, giving you the opportunity to create custom tactics to get the most out of your players.

It goes further then simply editing their positions as in previous games you can also edit the roles they play within the team, the type of runs they make and positions they move into when your teams on the attack. It a very welcome change that gives you an unprecedented level of control over the way your team plays.

Sadly however despite being an overall solid football game FIFA 09 still doesn’t provide fans of the franchise with the perfect football experience. Problems mainly exist in the games Be a Pro mode as you are controlling one player within the team you have to rely heavily on AI controlled players to do their part however they are very prone to making mistakes, sloppy passing, late tackles are all part and parcel of their game, although the most annoying aspect of their play is the seemingly in ability to spot you when your in open space but will gladly pass you the ball when you have no where to go. This can make the Be a Pro aspect of FIFA 09 overly difficult and somewhat annoying to play.

Visually FIFA 09 once again sets the standard for football video games with its authentically recreated kits and various licensed branding adding to the realism of the game. Player models and animation are spot on and some of the world’s top players are instantly recognisable, although it must be said some of the lesser known players don’t really resemble their real world counterparts at all. Also one graphical addition that will please fans of the FIFA games is the addition of Linesmen and a referee.

Sound in FIFA, as we’ve come to expect is also first class, the games commentary is pretty much spot on, with only the occasional blip. It’s also nice to say that it doesn’t repeat itself to often but after prolonged play expect to hear the same phrases popping up. The sounds and cheers of the crowd are brilliant and it’s nice to hear some club specific chants ringing around the virtual stadiums. FIFA 09 also features a pretty good soundtrack with hits from Sam Sparro, Kasabian, The Kooks, The Fratellis and Duffy.

FIFA 09 like EA Sports other games has added a host of new and worthwhile features to its line-up and whilst it doesn’t get everything right it still offers one of the best football games around packed with more teams, players and competitions then you can blow a whistle at.

Review Score: 8.8/10

Please note, this review was scored using our old system. For more information please see our review policy.

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