PC Interview

FIFA 2002

Luke Guttridge chats to Kerry Whalan, Producer on EA's footie 'bad-boy' FIFA 2002.

1. Firstly, what graphical improvements will players of FIFA2002 notice. The stadia certainly look more detailed, as do the crowds and players. Tell us more!

As you know FIFA is known for its great graphics and FIFA Football 2002 is no exception. We have added lots of little touches that make the graphics and animations more realistic and represent what you might see and hear at a real football match. In the stadiums for example the teams wear the colours of their teams, wave flags and even there are even flares in the crowd. When we get down on the pitch you will notice significant details on the players, for example the players have all new skeletons, which make their bodies look more realistic. The players are now all different sizes just like real footballers and now have long or short sleeve shirts and even different coloured boots.

2. What new additions to players repertoires have been added in terms of moves, passes, shots, etc. How will this make gameplay more realistic?

FIFA Football 2002 features the biggest chance in gameplay since the FIFA series was first made. The new open passing system means that players have to use direction and power to make a pass, lob or shot. This means that you can now play a perfect through pass through the last line of the opposition defence or lob the ball over the top into space for your player to run onto. These huge changes in gameplay mean this is the most complete football game ever. We have also looked at the player skill moves and made them more realistic…some are obvious and others will be discovered once the player really gets into the new gameplay.

3. The balance between the game being realistic, but also fast and fun is difficult one. Tell us about the compromises you must make for this.

We could make a complete simulation but the demands on games to be more interactive entertainment means that the consumer is looking for the complete package. We base as much of the game on the actual sport as possible but changing the things like game speed and difficulty levels means that the player can make the game as fast and as exciting as they want.

4. How has motion capture improved over the years, and how realistic will the players movement be in FIFA 2002?

Motion capture is a vital part of the development process as it enables the game to feature real moves and feedback from World Class players. As the power of consoles and PC's increases then it means that we are able to push the animations of the players even further which is where motion capture plays its part. As I have already mentioned the player skeletons have been redesigned to the make the players in FIFA Football 2002 even closer to their real player equivalents. FIFA Football 2002 features all new trapping animations that include chesting the ball, flicking the ball up from the floor, catching the ball on the chest and knee before volleying it up the pitch.

5. Which leagues, competitions and clubs will FIFA include and how up-to-date will it be with the latest transfers, etc.

FIFA Football 2002 boosts the largest about of licensed content of any game in the world. This year we have over 16 fully licensed leagues that include The FA Premier League, Bundesliga, Primera Liga and LNF. FIFA Football 2002 also includes the EXCLUSIVE qualification mode to the 2002 FIFA World Cup.

6. I gather FIFA will feature a brand new, and vastly more detailed injury and fatigue system. Tell us about this, and the effect it will have on gameplay.

That's right we have made the injuries more realistic and detailed i.e. for example there are different types of injuries that a player can receive i.e. damaged knee, broken ankle etc. The player also have permanent fatigue bars displayed on screen and when I player is making a run the fill length of the pitch fatigue will affect him…….he won't be able to keep running and running without getting tired. We have also introduced a new feature called "FIFA Assistant". This is a option that can be switch on or off that will create a pop up screen that suggests when a player id injured or fatigued and need replacing and allow you to accept or reject the assistance….it is great for keeping the flow of the game and save having to go through lots of menus to make a quick change if you want.

7. Commentary next. Who is providing the commentary this year, and how will it be varied and non-repetitive.

In the UK we are once again using the legendary John Motson coupled with witty charms of Andy Gray. This means that FIFA Football 2002 will have the strongest line up reflecting the top names in the world of UK football.

8. The FIFA theme-tune has become something of a tradition over the years. Who is providing the latest tune and why was it chosen?

This year we are pleased to be working with the Gorillaz and they have done a special remix of the track 19/2000. In addition we are also using tracks supplied by the Ministry of Sound so in terms of music within he game it is a very strong line up. As you have pointed out there is a strong tradition of great music associated with FIFA and we always want to work with the best talent and most cutting edge or artists and labels.

9. Finally, what new additions to the latest FIFA game should ensure it is top of any footie fans shopping list?

Without a doubt the new passing system alone makes FIFA Football 2002 worthy of being top of a football fans shopping list…….The game now means you need a footballing brain to master the game

Thanks for your time! Best of luck with completing FIFA 2002!

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