by Liam Edwards
reviewed on X360
Small changes, make a big difference
Whether it be, the revamped online, dual-audio commentary, ultimate team, head-to-head seasons and the fantastic EA Sports Football club, as well as the newly changed defensive system, FIFA 12 is the best football game ever created. It proves that even yearly editions can have drastic changes within 12 months. The small additions, and changes to little niggles from previous FIFA titles are what make all the difference to a title so full of content and realism. This year’s FIFA 12 doesn’t just compete with its well-known arch-rival Pro Evolution Soccer, it competes with every sports title available, and is a candidate for the most in-depth and realistic sports title of all time.
The annual paradox
FIFA is the national governing body for most of the world’s footballing leagues and associations. EA has been tasked with every year creating a title that embodies world football and the realism and passion of the “beautiful” game, using the governing body’s name. A heavy task originally, but with such a massive fan following, and yearly editions that always reach high scores, EA have been laughing their way to the bank on a yearly basis. Like many other companies in the past, this can be cause for concern, with developer effort lacking and taking it easy with future titles because of the almost guaranteed sales. But this year, EA have done away with predictions of another exact clone of the year before. .The series’ complete overhaul for FIFA 12 will come as a huge surprise to both fans and the critics of the series. The amount of effort and attention to detail that EA have proven they can provide shows the care and value they have placed in the series, and it distinctly shows their determination to create the ultimate footballing title.
With all the doubts casted above EA’s actions and decisions that negatively affect the video-game industry, it is hard to accept liking titles that they create. It is easy to pass off FIFA 12 as just another main stream EA sports title, that will hit the casual gamers’ wallet and not necessarily offer anything to the “hardcore” gamer. Whether EA purposely thought about this problem or not is undetermined, but with FIFA 12, they have created a title that can be played by anyone. The tactical defending, timing and strategies are all needed to be successful, and they require you to think not so much as play casually. The attention to detail in player statistics, stadiums, kits, and perfectly crafted gameplay shows as much love to the casual gamer as it does a die-hard football fan. It’s a balance that works, without stressing one area too much. FIFA 12 is a combination of a passion for a game loved by millions, and a game that can perfectly reconstruct how the game is played.
We love you football we do, oh we love you football we do
One of the main attractions of this years’ edition is the general overwhelming amount of content and new additions to a series that already offered hours of play time anyway. One of the most exciting additions to this year's title is the EA Sports Football Club. The club is a new mode that allows players to gain XP through playing matches online, offline or completing challenges. Your points then help raise the average XP amount of the team you support. The average points for each team, acts as their score and the higher the average, the higher the team will feature in the league. Each online season in the club lasts for 7 days, with the team with the highest average out of all its fans being the champions and the bottom 3 being relegated into the league below. Each league is based on the real world football leagues of the Premiership, Championship, Spanish Premier and nearly all of the leagues associated with FIFA. But, to keep it balanced, players can only earn up to a certain amount of XP in a day, with you hitting your limited amount of XP at about 2000, but there can be ways of extending it depending on what challenges you complete.
There is a slight unbalance with this system of average, and teams with a large amount of fans such as Manchester United (111,000), struggle to keep up a high average because of the large amount of players whilst teams with smaller fan bases ,such as Norwich (2,000) or West Brom (6,000), are always up to compete for the top spot. The club is addictive and you will be consistently checking back and forth on your favourite team and seeing how much you need to get to help push them up the league. The club also features many social elements that is new to video-games, with you being able to keep track of what other friends are doing, by checking the social stream. FIFA 12 also updates you, real-time, with what your friends are doing, and it displays the outcomes of their most recent matches and achievements they have completed. The club also has a leader board of you and your friends, and features scores on who has the most amount of XP and a book of records, which features records such as, the fastest goal and longest goal.
Revamped gameplay, full of content, brilliant online modes, almost sports game perfection.
Some problems with the impact engine, small glitches, same graphics.