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The pre-alpha code for FIFA 12 bugged out a little during the physical side of things on the pitch but for the most part you could see and feel the welcome changes that come with the Physical Impact Engine (mmmmmmm, P.I.E). In fact, all the changes that I'm listing here line-up so well that their isn't a jarring need to retrain your current FIFA skills - they simply help to achieve the things that you tried to pull off in the previous games, only better.
Thread a through ball to Didier Drogba and instead of smashing into the slight frame of Gael Clichy like he's just hit a truck head on, he'll shrug him off or even power right over him. The same can be said about tough defenders too, plough into Arshavin with John Terry (not like that) and he'll be tossed into the air like a tiny Russian pancake. While I'm on the subject, I may as well divulge another big change, the defending.
So many of the changes in FIFA 12 are blink-and-you'll-miss-'em that unless you're a mega-fan of the series or have unforgiving eyes like GR UK's Justin, that you'll barely notice them but they all add to create a thrilling game of football. Take the intuitive way that players now strike a moving ball. Instead of waiting for the ball to drop to boot level when wellying a clearance upfield, players will now head the ball out to stop an on-rushing defender getting in a block. Seems basic when you think about it, but give it a try on FIFA 11 and watch that hoof build up as the ball comes down from the clouds.
The same can be seen while shooting too. I managed some absolute piledrivers with Frank Lampard as he ran onto a loose ball, including an absolute barn-burner that was struck from 30 yards and rattled the bar as it went in. It was enough to get me out of my seat and do a little jig much to the annoyance of my opponent.