To create your free account, please enter your email address and password below. Please ensure your email is correct as you will recieve a validation email before you can login.

Email:
Nickname:
Password:
Confirm Password:
Weekly newsletter:
Daily newsletter:

To log in to your account, please enter your email address and password below:

Email:
Password:
Forgot your password?

To reset your password, please enter your email address below and we will send you a link to reset it.

Email:
Submitted by Gwynne Dixon on September 28 2011 - 18:30

This year's FIFA dishes out a defensive masterclass that Alan Hansen would be proud of...

Playing football video games has always been a bit like having a conversation: it's just much more fun to talk than listen to somebody else natter on – half of the time you have to feign interest in what the other person is saying and wait politely for your turn to speak. Similarly, attacking is where most of the enjoyment of a football game comes from – the other half of the time you're using a limited range of defensive controls to laboriously chase down your opponent and win back possession. But EA Canada has set out to change all of this in FIFA 12, no longer marginalising defensive play to the 'auto-pressure' commands and slide or standing tackles synonymous with footie games over the last decade. The developer has set upon itself to add more variation, nuance, and tactical depth to the defensive control suite of its latest FIFA and all credit to it for doing so.

All credit because it's a bold step for a series that has been criticised by some of its fan-base for introducing features that are deemed a bit too realistic. Last year's introduction of Pro Passing, for example, prompted some members of the community to lament the ping-pong passing of years past – apparently Pro Passing messed with their tactics of spamming the pass button to pull off strings of one-touch passes that would be near-impossible for any actual football player to do in reality. Likewise, those gamers who usually defend by using one of their CPU team-mates to automatically pressure the attacker while they block off passing lanes with a user-controlled player may well struggle with FIFA 12's changes. And, consequently, these gamers might decide to vent their anger at not being able to beat everyone online anymore by sulking on various forums across the net.

You'll find none of that here on TVG though – we love added realism and depth, and we're totally enamoured by this year's new Tactical Defending system. Simply explained, the system takes a massive chunk out of your ability to 'auto-pressure' opponents. There are still controls to initiate an 'auto-press' of sorts, but it's nowhere near as effective and can't be solely relied upon to break-down opponents. Now, new control options such as 'Jockeying' have to be taken advantage of if you're to have any hope of containing the other team. It's much more about standing off the attacking player, keeping your back to goal in a good position to make sure the attacker can't turn you, and ushering them away from potentially dangerous areas. The standing tackle has been tweaked with less manoeuvrability so that you're penalised more for missing with it – running straight at a player and sticking your foot in will now leave gaping holes for the other team to exploit if you don't get your timing right. Consequently, new controls have been added that allow you to tug on an opponent's shirt and subtly impede them if they do manage to get by your defender (although using them too excessively will result in cheap free-kicks and penalties).

The upshot of all this is that defending is much harder; it requires a much higher level of concentration and tactical thinking. This reviewer could happily take on all comers at the 'World Class' difficulty setting last year but now struggles with the 'Professional' setting that's one rung lower. While we understand that this might be frustrating for some at first, the long-term rewards are well worth your persistence. There's a greater focus on possession play and, when counter-attacks do happen, they're harder to defend against – the attacking AI feels much sharper and we have a sneaking suspicion that this is more a result of what EA Canada has taken away with Tactical Defending than what it's added elsewhere. It's genuinely a new way to play football games which invigorates an area that's been stagnant for far too long. In fact, repetitive defensive controls had become so engrained that criticising them no longer occurred to us – as with fast food clerks, we'd just assumed that their continued listlessness was inevitable.

Moving onto FIFA's flagship modes, it's more good news for this year's iteration. The Career mode has come forward in leaps and bounds, making good on EA's claims of a deeper managerial experience over last year's lacklustre offering. You'll find a much more believable transfer market now, marking an end to the ludicrous loan deals and by-the-numbers transfers of FIFA 12. Other teams will perceptibly attempt to 'high- or low-ball' you with offers, which means you can often get a high price for your players if you hold-out in the negotiations. In fact, everywhere you look there are improvements: European tournaments have been added, as have a wider range of player statistics and youth teams with a dedicated scouting system; form and morale indicators are in there too, resulting in disgruntled players when they don't get the playing time they think they deserve. Certain players appear more prone to low morale as well – for example, Craig Bellamy's morale remained ambivalent regardless of the amount he played or periods of good form he enjoyed. Whether or not the system gets realistic enough to have Carlos Tevez refusing to play from the subs bench is another question altogether, but FIFA 12 is unquestionably peerless outside of a Football Manager game in this regard.

It's the subtlest of touches that make the Career mode so impressive this year though. Deeper interaction with the press allows you to praise team members or criticise other managers and players, which is a decent enough addition. What we really weren't expecting, though, was for EA to have added lines to the in-game commentary that note these press interactions and prompt open discussion of the issues between Martin Tyler and Alan Smith. Having a tailor-made hub for transfer deadline day is a good addition too, with by-the-hour increments for you to get last gasp signings made and Sky Sports-style updates on spending throughout the league in each transfer window.

