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FIFA 11 review

Championship material and make no mistake


  • Plays as close to the real thing as you can expect
  • Dribbling without skills is far more effective
  • Online modes are plentiful


  • New passing system is temperamental
  • It's waaaaaay too easy to score with headers
  • 40 seconds isn't enough time to personalise a team online

Career we go

It goes without saying that FIFA 11 is packed to thebrim with modes to keep you happy. Amongst the vast array of things you can compete in arethe English FA Cup, the French leagues oryour own custom tournaments. Then there's the manager mode. A much maligned feature from FIFA 10 (check out the astonishinglist of bugs on thisforum thread) is rightly fixed in FIFA 11, but even now it's still not perfect.

The board of your chosen club can be notoriously harsh and sack you with little warning.I was playing as Manchester United and after eleven games we were in the Big Four and following a thrashing of Chelsea at Stamford Bridge I received a mail saying my job was under review.A nil-nildraw in the next game to Bolton and I'm given my marching orders. Ouch.

Above:Team newsis presented in an e-mail style to create the illusion of being the manager. Sort of works

Unfortunately, FIFA 11 is marred by the cripplingly long load times betweenmenus. And waiting for the calendar to update in Manager Mode is enough time to stick the kettle on and maybe load up the washing machine.We're still slightly dubious about the transfer system throwing up unusual transfers (Ryan Giggs to Liverpool, anyone?) but on a whole being able to play as asingle player on the pitch, themanager orplayer/manager is a nice touch to add more variety to proceedings.

Touch of personality

On the pitch, there isn't a huge standout tweak in FIFA 11's football than the previous year. However, there are loads of little nuances that manage to improve on FIFA 10 and then some. Personality+TMmeans that technically gifted players such asMan United's ginger prince,Paul Scholes,might not be as quick as others but his range of passing means that you can realistically dissectan opponent with his accurate ball-play. It also affectsplayers likeBarcelona's Andres Iniesta who's not thetallest ofmen but with the ball sticking to him like glue, he won't just get bullied off the ball by the bigger boys.

Above: Defensive characteristics includesliding inexpertly and toe-poking the ball away

Considering that most footie gamesusually highlight top players by simply making them faster than the rest, EA's Personality+strikesa landmark forthe genre, heck, most sports games by creating such individuality. Itreally does add up to make FIFA 11one hell of a realistic affair. And for the most part(pan-hands still flail about here)even the keepers have been improved so they can now make stunning double saves to keep your team in it.

On the downside, the new passing system that's been implemented is a curious beast. At times you can be pinging the ballaround like a professional and the next all yourpasses are flying in a direction you swear you never even pushed the stick in.You can switch the auto-assists on full if you really want to hit the ball to feet 99% of the time but then itdetracts from the simulation slightly.

See the next page for creation tools, online play and MP3 chants

More info

DescriptionFIFA 11 is a fantastic package of football for novices and the hardcore footie zealots. The gameplay tweaks have created a sports game where you'll never play the same match twice thanks to the unpredictability of proceedings.
Franchise nameFIFA
UK franchise nameFIFA
Platform"Xbox 360","PS3","Wii","PC"
US censor rating"Everyone","Everyone","Everyone","Everyone"
UK censor rating"3+","3+","3+","3+"
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)
Hi, I’m Nathan. You may remember me from such websites as, erm, this one circa 2011. Been hustling in games for over a decade and write for Official PlayStation, Official Xbox, Gamesmaster and more.