|Release date:||23 October 2002|
The mighty FIFA series returns with a much more considered, tactical game and a whole stadium full of improvements.
For FIFA 2003, EA has enlisted the help of Edgar Davids, Ryan Giggs, and Roberto Carlos, and it certainly seems to have paid off. FIFA 2003 isn't so much an update as an entirely new game. The key changes are the overhauled AI and a new dribbling system that sees your players 'bump' the ball along, making them more vulnerable to tackles whilst running with the ball. As a result, long solo runs and super high scoring matches are a thing of the past; goals need a bit more planning, and there's far more emphasis on how your team works as a whole. Both graphically and in terms of gameplay, FIFA 2003 is easily the most realistic FIFA to date and represents a huge stride forward for the series.
Long time FIFA fans may be worried that the changes in the 2003 edition sound a little drastic, but in fact they needn't worry. The first time you play, the game gives you a choice between 'Arcade' and 'Simulation', which determines various game options. 'Arcade' looks and feels much more like slightly older FIFA games, while 'Simulation' puts more emphasis on the strategic elements, with stricter rule sets, harder difficulty levels and so forth. Besides the new dribbling model, shooting and passing have also been re-worked, and the result is a far more natural looking game. There's much less 'goal scoring by numbers' and many more deflections and near misses, reflecting the excitement and unpredictability of the beautiful game. Other new featues in FIFA 2003 include 'EA Freestyle' control, which allows you to pull off evasive moves such as little shimmies or stepovers using the right analog stick. There's also an all new system for free kicks, whereby your skill in 'timing' the shot determines its power and accuracy.
Once again, FIFA 2003 sets a new benchmark for grahics in sports games, with hugely detailed player models and animations, ultra lifelike stadia and highly polished presentation. In keeping with the old FIFA tradition, some of Europe¿s greatest commentary teams are on-board, bringing the action on the pitch vividly to life. The unerring realism also extends to the absolutely huge list of licenced entities with 16 leagues, 450 teams and no less than 10,000 real players represented. An all new Club Championship mode is also included, which allows you to mix it up with 18 of Europe's greatest teams.
With its newfound emphasis on tactical team play and some genuinely innovative new features, FIFA 2003 represents a spellbinding return to form for EA's flagship football series. Whether you're a long time FIFA fan or new to it all, this is an essential slice of footballing action.
- Total Authenticity: 16 leagues, 450 teams and 10,000 players
- All new control system for much more natural footballing action; deflections, missed headers and scrambled goals
- Unparallelled presentation, with some of Europe's finest commentary teams calling the action
- New EA Freestyle control and set piece dynamic
- Also available on PS one