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Fifa12 Review
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Well, FIFA 12 has arrived, here we go again! I was expecting it to be just like last years installment in all honesty however I was so wrong. Fifa 12 this time around is … different. For months, EA Sports has been talking on about its three major changes to the match mechanics: close control, the player impact engine and the new tactical defending option. Turns out they weren't lying this time around. In Fifa 12, there's a multi-layered system that now lets you hold the "X" button to "contain" the man on the ball – it brings the player you're controlling right up to him and you'll automatically attempt to jockey your opponent into disadvantageous positions. It is a pleasant change over what we had in FIFA 11; people can no longer just hold "X" to win the ball back, you will be required to time your tackles perfectly or else you will easily concede goals left right and centre.

The updated player physics bring what you expect – a greater sense of physical presence. You can press "O" repeatedly on the keypad that allows you to pull and tug at an opponent's shirt, and together with some crunching slide tackles you get a great sense of robust, solid bodies going into high speed collisions and meeting limbs in a realistic way.

Outside of the matches themselves, there's an even bigger range of options and extras. The social gaming spin-off Ultimate Team is present in the retail edition of Fifa for the first time, allowing you to start the card-trading fun with free packs (as ever, you'll need to buy new packs to complete your dream team, though). I have spent over £50 pound on packs already!

This is probably a smart business decision by EA – it means everyone gets to try it out, and many will bite. Virtual Pro is also there, allowing you to create your own player from scratch, and the usual tournament and live season options are present with timely presentational tweaks.I have created a Virtual Pro club, the ai improvements really make the mode better overall, it used to be so easy to score, but now it is a big challenge. There is nothing like just sitting with 6 friends in the same match just chilling out and talking to each other.

I have not really been into career modes in FIFA they usually are awful. But this years installment is taking a step in the right direction, going back to youth scouts which were took out of the game for some reason. You can setup an extensive scouting academy looking for talent all over the world, it really adds a sense of excitement when you think you could be recruiting the next messi for your team :P But overall the career mode is not up to standard, this is one area of the game that should be vastly improved for next year.

So, yes, here we go again. The annual iteration, the roster update, the accusations of cashing in, cashing up, moving on. Fifa is a symbol now of what the games industry has become – a digital Hollywood, a hit factory, with massive franchises, caged in and milked for all they're worth; a grinding production line of choreographed retail launches and endless DLC updates. It used to be just the annual sports titles, now it's everyone. And yet out of this can come a game like Fifa 12. A game that isn't perfect, and that won't suit everyone, but that there is a massive sense of effort, of care, of love for the sport. Hate EA and its peers for the way they run their businesses if you want to, but recognise this: with friends, with practice, with a will to re-think your approach to defence, Fifa 12 is an absolute joy to play.


Street Talk

I always have enjoyed Fifa and I think your review is right on! GOOOOALLLLL

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
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