FIFA 11 is beyond any reasonable doubt, the undisputed king of virtual football. With FIFA 10 finally snatching the title from the now faltering PES, which had dominated the football simulator for the majority of the past decade, and FIFA 11 has been flexing its proverbial muscles this season, to keep PES in its place. So with the groundwork having already been laid with the previous two incarnations, you would expect EA to be making the bare minimum of changes to FIFA 12, not so it would appear.
One of the biggest developments for this years installment is improved dribbling. Dribbling in FIFA has always been rather frustrating, especially when leading an attack on the opposition’s goal, only for you to lose the ball in the opponents box, in FIFA 12 however, this will be rectified. Dribbling will be more fluid and will grant you with far more control over the ball, so sidestepping past the last defender will now be a viable option. The way your defence reacts and plays is also being modified. Defences will feel much more realistic, whereas in FIFA 11 you could consistently hold the X button to attempt to regain control of the ball, now though, defences will coerce and contain the attacking player, before pressing another button to make that goal thwarting tackle, or foul if missed timed.
Going up for headers and jostling players will look and feel much more realistic, thanks to the innovations being implemented into FIFA 12. Now when a competitor is tackled, the individual’s reaction to a particular challenge, will simulate the genuine reactions of a player, so if you’re rocketing towards your opponent’s goal and are clipped by a wayward tackle, the player may stumble but stay on his feet, or jump a challenge altogether. If EA can add other minor improvements to every aspect of FIFA, then it’s almost certain that FIFA could reign supreme again, over to you PES.
Can FIFA 12 live up to expectations set by FIFA 11?