FIFA 10 – Ultimate Team Review

Around this time last year the development team at EA decided to jump on the cash cow that is DLC and release for the first time ever new content to their FIFA series. That content came in the shape of the ‘Ultimate Team’ and was priced at 800MS Points / £7.99. Building on that success EA have decided to release FIFA 10’s version of the Ultimate Team, this time priced at the much more appreciated 400MS Points / £3.99.

If you’ve never played the Ultimate Team it’s a very simple concept. It’s all card based with each card being bronze, silver or gold. The majority of cards are players with the gold cards being the Rooneys and Messis of the football world, this is in contrast with the bronze players who you would find lurking in the world’s lower leagues. You can also obtain stadium, kit, badge and staff cards, which follow the same rule of gold being best. The aim is to create the ‘ultimate’ team to take on the rest of the world, but to do that you will require a lot of spare money. This is where EA are really clever and it must be said a little greedy; but no shock there.

Like last year if you want to strengthen your team faster you were able to purchase bronze, silver and gold packs, with the gold packs costing you 80MS Points / 79p. This year EA are squeezing even more money out of you, as you can now purchase a premium gold pack for 120MS Points / £1.19. The premium pack says it will give you three rare players rather than the one found in the normal gold pack, yet I find that hard to believe as I’ve spent well over 400MS Points / £5 on the premium packs alone and I have only had one player with a rating of 80+. It was more likely to be my bad luck, but I still felt a little conned and because I’m addicted, I couldn’t help buying one more, then one more in the hope of finding the Ronaldo I desperately need for my team.

Addictive yet annoying packs aside, the game structure hasn’t changed much from last year but there have been some noticeable improvements. This year the chemistry of the team is affected more than ever. It might be fine having Ronaldo, Messi and Rooney in your team, but play them in the wrong position, alongside none of their friends or countrymen and the team chemistry will drop, making a noticeable difference when playing online. If the chemistry is bad, the strikers won’t link up with each other and in general, passing seems to be loose. That’s why when you are creating your team by trading players and buying new packs, it’s best to try and have players who play for the same club or country, which will further boost the overall team’s chemistry. The higher the chemistry the better your players will perform on the green stuff.

The easiest and by far cheapest way to mould your own team is to save up coins by playing matches, and more so matches that take part within tournaments. FUT (FIFA Ultimate Team) allows you to participate in tournaments both online and off, with more tournaments available the more trophies you win. Some tournaments also require specific squad rules, for example, eight players from the same country, or an all bronze squad. Another way to make money is to sell your players in the trading area, although unless the player you’re selling is 80+, you’re unlikely to pick up much more than 600 coins. If you want to keep most of your bronze players, you can put them into another team; something new to FUT.

The squad selector allows you to have different set-ups, depending on what type of tournament you’re playing, or what kind of players you want to use. You can have one squad set up as a 4-3-3 formation, where another squad may be more defensive in 5-3-2. It’s a nice touch and means you don’t have to tinker with your team every time you want to change formation before a game. It’s just a massive shame that none of your teams can play against any of your friends.

Yes that’s right, one of the major problems with FUT09 still remains in FUT10: You cannot play as your ultimate team against a friend online. This is a massive blow and one in which I think EA have seriously screwed fans of the game. I can understand if they never included this option, with the fear of having players boost for coins, but why didn’t they just make it so games against friends don’t earn you coins? It’s a bizarre decision from EA and one in which I think may put people of buying the game, but hopefully they will let us know their reason very soon.

Overall FUT10 has improved from last year’s version. Unfortunately for us, this means you’re more likely to part with your hard earned cash in aid to building up the perfect team. It is a nice addition to the overall game and at 400MS Points / £3.99, any FIFA 10 fan should purchase this. The tournament modes are great and my only tip to you is don’t go crazy with the premium packs like I did. Instead just be patient developing your team.

See you on the pitch!

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