I played for an hour or so last night & must say I am definitely impressed. As mentioned in the review above, the collisions between players look fantastic and are a lot more realistic.
I found that shooting takes a bit of getting used to (I played right through Fifa 08 but not the Euro 2008, so those who played Euro may be more familiar). It is because you have a lot more control over spin and swerve – which is definitely a good thing! I can see some fantastic goals will be scored utilizing this.
Also, as mentioned above, it is a lot harder to score, even when 1-on-1 with the keeper. The keepers are much more realistic. If a keeper starts to move one way and you slot the ball the other, he will use his legs to try and save it.
In Fifa 08, I used to score many goals using the wing play. I’d whip in a cross and usually score with a header. In Fifa 09, you are not afforded the same space on the wings. It is definitely a case of being patient and working the space. Having said that, the teams are set up to play as they do in real life. Arsenal for example are very much a quick passing side, whilst Man Utd look to break with pace on the counter attack.
I really enjoyed how players will call for the ball as they run into space, and how the back 4 will raise their arms to appeal for off-side. Even when you’re not off-side, they will occasionally appeal
I didn’t delve too much into the custom tactics but there is a LOT that you can play around with. As the back of the box says – you can be a first team coach and tune and balance 11 tactical sliders for 140 attacking options and 40 defending options.
Graphics wise, on the surface it looks similar to Fifa 08, however there are a lot more animations & linesmen and the ref have been included. Also many of the players look slightly more realistic. Transfers are bang up to date (eg Berbatov starts up front for Man Utd).
My one complaint so far is at kick off, the team who doesn't have the ball all shake their legs (obviously keeping the muscles warm etc) which is fine in itself. Except, the team all does it in unison and it looks like they are morris dancing or something! However, that is one very minor complaint.
For any football game fans, I definitely recommend picking this one up!