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World Cup 98 is the first official FIFA World Cup game developed by EA Sports after obtaining the rights from FIFA in 1997. Unlike the previous World Cup games, which were in 2D and showed a bird's-eye view, World Cup 98 used a 3D engine, utilising DirectX for the PC version. Accurate national team kits (except for the goalkeepers who were issued a generic kit) were introduced complete with kit manufacturer logos and official merchandise. The game engine is based on that of FIFA: Road to World Cup 98, though it features some minor gameplay improvements to areas such as in-game strategy changing and player positioning. The playable teams in the friendly mode also included several nations that did not qualify for the finals. World Cup 98 was released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation, Nintendo 64 and Game Boy.
The main feature of the game is the World Cup tournament itself, where the player may use either the actual groups used in the finals, or groups composed of a random selection of the 40 included teams. Each match takes place in a recreation of the venue it was played in the actual tournament. As in the real tournament, group games do not go to extra time or a penalty shootout but knockout matches do.
The game was released prior to the actual World Cup, therefore results between CPU teams are not based on results from the actual tournament. At the end of each match, a caption shows the man of the match award, and if applicable a clean sheet caption. At the end of the "World Cup" game mode, captions show the winner of the Golden Boot for most goals scored during the tournament and winner of the FIFA Fair Play Award, two awards which are given in the real World Cup.
It is also possible to play friendly matches between any of the teams that are included in the game. At the end of a drawn game the player can choose to finish the match as a draw, play extra time with the golden goal rule, or take part in a penalty shootout.
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World Cup 98 System Requirements
- Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP
- Processor: Pentium 100
- RAM: 6 MB
- Video Card: DirectX 5
- Hard disk space: 15 MB