FIFA 12 Coverage HUB
PES has a decent level of support, and last year’s showing was actually pretty good, but for most football fans, hardcore or casual, there’s only one football series for them.
FIFA’s success is partly down to shallow reasons: it has a huge marketing budget, high production values, 500 plus officially licenced clubs and 15,000 plus players. But underneath the Wayne Rooney adverts and Sky Sports presentation lies great gameplay, gameplay that claws you back every time for one more match.
The team hasn’t made the mistakes that blighted FIFA last generation, when it seemed like the mantra was ‘just enough’, if that, for each new iteration. Every new FIFA this generation has instead seen a steady flow of improvements, new features and refinements – in other words, the FIFA machine keeps moving forward.
It would be easy for EA Sports to take it easy this year, do a little work on the online portion of the game, add a few gimmicks and try to fix some of the exploits. They could have done this for another year and left the big changes for next year. Instead they chose to kick-start a revolution.
In the gameplay department, FIFA 12 will introduce a new defensive system, the biggest changes to the defending in the series’ history; there’s a new physics engine, which will greatly increases the sense of physicality; and the AI has now been injected with much more intelligence and personality, making players behave much more like their real-life counterparts.
Away from the pitch there are a number of new services that promise to keep us engaged all year round, including EA Sports Football Club – which feeds you challenges fresh from the real world – and Support Your Club – which adds the XP you gain to the pot of your favourite club, influencing the team’s position in a virtual league table.
There is also a much more comprehensive career mode, building on the work EA Sports started with FIFA 11. There is greater focus on squad management, and the amount of information at your disposal is now considerably greater. Players will come to you with their grievances and the media will try to pry into your club and share your dirty laundry with the world.
As well as our comprehensive gameplay and career mode previews, we also have interviews with FIFA producer David Rutter, in which he discusses services and future business models, as well as his love for EA and its sharing culture. If all that isn’t enough, we also have the latest batch of screenshots for your viewing pleasure.
Follow the links as we dissect the revolution: