Nov 172010
Authors: Ian Hopkins

The thrill of this year’s World Cup may be over, but EA Sports’ “FIFA 11” brings soccer back into the limelight in a big way. There is definitely going to be a learning curve for people new to the “FIFA” games, but it is well worth it because there are so many intense matches to be had –– especially if you and a friend or three go head-to-head.

I’ve never understood in soccer video games why the visuals are so difficult to see. It’s almost like you need to buy a 60-inch HDTV or sit a foot away from a regular sized television to see the game clearly.

Aside from wishing you could play with a magnified view of the field, “FIFA 11” has very stunning stadiums and players.

I really enjoyed the up close instant replays; it magnified all the terrible shots that went about 100 feet over the top crossbar. Sometimes I think videogames are starting to look too good.

I loved listening to the crowd in surround sound cheering me on in ”FIFA 11.”

It was amazing and I felt like a winner for the 30 minutes I dominated F.C. Barcelona.

The only thing missing from the match was a pair of good announcers. In “2010 FIFA World Cup,” the announcers were actually kind of enjoyable to listen to –– a rarity in itself for me. FIFA 11 just drops the ball and takes a step backwards in this department unfortunately.

I wish playing soccer in real life were as easy as “FIFA 11” makes it out to be, because then I could be the next Landon Donavon. It’s almost a necessity to turn off automatic player switching because it’s easy to get lost, but everything else is fantastic.

One day, I’ll even learn how to juggle the ball, or bicycle kick or perform fancy fake moves. Special skills are bountiful, but worth learning how to do them because of how cool they look. But, that’s about the only reason to learn them because they are not match applicable.

With all of the new additions to the “FIFA” series, I couldn’t help but notice I couldn’t find any way to play just a penalty shootout. I did like the additions of live seasons online. It just sounds incredibly intriguing to battle a real-time season with other people all over the world.

“FIFA 11” is another solid entry into EA Sports’ video games and is probably the best soccer game on the market today.

Video game reviewer Ian Hopkins can be reached at

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