Football's coming home...

"Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that." When Bill Shankly, former Liverpool manager and probably the finest footballing brain of all time made this comment, he wasn’t talking about a video game – but he could have been. ITP sent a squad of journalists along to the launch of FIFA 2002.

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By  Will Milner Published  October 31, 2001

FIFA Football, the world’s most popular computer and video game based on the world’s most popular sport, received its latest upgrade at an exclusive launch in Dubai. Attended by the cream of the Middle East’s technology and business journalists the event was the official unveiling of FIFA 2002.

The FIFA series, developed by Electronic Arts (EA) and distributed by Dubai’s own R.E.D., is annually the most popular computer game in the Middle East and boasts record breaking sales. For FIFA 2002, EA and R.E.D. have taken on board the talents of Asian Footballer of the Year Nawaf Al-Temyat. Unfortunately, the star player was kept on the sidelines due to a leg injury. In the absence of Nawaf, Michael Wombwell, general manager of R.E.D. pulled on the captains armband to introduce the game to the assembled masses. “Computer games are about much more than computers — they’re about entertainment” said Wombwell.

The entertainment, in this case, comes in the form of the most realistic and accurate representation of the beautiful game ever to hit a games platform. After a neat pass (of the microphone) from Wombwell to Rami El-Hussein the finer points of the game were pointed out. FIFA 2002 is placing a greater emphasis on gameplay than has been noted in previous versions. Although graphical enhancements have been made it is the general “feel” and playability that have received the majority of improvements. A new passing and tackling system will ensure that the player has a greater overall control over the play. The flexibility of the passing will allow through-balls, one-twos and long balls to be executed.

The new game engine makes the scaleable gameplay suitable to experienced gamers and first time players alike. “FIFA 2002 will be easy to learn, but difficult to master” points out experienced gamer Rami El-Hussein.

The game is now available in Dubai and will roll out across the region in the next few days. For the full review check out:

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