It’s another year and another FIFA game. The big questions are; “What’s new?” and “Is it worth buying? Well this review will hopefully give you enough insight into FIFA 12 to decide if it’s worth your cash.
Getting the latest FIFA game is a lot like hooking up with your ex-girlfriend after a while apart. There is an instant familiarity but there are always a few new tricks that weren’t there last time. The FIFA franchise is arguably the planet’s most successful sports game and the reason for this is that they continue to build and improve with each instalment. FIFA 12 introduces a lot of new features while still keeping the nuts and bolts of FIFA 11.
A major new gameplay addition is Tactical Defending. There has been a lot of hype about this new defensive system, with many fans complaining that it is too difficult. To some extent they have a point, when you first stick the FIFA 12 disc into your Console/PC, expect a couple of good hidings (we’re talking 4-1 or 6-2 score lines). The reason for this is you are still trying to tackle like FIFA 11, flying in to tackles and mashing the tackle button. In FIFA 12 you need to be smarter than that. Tackling require timing and consistent pressure, forcing defenders to make mistakes or scramble to deliver a 50/50 pass. Sure, it takes a while to get used to the new system but it’s totally worth it. Games become far more competitive, with midfield battles becoming a big part of the match and the need to concentrate for the full 90 minutes imperative. It does make the game more real than ever before.
There are also a few other new gameplay additions such as Precision Dribbling and some new skill moves which add increased depth and realism to the game. One of the main additions that is worth mentioning, is the Player Impact Engine. This is a new physics engine that enhances player collisions to yet again increase the realism. Here you can expect bone-crunching tackles as well as the ability to bump players off the ball if you jostle with them. On the down side there are quite a few glitches when players collide off the ball, but they are few and far between and don’t really impact on the game at all.
The bread and butter of FIFA has always been the Career Mode. There are a number of features from previous FIFA titles that make their way back into the new game. Addressing the press before key matches for example as well as the introduction of Deadline Day – allowing you to make a couple of last minute transfers to bolster you squad or cash in on the desperation of other managers. FIFA 12 also now includes the ever popular FIFA Ultimate Team bundled with the game for the first time (previously it was available only as downloadable content).
FIFA 12 isn’t a huge step up from FIFA 11 graphically, but there is a lot more attention to detail. The HUD (heads up display) for example changes depending on the competition that you are playing in Barclays Premier League, FA Cup, Champion’s League etc… which is pretty cool. Injuries have improved, for example a player can pull a hamstring when sprinting that causes him to immediately limp and clutch his leg. Overall it looks very slick, as you would expect from a AAA title.