Its becoming harder and harder for EA to improve the FIFA series since theirs only so much you can add. And now that they've thankfully stopped adding silly new features which used to sell the product (remember 'Off The Ball Control'?...), they've found the time to make an already great game more realistic through simple improvements - not massive additions.
The most immediate of these is the brand new 360-degree player control which adds a whole new dimension to the game which, I must confess previously, didn't trust the hype. What makes this 360 movement unique for the simulation is that the computer players can now move about in any single direction they like. For over a decade, those mindless CPU players seem to have been stuck on a grid of Left, Right, Up, Down. Its now a thing of the past! Controlling your own players with the 360 movement does indeed take some time to get used to - not for the fact its difficult, but so you can achieve the best out of the new control.
This addition under-pins plenty of others. With 360 control comes a whole host of new animations for Jostling (when being shoulder barged), for controlling the ball, which the FIFA players now seem comfortable to control on any part of their body, whereas in previous games I've noticed players don't like heading balls down or using their thighs. Running animations have been spectacularly improved to a degree were each player as a unique way of striding - also noticeably the way in which players intercept the ball, where they can stretch out and control the ball with the outside of their feet, perfect for wingers. The goalkeepers too benefit new animations from the 360 movement, and look less like robots and more like athletic... Well, men!
With all this though comes the challenge element of gameplay, which has been vastly raised as a benchmark. Stepping into the game on Professional difficulty was surprisingly too much even as an avid player, and I was required to go back to basics with Amateur mode. This isn't a flaw - its an improvement, as the gameplay has so much variety that you will be back on your feet jumping when you do score that winning goal. And with better ball physics and more realistic shot movement, your goals look spectacular, average or plain jammy!
Manager Mode has a cleaner interface with an apparent improved transfers foundation, which may be the case as Wigan no longer offer me £35 million for Wayne Rooney. Tactics remain the same, though their is the option to manage your set-pieces which, although is nice, doesn't offer too much effect unless you really plan it well anyway during gameplay. Finance is a lot more realistic, and you'll be encouraged to spend wiser which was definitely needed.
Theirs a whole host of options carried on from FIFA 09, some of which have been greatly improved, but I'd like to think that just nit-picking at the above is in-definitely enough a reason to buy this game. EA have made the right choice of going to the community and asking for what we want; not telling us what were going to have. For this reason, FIFA 10 feels more dramatic and realistic then any title before it and I advise you to get it... Now!