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FIFA 12 review
Liam Edwards


Close to sports game perfection

The Beautiful Game (cntd)

EA announced the new impact engine and defensive system, back at E3. Many liked the new ideas, but nobody expected the dramatic changes these systems had on the gameplay- they're all for the better. The new impact engine created by EA in-house, allows for more realistic tackles and outcomes when players struggle for the ball, tugging at each other as they run. Each players’ body acts now with the realistic properties of our bodies, and players are injured real-time depending on how they land and how they are tackled. It also allows for more precise dribbling, as players aren’t shoved off the ball so easily by defenders and opposition players. Although as seen in a few youtube clips, the engine does have its problems, and can be manipulated when certain actions are completed, because of how sensitive the in-game players’ bodies are.

The new defensive system is one that has come under much criticism and much praise. In previous FIFA titles, you could hold down the normal tackle button while running and run into players to steal the ball. Although effective it wasn’t realistic, and was nothing like real defending. 12[ does away with this nonsense and asks players to think tactically about defending, by introducing the tackle button and jockeying system. Players now have to press a button to stick out a foot to snatch the ball off other players. This can be hard to get use to, with bad timing always giving away free-kicks, and can be generally frustrating when attempting to get the ball back. But this system is more like real football, and thinking about timing when playing is important. And pulling off a perfect tackle is highly satisfying. The new defensive system also discourages players from tackling, as it isn’t the only option available. The new jockeying system allows players to limit space and control areas of the pitch while holding down a button. When the button is held down the controlled player will automatically block and follow the opposition player with the ball, not allowing them space to shoot or pass. This forces players back and allows good FIFA 12 players to control the match, much like real football. Controlling space is important and limiting your opposition to shooting from 40 yards out the box because they can’t get close enough for a good chance is certainly helpful. This system is difficult to grasp at first, but once mastered is a feature you can’t live without, it allows for control and good players are rewarded for patience and skill.

Although the new system does make creating chances to attack limited and difficult, the whole match feels more like real football. And being able to shoot from 40 yards out with a chance to score also seems real, in previous titles any attempt to shoot from outside the box would result in a straight shot over the bar. But these are professional football players, and they can score spectacular goals. FIFA 12 allows you this power, and if you catch a keeper off-guard you can certainly blast one in the back of the net from a long way out. 12 encourages you to keep on your toes too and take your chances, if you do so, you will come out on top, just like all the top footballing teams.

You can’t top this

No game is perfect, but in the football and sports genre, FIFA 12 is almost close to perfection. It blows my mind to think that there will be a FIFA 13, because there is just no way EA can top this years’ edition. With fantastic online and offline modes and an engaging competitive online community, FIFA 12 is a sports title to be admired. Whether you like football or not, it is hard not to impressed by the attention to detail within each of the game modes. The game still has some glitches and can sometimes crash and be a bit slow, but nothing that breaks your immersion. The graphics are much the same as last years, with some updated textures, and the larger teams having some impressive replica player models.

As hard as it is to give praise to such a company as EA, they have out done themselves with this year's edition, and they will be hard-pressed to ever, create a better sports title in the future. If you like football, or sports games, you will love FIFA 12. If you like competitive online games, you will love FIFA 12. It re-creates the passion of the “beautiful” game on your console seamlessly and is a package so full of content it gives back for every penny you spent on it.


fun score


Revamped gameplay, full of content, brilliant online modes, almost sports game perfection.


Some problems with the impact engine, small glitches, same graphics.