As a way to combat those FIFA players
that play the game like relentless, goal scoring terminators, FIFA 12’s
online helpings require you to use this new defending gubbins. And do
you know what? It makes the online experience far more enjoyable.
I’ve spent most of this review complaining about FIFA 12 but online is
where it really hits its stride. The changes feel organic here and it
creates a level playing field for the time being, well before folk find
Best of the new features is the head-to-head league
system. You start in the bottom division and have ten games to play
against opponents of a similar ability/star rating (you start with a
half star rating). Win enough points and you’ll be promoted to the
league above, but fail to do so the following season and you could be
relegated. It gives your online play more purpose and taps into that
deep-seated competitive streak that will see you plugging away for weeks
in a quest to reach the top.
Above: Crosses into the box are even deadlier than last year
Another much needed tweak in FIFA
12 is the ability to change formation, tactics and players of your
chosen team before you even connect to your opponent. This sees an end
to the 35 second panics and inevitably leaving your best player on the
bench by accident.
Offline multiplayer is still the business, and
reigns supreme at lunchtimes here at GR Towers. It’s all about that
human factor and the mistakes people can make that creates such a
perfect multiplayer experience and more importantly translates superbly
from what you’d see in the Premier League each week.
range pile drivers from the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo that bring you
out of your seat to last ditch murder tackles that are an insta-red but
maybe preserve your fragile 1-0 lead because your opposition can’t take
free-kicks properly, it’s all here. And with the precision dribbling
coming into play, you can now have some real fun jinking past your
players with the likes of Messi and Nani. If I were rating it solely on
multiplayer it would be a 10, no doubts. But I’m not, and unfortunately there
are still faults hungover from past FIFAs.
Back to the solo play,
and the career mode has had a cosmetic overhaul. You now have news
stories about transfers and injuries that pop up in the main career hub.
Players will now come to you with problems like not getting enough game
time or that they’re thinking of retiring (*Sniff* goodbye, Giggsy) and
there’s a greater emphasis on rotating your squad due to multiple
injuries, including off the ball sprains, so it feels a bit more like
being a manager. There’s even a Transfer Deadline Day bit where a
running total is present on screen of how much has been spent in panic
buys. Sadly, it’s lacking depth.
Above: Oddly enough, David Silva, arguably City's best player, always ends up leaving
The news stories quickly become
repetitive and the infamous Inbox of dull e-mails still exists to let
you know about such things as fixture changes and injuries. The hub is
less than inspiring and lacks the excitement of say Madden, NHL or even
NBA 2K. It’s just a series of menus to flick through and although the
loading times have been taken down a jot, simulating the days to the
next match is still lumbering. I found myself checking real-life e-mails and
playing iPhone games in-between these bits.
Pro tip: You can only enter negotiations with a potential signing a few times each transfer window. This little 'gem' only came to light after I tried to sign Sneijder for United for slightly less than the asking fee only to be told by the game that I couldn't try for him again yet. He signed for Man City two minutes later.
surprised by the lack of fan service in the career mode from FIFA. I
know I’ve been spoilt by Football Manager’s unparalleled depths, but if
Sports Interactive can make spreadsheets seem fun then surely EA can.
Surely, it must be priority #1 for FIFA 13.