EA Sports FIFA Superstars is a sim style soccer game that brings the World Cup to life.

With World Cup fever in full swing, EA has unleashed a version of the popular soccer gaming franchise for free on Facebook: FIFA Superstars. But don’t get ahead of yourself, this is not the arcade infused soccer title fans have known to play and love. Instead, it’s a management based sim that allows the player to set up games based on players and teams stats. A definite change from the core gameplay that has been donned on consoles and mobile devices previously, FIFA Superstars veers away from the norm and creates something new.

At first glance, I was shocked as the players I picked for my match simulated the match without me. I was part of the crowd, just like the real World Cup matches I’ve been addicted to as of late. I missed my choices and actions during match play. I wanted to score on my own. But as the games progressed, the choices I was making before the game felt as engrossing as the other arcade styled play I’d been accustomed to.

EA Sports FIFA Superstars

The core of what makes up FIFA Superstars is the statistics themselves. When your team has a better stat portfolio than the opposing team, you’ve got a great shot. As the pseudo manager or coach, you take on the role of administering your team’s training and which players play in matches. You even get to decide on the improvements to the home team’s stadium. Helping you along in the game is the in game currency. For FIFA Superstars there are two versions of virtual money: Playfish Cash (this is your real money going to work) and coin you earn through the games themselves. It’s these details that bring the game to life, even without being able to play in the actual matches.

EA Sports FIFA Superstars

As the almighty prize, there is a 2010 FIFA World Cup league option in the menu even though it cannot be chosen at first. Only after you’ve trained and accumulated enough rank by competing against other teams will you come closer to the prestige league. You’ll first start out in the junior leagues, but as you progress you’ll move up the ranks.

There are some limitations though. For example, you are only allowed to play a certain number of games daily. There is a timer that allocates when you are able to play, which can be avoided with Playfish Cash. The social networking aspect is also prevalent by being able to link to friends through Facebook’s news feed and gifting options.

EA Sports FIFA Superstars

Though FIFA Superstars doesn’t hold the same play style fans have known to come to love through other FIFA titles, it brings the game of soccer to life in a new way. Statistically heavy, with training, ranking and improving even the stadium, FIFA Superstars is also able to bring social networking features through Facebook . The first intimidation factor is soon put to rest as the learning curve is slight. EA has recreated the game for Facebook by putting the fun of soccer first and foremost.