Another footie game released to coincide with the 2010 World Cup, Awesome World Soccer 2010 is a follow-up to Awesome Soccer, a simple but enjoyable soccer game by indie developer Red27 Studios. I want to make clear right now that this isn't merely a re-release with a World Cup theme - it's a major improvement on the original game in many ways.
You can now use either a one or two button control methodology (I still prefer the single fire button system, but that's probably because I use the keyboard - and it's nice to have a choice anyway). Even using only one fire button doesn't mean you lack options - what your player does when you press fire depends on where the ball is in relation to the player. Overhead kicks look quite spectacular and the aftertouch system means that bending it like Beckham is quit achievable.
There are many built-in tournaments and leagues, including of course the 2010 World Cup (which I first won with Engliand on Novice mode - just getting started you understand - completely unrealistic of course, Emile Heskey finished as the competition's top scorer!)/ It's also easy to make your own custom competitions, as big or small as you like. The are also "Golden Balls" to be earned - 58 in total - for reaching certain achievements, such as first win, first tournament win, first stoppage time winner, first goal scored using the overhead kick, etc. There's plenty to keep you going to quite some time to come. Since no-one else in my house likes football, I have unfortunately not been able to check out the 2-player mode... :-(
The game is big on stats - you get a breakdown every time the game is paused or at half / full-time, and a Man of the Match award is given to the best player. One nice feature of the game is that you get comments on things that happen in the game - things like "astonished goal!", "amazing tackle", "great save" etc flash up when one of the players does something noteworthy. The game itself plays well, very smoothly (the AI seems to have improved quite a bit from the first Awesome Soccer game and player movement is much more realistic), and there's a lot of scope for developing your own little tricks on the playing field. With five difficulty levels you're not going to be short of a challenge, either.
The graphics are very nice and some of the animation is great, particularly the overhead kicks (sorry, keep feeling the need to mention those) and goal celebrations. The ambient sound effects and music are top notch too. The menu's are stylish and unlike AW work very slickly.
All in all, Awesome World Soccer 2010 is a very polished game and will keep any footie fan happy for a long time. I'm going to award it a whopping 9/10 because it's a great game, instantly playable with loads of long-term appeal.
Head over to http://www.red27studios.com/ to grab some World Cup action!
(Altogether now - "You're not singing, you're not singing, you're not singing anymore...")
CaptainD's PC Gaming Blog