It's this kind of polish that brings out the shiniest of Career modes for this year's FIFA, although we've got to say that while the managerial elements are top-notch now, the player and player manager options still feel shallow and tacked-on. There's none of the appeal that once featured in EA's previous Be-A-Pro Season mode (which was folded into the Career last year); no fighting through the reserve team or playing for a place on your national squad, and no objectives for each game or season. The hollow shell that remains just feels like a way in which EA integrates your all important 'Virtual Pro' into the Career just to make the feature persistent throughout all of FIFA's modes. It's now all about levelling-up your Virtual Pro for competition in the online Pro Clubs mode, which is probably appealing enough for some players but it leaves us confused by the lack of continuity. Quite why, as a player manager, you'd decide to put yourself in Barcelona's first team when you've got the ability of a Macclesfield Town player is anyone's guess.

Apart from this though, we're struggling to find any other significant criticisms of this year's instalment. You could argue that the new Player Impact Engine is a bit clumsy at times, but it adds a lot more to the game than it detracts and will now be well positioned for refinement in the coming years. To split another hair, the game's player rating system remains a touch clinical and overly harsh, which often affects player form and morale adversely – last year's Be-A-Goalkeeper mode remains largely unchanged too and is crying out for a few more ideas. Nonetheless, the many positives far outweigh these minor negatives and there are a load of other new features that we haven't even had the space to go into here but are all good news: an improved Creation Centre, the quite brilliant Ultimate Team mode which ships with the game for the first time, and a new Precision Dribbling feature to name but a few. Following last year's slight blip, FIFA is back at the top of the league again.

If you wish to link to this article, here's a permalink to this page:

  • Graphics: 94%
     
  • Sound: 93%
     
  • Gameplay: 95%
     
  • Originality: 88%
     
  • Longevity: 90%
     
Overall Score: 9/10
It's another vintage year for EA's FIFA series. Last year's foibles have been successfully plastered over with a quite brilliant Career mode and improvements on the defensive side of the ball are nothing short of revolutionary.

TVG Store - Finding you the cheapest price for:

FIFA 12

Comment

Sign Up and Post with a Profile

Join TVG for a free account, or sign in if you are already a member. You can still post anonymously.

Log in using Facebook

Respect Other Members

Please respect other users, post wisely and avoid flaming... Terms & Conditions

 

Pages:
  • 1
  • 2
  • Next
User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Sun 02nd Sep 2012 18:44, Post No: 19

fifa is the best game


User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Sat 27th Aug 2011 02:56, Post No: 18

bring back player form and increased player growth. Not as radical as fifa 10 but not as skimpy as fifa 11. somewhere in between.


User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Sat 27th Aug 2011 02:55, Post No: 17

bring back player form

 

 

 

 

 

 


User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Wed 24th Aug 2011 21:58, Post No: 16

Gutted that the USA are getting this game 3 days before the people who actually want it and will understand it...

In saying that, I still can't wait for it!


User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Sat 30th Jul 2011 01:48, Post No: 15

I haven't tried FIFA11 yet, and happy I hadn't bought it if this info is true,

After reading this I'm glad to stay with FIFA10

if they don't have ebough time, why it has to be an annual event??, just to have DISSAPOINTED USERS,

 

anyone have a bug like mine? if you get draw on FA cup then you're already out of competition even before the second game even played


User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Thu 21st Jul 2011 14:59, Post No: 14

yeant


User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Thu 21st Jul 2011 14:42, Post No: 13

All that fifa 12 needs is to look at what people liked in fifa 10 and fifa 11 and make sure they are in fifa 12. Also it is so easy and useful to survey people now and would benefit the game so much. I have searched for fifa 12 sergestion websites by fifa and i cant find one that they listen to. they could see what the majority of gamers wanted in the new fifa 12 and simply do it! Here are some of the thing me and my friends think should be in fifa 12...

1) swap deals, 2) managing international teams, 3) better youth squads (so for example evertons 25 man team and countless youth players), 4) more realistic game play, 5) numerous amazing boots, 6) all teams have a 3rd kit, 7) being able to see real managers on the oppositions touch line (MOYES, FERGUSON AND DALGLISH, ETC...) and 8) create a manager (create yourself as a manager e.g, face, clothes and detailed information).


User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Wed 20th Jul 2011 19:19, Post No: 12

I found that FIFA 11 wasnt as good as FIFA 10 and there are a few simple changes that could have made the game much better.

1) Swap Deals

2) More player interactivety

3) None of that stupid leg through a player stuff (when a player on the opposite team gets the ball off of your player by puting his leg through your player)

4) A better passing system

5) More realistic game-play (like Drogba not being pushed off the ball by a player who is 4ft / Torres winning a header against Vidic / Walcott getting out-paced by Terry etc)


User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Mon 18th Jul 2011 00:20, Post No: 11

make the be a pro accomplishments easier to get all of them. like for 5 star weak foot why not just have it as "score 100 goals with weak foot".

i play on professional and cant get the accomplishments for world class. its pointless, have you thought about people who are beginners and play on amateur... their virtual pro will be at like 70 at max. another thing, my player/manager retired at like 23... i mean come on, 23? why only 15 seasons... why no option to retire when you want.

it isnt fair. please just consider my idea. improve virtual pro.


User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Thu 14th Jul 2011 13:57, Post No: 10

I hope the 'improvement' on the transfer system includes SWAP DEALS ie Imbrahimovic for Eto'o,,, and maybe more offers for players not on the transfer lists because this is what happens in real life,,, ie adam for Liverpool and Milner to Mancity (Villa and Blackpool didnt want to sell their players. So, add transfer requests maybe?


Pages:
  • 1
  • 2
  • Next