Here we go again then. With the predictability ot vulgar Christmas accoutrements appearing in the shops, another FIFA game is lapped up hungrily by a gullible public with short memories and deep pockets. EA Sports' traditional festive money-spinner has now become as much a part of the Xmas build-up as part-time drinkers, death on the roads and, well, another Tomb Raider game. However, unlike Tomb Raider, they can't simply change the location and pass it off as a different game. Actually they can, and did, with World Cup staking place in France, following hot on the heels of the superfluous FIFA 98: Road To World Cup. Last year saw the obligatory FIFA 99, and the general consensus was that they had finally got it right, the game proving the finest football simulation on the PC.
Hotel Gay Boy
The obvious question then is where do they go from here? The obvious answer is that they make some incremental improvements and chuck in a load of new tunes. They have taken care of the latter, with a Fat Boy replaced by a Gay Dad, along with Apollo Four Forty, Lunatic Calm, Junior Blanks, Elite Force, Sniper and Reel Big Fish. Household names in their own homes, the lot of them. And while it's not a deal breaker, celebrity Port Vale fan Robbie Williams has penned a track exclusively for the game. So exclusive in fact that it's just been on the radio.
As for gameplay tweaks, probably the most significant is the ability to shield the ball, which is useful for running down the clock or for holding up play while forwards make runs. More superficial, but still quite useful, is the display beneath the player in possession, with colour-coded arrows relaying the likelihood of making a successful pass. Set pieces have also been simplified, and you can now pass directly to one of three players by simply pressing the relevant button. Similarly, the same options are offered when defending a dead ball, with the chosen player being automatically marked by a couple of drone players.
As for competitions, a generic World Cup is offered, along with a Champions League and a UEFA Cup. However, a full league season incorporates all the competitions your team would be involved in, and even offers a rudimentary transfer system. Most major teams are present, along with a number of classic sides replaying some nostalgic games portrayed with sepia-toned graphics.
The FIFA licence doesn't buy accurate facial likenesses, so only a token effort has been made, or in the case of Frank Leboeuf, no effort whatsoever. (The bald Chelsea defender sports a full head of jet black hair.) EA really should cough up and use real faces - you only have to look at their NBA or NHL games to see the difference it would make. The stadiums are also disappointingly generic - why couldn't they have used those meticulously designed for their recent Premier League STARS along with the authentic crowd chants? (Especially as the rest of the game was rubbish.)
FIFA 2000 is undeniably superb, but we can't help feeling that somewhere they've got the perfect game. If they made it, there would be no point buying the next one though, would there? Euro 2000, anyone?
Processor: PC compatible,
OS: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game Features:Single game mode