With the World Cup drawing ever closer, EA Sports finally released their much-anticipated game, 2010 FIFA World Cup: South Africa. Importantly, EA Sports claimed to have made a number of changes since FIFA 10, which was only released towards the end of last year.

Initially, from the Fifa World Cup 2010 South Africa demo it was clear to see a number of improvements, especially the dramatically improved graphics. An impressive commentary from Clive Tyldesley and Andy Townsend and an entertaining overall broadcast package made the demo even more impressive.

With the actual game, more improvements can be found. As a gap-filler between FIFA 10 and FIFA 11, it has to be said that EA Sports have done everything they possibly can to create an extensively long game. This is largely down to a multitude of game modes, which includes reliving the qualifying campaign. Another mode is called Captain Your Country, and allows you to assume the role of one player and take them through the campaign. This is based on FIFA 10’s successful Virtual Pro game mode, and is another nice feature for EA Sports to include.

With Fifa World Cup 2010 South Africa, EA Sports have also included a game mode where you can relive some pivotal moments from the 2006 World Cup, as well as the 2010 Qualifying campaign. Besides this, they have also promised to offer a free live service to include scenarios created during the World Cup, shortly after they happen.

Other nice features, such as score updates from other group matches and cutaway shots to some rather keen fans help enhance the feeling of the game. Even if you just consider this game for rental, it is worth experiencing the way FIFA 11 will no doubt look when released.

With fully licenced kits and  surprise appearances from some of the world’s most recognisable managers, the game delivers for all football-mad gamers. The question that has to be asked, however, is whether EA Sports can justify pricing such a short-lived product at close to full price.

Worth a rental if not football-crazy, but because of its £39.99 price tag…