Yes, summer has finally given up the ghost and autumn’s here. That means leaves clogging up the guttering, shops stocking up on Christmas trees – and EA bringing out the latest version of FIFA for all the footie aficionados who can’t afford to watch live games on Sky Sports.
The problem each year for EA is to find something significant to improve, repair or expand in order to justify shelling out your hard-earned dosh apart from the chance to see better images of your favourite team players in their new away kit. We’re therefore pleased to reassure the eagerly awaiting fans that every effort has gone into making FIFA 12 the nation’s number one choice of footie simulation.
This time round, the main focus is on improving your defensive skills – and before you kick a single ball a tutorial pops up to guide you through it. Your defender can now use jockeying to prevent an attacker getting a clear line on goal, plus you can call on an AI colleague to stay with the opponent on the ball while you follow the forward trying to set up a forward pass.
In keeping with the beefed-up Player Impact engine, which allows for more realistic clashes based on the physique of the combatants, players can be barged off the ball or have their shirts tugged without you necessarily being penalised.
Gameplay is more tactical than ever, as it’s now possible to shield the ball more from tackles. The game’s AI is also quicker to pounce on you, shimmy past or form defensive screens. In that sense it’s harder to get used to but the rewards (i.e. scoring cannily worked goals) are greater.
You’re encouraged to stick with one team, and after each match experience points are awarded which then go towards a weekly online league where the average points from all your team’s fans are totalled, affecting your position.
With budding managers having plenty to organise in Career mode, a host of online options such as Head-to-Head Seasons (ten games with the aim of gaining promotion), a bunch of new tricksy moves and terrific player facial modelling, EA has not only provided something for every level of soccer fan but they’ve managed to make this the most realistic footie game ever.
Company: EA Sports
- Vastly improved realism, thanks to Player Impact engine.
- Slightly steeper learning curve.
It's now beyond dispute - thanks to their new tactical defence ploys, improved precision dribbling, more believable physical clashes and the new XP-rewarded online league, EA have secured FIFA 12's reputation as the best footie sim on the market.