FIFA Soccer 12 Review
- Posted September 27th, 2011 at 05:21 EDT by Adam Dolge
- 5 Comments
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FIFA is reborn with an all-new defense system and physics engine that puts complete control in the player's hands. It's not just an evolution in soccer games; it's a revolution in sports games.
- Defense is finally fun
- Realist physics engine
- Depth of game modes
- A.I. is a bit off
- Random glitches
- Some new features need time to evolve
Releasing a game every year is a mighty challenge for a developer, especially if it’s a sports game that has no campaign or story to differentiate the annual installment. There’s always the risk that the game will grow stale without any substantial tweaks to the gameplay or modes, but there’s almost an equal risk of disenfranchising devoted fans if a studio goes too far too fast. EA Sports released an outstanding soccer (football for the rest of the world) game in 2010, and this year the studio decided it was time to offer sweeping changes to the core gameplay and include its two-year-in-the-making physics engine. The end result provides as much enjoyment off the ball as you’ll have on offense, a more complete career management system, and a physics system that works quite well, but it will likely need some tweaking.
EA Sports lined up a trinity of new changes to the game’s core, including Precision Dribbling, Tactical Defense, and the Player Impact Engine. Players will automatically notice the new defense mechanics, as this is perhaps one of the most drastic changes to the long-running series ever. No longer can you hold a button and send throngs of defenders to the ball and essentially let the game do all the work for you. It’s replaced with a more realistic contain system that is just as engaging as playing offense. There is a single button to make the defender contain the ball carrier, and a single button to tackle. Timing is crucial as you’ll generally only have milliseconds available to strike. Defense is now all about positioning, forcing players to go even beyond this contain system to take advantage of poor passes. Chase a player from the side or behind, and the tackle button makes your defender grab the opponent’s jersey, attempting to slow him mid-stride. Everything about defense is a struggle to regain possession of the ball in a very deliberate manner.
Defense will likely take some time to get used to, as it is fundamentally different than previous games. But, once you get the hang of holding back tackles until the moment was right, you may be eager to play defense—that’s a first in my tenure as a soccer game fan. It’s complex, and may seem like the action is slower, but it’s just more deliberate. The thing that will likely catch you off guard is that this seems like a completely new FIFA game. That may seem like an odd statement since, well, this is a new game, but as we all know most annual sports games aren’t all that different year-to-year. This year game may piss a lot of fans off, but that’s only if they play it for a few hours, or even a few days. Tactical defense will take some time to control and understand, but once you nail it, you’ll wonder what took EA Sports so long to make the switch. It should be noted that you can switch off tactical defending, but it’s really worth your time to master.
The PSU staff had a chance to check out the new Player Impact Engine at different times throughout the year. It’s safe to say the final version doesn’t seem as substantial as it did when we played it at E3 or Gamescom, but it’s clear to see all of EA Sports’ hard work paid off. Yes, there are some glitches (although, I’ve yet to experience anything terrible), and the actual changes may at first appear subtle, but spend some time and you’ll see how players act more lifelike, if not a bit like ragdolls. It’s also not exaggerated, so if you barely brush against a player, he’ll likely stand his ground. There’s no more running straight through an opponent, and you can see how a player physically reacts when he makes that commitment to tackle and misses—he’s slowed just enough for the offensive player to slide right by. Beyond that ragdoll feel, players often fall into set runs after scoring that, well, can get other players in the way and look terribly romantic—you’ll see what I mean.
The final part of the game’s key changes to the gameplay rests in precision dribbling, which is also subtle but highly effective when used properly. ... (continued on next page)
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- 1:04pm EDT - September 26th, 2011
Its funny, but living here in the UK, I'm not a fan of football. Its a damn good game though
- 2:01pm EDT - September 26th, 2011
It's football (soccer for the us), and the defence thing sucks, the computer takes advantage of it way too much, and it is incredibley if not impossible to learn, let alone master. I got the game yesterdat down here in mexico, the game feels like an improvment, but the defence thing will most definatly be something to revize next season. an 8.5 at the most. Ultimate team rules.
- 3:54pm EDT - September 26th, 2011
you can trash talk? omg that is awesome...I hope they've given you several options of responses in terms of this 'trash talk' and stuff because it'll get repetitive.
but that is awesome. Plus, the addition of new commentators for the tournaments like Europe and FA Cup is absolutely brilliant. I'm totally buying this game. As for that glitch PSU mentioned where the opposition returns to his goal, I will say that EA could fix this with a patch obviously
But I am geniunelly excited for this game. the defending didn't bother me too much, took some time but on professional its actually not bad. Just doing that jockey and blocking his goal sight slows them down and lets you think....my only problem with FIFA is that the dribbiling is kinda awkward, I wish it'd give you a turtorial where you could practice because I hate getting slated by people online who know every trick and know when and how to use it.
I dont use it in manager mode either, purely because I seem to lose possession everytime and never get round the man I want to. the only trick that seems effective is hard to pull off because if you push the joystick too far itll do a different trick. It fankly annoys me. I hope they make it at least more user friendly to dribble
- 7:24pm EDT - September 26th, 2011
I haven't owned a FIFA game since 09, but I am considering this one. I am not a huge soccer fan but I do love playing it on the PS3... it is a lot more fun than most of the American sports, as a video game.
- 8:03am EDT - September 27th, 2011
How many times PSU? Its called FOOTBALL. Do you know why? thats right, because they user their FEET and not their hands, hence the name FOOTBALL, how you can get away with calling your so called sport football i dont know, you run around with it under one arm and then throw it to each other.
Only complaint I have had from some of my fellow FIFA fans is that in this iteration you have to use the circle button to tackle where as you used to just press and tackle with X, im getting used to it and i really like the dribbling as i find im leaving most opponents for dead down the wings with Theo Walcott, overall really like it and friday cant come soon enough.
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