FIFA 12 sports several new features and improvements over its predecessors. For the first time in several years, the game’s presentation and front end has been radically redesigned. The familiar vertical menus have been replaced by a side-scrolling menu bar system.
A trinity of major gameplay changes have been implemented in FIFA 12; these are the Impact Engine, Tactical Defending, and Precision Dribbling. A new EA Sports Football Club makes it debut that features a robust levelling system, keeping track of your own personal progress and that of your favourite team as well. Let’s take a look at these exciting new features in greater detail.
- The Impact Engine: In development for several years, the Impact Engine improves collision variety, accuracy, and momentum preservation. A new advanced procedural animation system is used along with collision physics to produce different results depending on the players and physical forces involved. This affects all players, so even those off the ball may have collisions. The Impact Engine has been cited as a game changer, making FIFA 12 less structured and synthetic than its predecessors,and has been described by producer David Rutter as the biggest technological change to the series since the transition to the current generation of consoles. The Impact Engine also directly affects injuries sustained by players during a match.
- Tactical Defending: The new Tactical Defending system aims to change the approach to defending by placing equal importance on positioning, intercepting passes and tackling. When defending there will be more of an emphasis on slowing attackers down and containing them, and pressuring them into making mistakes. This is intended to be a more manual form of defending, requiring greater timing and precision when compared to the defensive press system used in previous FIFA games. The old system, now dubbed legacy defending, where a button press causes an AI player to hone in on the player in possession of the ball, can still be used offline,and in online friendlies and custom unranked matches.
- Precision Dribbling: This feature allows players to dribble whilst shielding, meaning you can still move around the pitch whilst holding players off, rather than being rooted to the spot. Close control has been added below jogging as a way of allowing players to take smaller, more frequent touches, keeping the ball closer and keeping tighter control. Players will now be much more aware of their surroundings. As an example, players in possession near the touchline will understand their position, and keep tighter control of the ball to stop it running out of play.
An improved artificial intelligence system named Pro Player Intelligence aims to make AI-controlled players react to the skills and capabilities of other players with appropriate actions. For example, a winger will be more likely to cross the ball into the box when he has a waiting team-mate with aerial ability, whereas he might look for support and play the ball along the ground if that team-mate is less of an aerial threat. Players will also make better use of their own strengths, so for example a creative player might look for less obvious opportunities such as playing long accurate passes, where another player in his situation would be more likely to play it safe with a short pass.
Match presentation has also been overhauled with a new default camera angle and improvements to the broadcast-style match build-up. Some in-game cutscenes have been removed, such as those before throw-ins and corner kicks. Instead, a player will simply run to perform the task in question with no interruption.
FIFA 12 has a fantastic career mode. The manager’s relationship with players and the media will play a larger role, with team selection, success, and salaries all affecting individual players’ attitudes and morale, and the press picking up on injuries and unrest, all of which can impact performance on the pitch. Unhappy players can talk to the press and stir up interest from other clubs, with transfer AI also having been improved upon. Transfer targets will sometimes demand excessive wages if they think they can get away with it, and rival clubs will chance tempting your star players away for a bargain price. Each club will be assigned a particular transfer mentality, where the richest clubs will tend to concentrate on acquiring the very best players available, whereas smaller clubs may look more for youngsters, older players, and loans.The AI will fine-tune this element to prevent it becoming too predictable. The transfer window has been overhauled, with the last day being slowed down to progress on hours rather than days and featuring a ticking countdown clock as clubs hurry to complete last-minute deals. It will be possible to delay transfers until right up to the deadline in order to see how others pan out, and the club’s Chief Executive will help with pointing out potential late signings. Other improvements to Career Mode include the calendar, news story displays and news feeds, which aim to make information such as upcoming events, transfers, and rumours more accessible.
FIFA 12 features smooth realistic animations, crisp graphics,finely tuned controls and delivers an overall impressive presentation. This in combination with the new and returning online modes make it the most feature-packed football game of this generation. Get ready to hear the crowd roar as you kick your way to football stardom.
Review Rating: 9/10