Sean W. Gibson / Dec 5th, 2011 No Comments
The biggest sports franchise in the world is back for its latest iteration in FIFA 12 for PlayStation 3. This year there’s a whole new physics engine, updated online modes and much, much more. It all adds up to one of the most complete sports video games in history.
What’s New in FIFA 12
There’s a lot that’s new with this edition of FIFA 12. The biggest change comes with the Player Impact Engine, which is a new physics engine designed to be much more realistic with player movements and collisions. Part of this includes a new feature called “Precision Dribbling” which makes the possession of the ball and dribbling downfield a more realistic experience.
On top of this is an entirely new defensive A.I. for the CPU, which makes the game a lot more challenging, best experienced on the higher modes of difficulty. Officially called “Pro Player Intelligence” the players are now more self-aware and make better decisions in the game. There’s a lot more intercepted passes and plays between CPU players that make sense.
Other new features include “True Injuries” that makes the game monitor contact in real-time and analyzes the force of collisions while playing. There’s also a ton that has been added to the presentation layer, with much-improved camera angles, dramatically better lighting, and better presented crowds. There’s over 500 officially licensed clubs and over 1,500 players in the game, so chances are, you’ll be playing with your favorite team with all of your internationally recognized favorite players.
What’s Better in FIFA 12The really big feature that might be under-touted this season is all the things going on online. The new EA Sports Football Club is a huge deal, that has a leveling system that puts you in touch with players at your skill level playing ranked matches. It keeps track of your progress and is frankly one of the better online ranked systems we’ve seen with a sports franchise.
For those of you that play FIFA regularly, the new defensive A.I. coupled with the new defensive engine will be a huge new feature that you’ll enjoy. You’ll no longer want to just bull rush an opposing player to take the ball away, you’ll have to play it smart, use the right stance and time the challenge perfectly if you hope to take the ball away. Conversely, you can’t just hold the turbo button down and do a deke and get by a defender. You’ll need to intelligently set up a play, utilize triangle passing and then hope a through ball can connect. Otherwise, you’ll have to reset your play and try another means of breaking through the defense. You can jostle players if they try to get by but there’s a risk/reward system in place that might get you a yellow or red card. As a guy that played soccer through High School and into college, it feels a lot more like being back on the pitch than previous editions of the game.
There’s a lot to experience online with FIFA 12. This year there’s Head to Head Seasons as well as Online Friendlies. The H2HS is an online league that gets split into different divisions. If you play well you’ll be promoted to a higher division, otherwise you’ll stick it out with the noobs as you improve your play. Each division has a cup to win and tournaments for the division occur once every few weeks. The Online Friendlies are just unranked quick matches with results tracked for record keeping. In terms of offline modes you’re pretty much getting the same experience as FIFA 11, with Tournaments, Career Mode and the like. It’s all very robust and deep to experience, meaning whether you play FIFA 12 offline or online, you can find a game, tournament or league to play in.
Graphics and SoundThe graphics playing at 1080p on the PS3 are stunning and very simply put – the right way that FIFA 12 should be played – on a 55” HDTV of course. The players looks pretty accurate and the new physics engine looks very realistic. The stadiums are rendered really well and overall, the graphics of FIFA 12 look fantastic.
On the sound side, the soundtrack as always is top notch. The sound effects of the crowds are good and include some new stuff we enjoyed listening to in well rendered 5.1 Dolby surround sound. Of course, the multiple play-by-play announcing teams in various languages is nothing short of awesome and is the de facto standard in the entire gaming industry. When compared to the play-by-play in Madden it’s frankly light-years ahead of what other EA Sports franchises are doing.
FIFA 12 is a fantastic sports game and really takes a nice new direction for the franchise. The new defensive engine and A.I. make for a much more real experience when playing and will force you to adjust the way you play the game – in a good way. The improved presentation adds to the realism and the overall experience of the game is perhaps best out of all the EA Sports games. There’s not much to dislike about the game, although there could be an improvement in how the navigation works and making the offline game modes easier to access and understand. That being said, it’s a no brainer to pick up FIFA 12 due to the drastically improved physics and A.I., plus all the glam presentation layer improvements.
Fun Factor: 10/10
FIFA 12 Overall Score: 95%
tags: ea sports , fifa 12 , review