The Line Producer for FIFA 12, David Rutter, may be promising a ‘revolutionary year for FIFA’, but what does that actually mean? Will FIFA 12 offer much more to fans that already own its predecessor, FIFA 11? EA’s football franchise undoubtedly offers one of the best sporting game experiences around today, and with an estimated 42 million fans it isn’t really surprising that much time and energy has been invested into making this newest game in the series the best yet.
Although changes have been made across the board in FIFA 12, it is in the career mode where the most obvious differences will be noticed and appreciated by fans of the series, or complete newcomers. Essentially many of the improvements are designed to add additional depth to the gameplay, particularly in the role of a manager. Although detailed storylines within emerging games haven’t been included, there is much more realistic squad management. For example, your players won’t be best pleased should their salaries not be high enough and this could actually result in them playing worse, and youth scouting can now be conducted across the globe. Performance of your players will steadily degenerate as they get older, so keeping an eye on younger talent that you can improve as the season’s progress is a good strategy. Even the transfer window has been improved, now including media activity so you can keep an eye on the newspaper clippings regarding your performance in managing your team.
To compliment the career mode of FIFA 12 is an all new online social feature entitled the EA Sports Football Club. As yet details of what will be included within this service are scarce, but EA has hinted at all new challenges and potential plotlines that could be incorporated into your experience with the game. A virtual league table will keep you on your toes, and with many achievements to unlock and access to the Football Club via console, mobile, Facebook and more, you may find yourself taking FIFA with you wherever you go.
The career mode isn’t the only part of FIFA that’s seen any improvements; gameplay itself has been overhauled to provide a more realistic and immersive environment. A new tactical defence system will have you planning where your players should be when, rather than hoping for luck in being in the right place at the right time. There are improvements to dribbling allowing for ball shielding from opponents, there are new realistic defensive moves instead of simply homing in and tackling, such as tugging on an opponent’s shirt.
Perhaps the largest update to the gameplay though, is the inclusion of an all new player impact engine. Where there used to be no real consequences for playing football in a dangerous way, now you may find your players injured, and the inclusion of momentum allows for the ability to leap over a fallen player as you continue your forward run. Even weight will play a part, with heavier footballers more able to knock lighter opponents out of the way.
There is much information that hasn’t yet been released about FIFA 12, with many other improvements rumoured for its upcoming release. Even with what we do know though, this new game promises to continue FIFA’s success, appealing to its incredibly large fan base with plenty of new career and gameplay elements.