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FIFA 2001 MLS
Preview By: Joe Rolfe
Developer:   EA Sports
Publisher:   EA Sports
Genre:   Soccer
# of Players:    1-4
Est. Release Date:   November 2000
Posted:   10-31-00

FIFA, the soccer series of the Gods, is set for a November release on PlayStation 2. This storied and famed franchise has repeatedly outdone itself with each update, and 2001 Major League Soccer doesn’t look to end that trend. By far the largest highlight of the game are the beautiful visuals that EA Sports has running of the hardware. Smooth, 60 frames per second and high-res graphics will fluctuate through the soccer goodness that is FIFA 2001. Lifelike texture fields, dynamic lighting effects and much improved crowd animations (with chants and waving flags) will all help draw the player into FIFA 2001.

Like its Madden, NBA Live and NHL cousins, FIFA will also be bringing players to life with their new cyber-scan technology. More human realism and diversity in the player faces will create an even more authentic look to the game. Animation will be getting cleaned up, too, as EA will improve the facial structuring and will add joints in the actual player model skeletons for precise body movement. To top it off, a whole new archive of animations for kicks, shots, saves and sprints will be included in FIFA 2001 as well.

The added inclusion of Analog button support will give users precise control of pace and shot power. Balls will go into contact with players on pinpoint detail, so those annoying, invisible "boxes" that we see around balls in other sport games should be nearly done away with. Goalie AI will get a boost as well, so now as you progress up the championship ladder the keepers will keep getting more challenging and play smarter. Like the joint additions that I mentioned before, the direct controller-to-animation reaction should be improved upon as well by means of smoother transitions and blending between animations.

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