EA proves it just can't get enough with 2006 FIFA World Cup, and apparently neither can the paying customers who continue to get excited and fork over their hard-earned cash for yet another FIFA Football title that promises to bring the realism and emotion of the World Cup to their living room.
If there's one thing that EA has succeeded in achieving with the FIFA licence down the years, it's presenting glossy looking titles that take full advantage of its rights to use the true player names and all team strips, etc. 2006 FIFA World Cup brings the world cup in Germany to your PC. 2006 FIFA World Cup's intro and cut scenes are impressive and strike the perfect note to get you in the mood for some slick football. However, once you get down to the pitch you suddenly notice how jagged everything is when compared with the beautiful graphics that had you drooling in anticipation when you booted up the game. You decide that graphics aren't what make a game and get stuck in to the match proper. The speedy pace of play in 2006 FIFA World Cup reassures you that this is a game worth having, but you quickly find that it gives you the same experience as the regular FIFA 06, and for that matter, 05. What's going on? Those rascals at EA have done it again. Taken their successful franchise, slapped on some new packaging and suckered us for our naivety.
Before you go out picketing however, there are some redeeming factors of 2006 FIFA World Cup that should be considered. Firstly, at this stage EA must feel pretty much obliged to bring out a World Cup edition every four years if only to cater for the football-crazy fans that use it to commemorate each tournament. What's more, it lets the developer experiment with ideas that may just revolutionize future releases. For example, there is a new penalty-taking system in 2006 FIFA World Cup that accounts for players under pressure with the shot becoming slightly more difficult the longer you delay. There's also the new shooting engine, whereby holding the shoot button doesn’t adjust the power, but the trajectory of the shot. The power comes from the position the player is in as he takes the shot and whether he's moving, stationary, or under pressure from opposition defenders. These innovations really do make interesting changes and for most people will be an improvement on what came before. As in previous World Cup releases, in 2006 FIFA World Cup you can go back in time except this time to play classic moments from the history books such as the final half hour of England’s 1966 match against Germany with them trailing 1-0. Unfortunately you've got to do this with the present-day players and this takes away from the feeling of authenticity of the experience. 2006 FIFA World Cup does make a good souvenir to remember the championship by, but will probably only last as long as the tournament does, and in our opinion that doesn't justify buying it. On the other hand, if you haven't got a Fifa game from the previous two years, then this will provide you with enough spectacular goals and World Cup trivia to keep you occupied between matches.