FIFA 12 is the brand new football (or soccer) title from EA Sports. Bring in new Career Mode features, as well as an entirely new impact engine, FIFA 12 looks to take the successes of previous instalments and make another must have sporting game. The game gives the impression it is offering a lot of new features and improvements but is there enough to warrant buying this year’s instalment?
Let’s find out by ‘kicking-off’ the HOTs and NOTs
EA Canada has once again taken the Career Mode from the last game and improved upon it. Featuring simple and sleek menus, alongside easy to understand informational sections, the Career mode has a lot less things to clutter up the screen. This allows players to effectively scroll through all the options and features available to them. Clubs or players will once again receive goals to complete over the course of a season. These range from win a domestic cup to the now more detailed approach to where to end up in the league.
Transfers, especially with the inclusion of the new deadline day feature, are now much more a race against time. This means players have to be more calculating in their bids. Deadline day is a great addition to the transfer window portion of Career mode. Not only does it make the game more realistic, with plenty of players making last minute transfers, but it adds a lot of suspense if you are still trying to sign a final player for your team.
A few other improvements in Career mode, come from the more intelligent media. When players start to talk about retiring the in-game media swiftly picks up on it and reports about the player and the club he’s at. Major news stories are even responded to by the actual players: for example, if it has been reported a player has had problems in pre-season, they will explain to the manager why they had the problems. Commonly the explanation is that they were carrying a slight knock but are now ok to play.
In FIFA 11 Personality Pro felt like a half finished feature, with only the top end players getting a truly unique feel. While certain players like Messi, Rooney and Pepe still have more realistic attributes than lesser known players, even the players in smaller teams have an individual feel to them. This improvement is felt from the top to the bottom of the leagues and it’s great to see a feature that was started so well in a previous game, now affect the majority of the teams rather than just the elite players.
The presentation is another area where FIFA 12 steps up from previous games. Not only are the games visuals a pleasure on the eye, the new default camera angle allows for a better overview of the pitch, as there is more of the pitch on screen. This allows for players to identify players more, as well as see the runs of off the ball players.
The individual players are another area where the visuals have improved. While not every player looks 100% like their real life counterparts, every player has a lifelike appearance. That being said there are numerous players who look amazingly close to their real life counterpart.
The commentary and the in-game music once again add to the atmosphere of the game. Despite a few commentary related glitches that still haven’t been fixed, the commentary team have done a great job. The music is both entertaining and intriguing. I would be surprised if anyone knew the songs prior to FIFA 12 but it would be hard not to like them.
The reasons behind liking the impact engine become apparent from the first time you play. Not only does the new engine allow for more realism but the tackles can look truly amazing. Diving in, seeing the opponent go flying and getting away with it, as a clean tackle, is certainly one of my favourite parts of FIFA 12: mostly due to how realistic the tackle looks. Rather than the collapsing or stumbling that happened in FIFA 11, players tumble and trip which makes the tackling feel and look more forceful than ever before. The impact engine also seems to have allowed for much more fluid play with the ball bouncing of players that have blocked passes and plenty of back and forth counterattacking gameplay.