FIFA 12 (Xbox 360)

By Wayne Webb

Every year that time rolls around where I see the annual update to the premium soccer title, FIFA, from Electronic Arts. Every year I look at it and wonder what am I going to write this year that’s different from last year. Being honest if you’re a fan of the series all you want to know is have they made any mistakes, is it any worse than before?

The answer this year surprised me, as there is a serious good update to be found FIFA 12. Football is still football and the game itself has not changed, but this version has evolved considerably from last year. The new graphics and physics engines deliver a crisp and undeniably better experience visually. Not that there was anything wrong with FIFA 11 – but you don’t know how much it has improved until you see the new version.

Players on field move more fluidly, the interactions, tackles and dribbles don’t look as pre-programmed as they used to. Collisions, shooting and even just running around have all improved. There are some instant adjustments to be made if you are an experienced player, as the defensive moves are much more advanced efforts and take some getting used to.

More options and more realistic moves to learn meant that I was initially losing by a large margin on single player, but that always evens out when you play against your mates. And again this is where I always find all the FIFA titles are best experienced, played on the couches with eager participants and onlookers; it is a game that plays well in groups.

For those soloists though there are plenty of options. There are single player-based careers, online matches, and career managers for the actuarially minded players with trading cards statistics and strategies embedded in their consciousness. FIFA 12 delivers all the extras of previous outings and some tweaks and changes for the new package. You’d have to be a fan to seek them all out and take advantage of all of them, but that’s the appeal of the package. It has something for everyone and is wrapped up in the best graphical presentation yet.

It was also worth noting that players that just made the transfer deadline in the real world, are represented in the teams that they transferred to at that time. In other words, it is completely up to date.

Pros: Loads of modes and extras, updated graphics and physics, more realistic and loads of fun to be had with mates.
Cons: There’s some adjustments to be learned in defense moves.

4.5 Shacks Out Of 5

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