FIFA 12 first impressions and hands on preview

By Posted 11 Jul 2011, 12:33

Every year we get certain game franchises bringing out a new and sometimes improved version of a title. One of these is the FIFA football simulation from EA Sports that has been going since the days of the PSOne. Today we have an article looking at FIFA 12 first impressions and preview of the upcoming game.

What’s been seen of the game so far looks very good, and Keith Stuart of guardian.co.uk has given his opinion of the game after spending a day playing it. One thing that was quickly noted is this is a totally different game to FIFA 11. A major new feature is the player impact engine which proved to be highly entertaining.

There is an advanced procedural animation system which combined with accurate collision physics, results in every collision between players is calculated in real-time. They also have different outcomes depending on the players involved. Large strikers such as Manchester City’s Balotelli can barge past defenders with bodies clattering and shirts tugged during the tussle.

When a player tackles he may take the opposing player down, or come out worse himself. There are great goalmouth scrambles as players pile in with the ball careering between various limbs. You also get players coming together off the ball just like in the real game, with the pitch packed with action.

The new impact engine could be a game changer, and now sliding tackles can result in the ball going against the oncoming attacker, and then falling nicely into his path. Through balls can come off the ankles of stranded defenders and knock the pass off course.

FIFA 12 has some new controls to improve your skill, with a much more varied flow to the game. Precision dribbling has been reworked and has a pace control option on the left trigger. This will slow your player down to a controlled jog. With this you can pass the ball in one direction while your player speeds off in the other.

Manual dribbling allows the player to circle the ball and protect it to hold up play, which Producer David Rutter does say they were wondering whether to ditch that feature. He went on to say “But I suspect it won’t get cut because it’s too much fun.”

This now means playing the game you are not just sprinting everywhere, and when you approach a defender and not pressing any buttons, you are put into precision control automatically. This will allow players to play with more variety and skill.

Defending has a new control set-up which now allows for the jockeying of an opposing player, as well as a tactical button which has your defender holding position and guiding the attacker over to the side of the pitch. The Career mode which was added in the last installment has been given more depth, and the manger is now faced with genuine injuries.

You can now put a player who is not 100% fit into your starting 11, and as in real life is a big gamble which can backfire. Media intervention and player psychology are now a bigger part of the game, with newspapers reporting of any injuries or player unrest to get that exclusive story.

Rutter said they wanted to put the spotlight on the manager so “that if it can happen in the real world, it can happen in the game”. Players can now become unhappy if they feel they are not playing enough games or earning enough money. This will lead to a drop in form and may if you don’t deal with it they may go to the press.

The transfer system has been updated as well with transfer targets trying to see how much they can get out of you. Your club may receive really low offers for your star players, but there is a youth policy where you may find that next start player for virtually nothing. There is also a transfer deadline feature with all the last minute business going through.

Another new feature is the EA Sports Football club which is like a social networking feature. Anything you do in the game will get you XP which goes into online leader boards. You can even see what your friends are doing in the game, and put your achievements onto your Facebook account.

FIFA 12 looks to be a great leap forward from previous games, and should be a huge success when it launches later this year. Will you be getting FIFA 12?