A major event such as the Euro 2012 couldn’t go unnoticed at EA Sports so the latest addition to the famous franchise is of course dedicated to the most expected competition this year. Sure enough, soccer didn’t change too much since 2011 so nobody can argue that the latest title is not a breakthrough in the genre industry, but does it has enough new features to endure the test of time?
Some people insist that realism is the cornerstone of any successful sports simulator, while others claim that it is paramount to make the computer game a bit faster than the real thing to insure the adrenaline rush. While it is virtually impossible to please both types, [easyazon-link asin=”B004Z4ZJZS”]FIFA Soccer 12[/easyazon-link] presents slight improvements in both areas, as this game is a bit faster while the background and animations are more realistic than before.
Deeper and more engaging
The game itself runs smoothly and there are plenty of options to choose from each game to make those minutes spent trying to outmaneuver the opponent, quite entertaining. Of course, there are some awkward situations when players are always facing the ball, like they wait for the decisive pass and run the entire pitch sideways but somehow manage to advance at the same speed. Sometimes one player will find it easy to cruise to the opponent’s goal without losing possession of the ball despite sprinting before players with defensive attributes.
The animation of the public cheering after a goal though is considerably better than in the previous versions, but there are still many improvements to be done. Spectators look very much alike and EA needs to invest more time and energy in this area to achieve the same result on and off the pitch. Much to their merit, players are resembling their real life counterparts and the likeness is uncanny most of the times. In the previous titles most players were poorly designed, and though it looked like it was physically impossible, because they consistently set the bar so high, those guys got exponentially creepier each time.
The commentary is indeed very good and even if you’ll only hear the names of a few players, each game it is well coordinated and creates an appropriate atmosphere, especially when you are in the position to score. Furthermore the crowd is constantly chanting and supporting the hosts, while their attitude is quite hostile towards the visitors, which is in the benefit of the game as it accurately recreates the atmosphere present on major European arenas.
Reinventing the wheel
Soccer has remained virtually unchanged since it was born, more than a century ago so those who expect dramatic changes in the gameplay shouldn’t hold their breath as this is not going to happen very soon. On the other hand except for the slight improvement in terms of speed FIFA12 is so similar to the precedent title that it hardly makes any difference, while the price is as high as before despite buying a replica.
FIFA12 is by no means a bad game, but it doesn’t bring up enough new features to help it endure and it will most likely become obsolete shortly after the European championship will conclude. Overall this game’s “life expectancy” is around 6-7 months at best and it has minimal chances to outlast the summer, so its success will be ultimately measured by the impact it produces until July.
[xrr rating=”4/5″ label=”FIFA Soccer 12 is rated”]
See it for yourself in the official trailer:
[youtube width=”550″ height=”339″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IS8XR1b8IlE&feature=related[/youtube]
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I am an avid gamer and a passionate reviewer, with three years of experience in this line of work. I’ve worked for Games32 and during those three years, I’ve written hundreds of previews and reviews for both PC and console games. The website was unfortunately revamped and now offers casual games, but some of my articles still exist on the developers’ websites.
Before working as a game reviewer, I’ve played competitive Starcraft. I won the Romanian Championship 4 times in 8 editions and I won the Balkanic Cup with the national team. I know what gaming is and I can relate to both rookies and pros.