Summary: My first impression of FIFA 12 was not good. Players moved like they were covered in molasses, my passes were inaccurate and under-hit, and apoplectic flailing had seemingly replaced tackling in my center-backs’ collective skillset. I left my first several matches feeling frustrated, impotent, and powerless. So much for escapism.
Excerpt: Sony wasted no time bringing a third person shooter to PlayStation Vita, putting the system's analog sticks to good use with Unit 13 , a game from SOCOM creator Zipper Interactive. While revolutionary content is few and far between, this by the numbers frag fest offers players a great escape into the world of covert ops, where splattering high value targets' brains is the norm.
Pros: Six operatives to choose from, 45 entertaining and increasingly difficult missions, online co-op, Daily Challenges, leaderboards.
Cons: Inconsistent A.I., does little we haven't seen before, no competitive multiplayer.
Excerpt: When EA originally showcased their all-new defensive system in FIFA 12, I couldn’t see any problem with the act of stopping an opponent dribbling towards me. A tap of *circle* sticks a leg out to prod the ball away instead of the player doing it automatically. Simple. Even though they removed traditional 2nd Player Press – where an AI team-mate would sprint in to tackle for the ball like a heat-seeking missile – it still felt easy enough to defend.
Pros: Dribbling is much easier and more fun, Tweaked online head-to-head leagues, Multiplayer is amazing
Cons: The AI is an unrelenting beast, Solo experience is frustrating, New defending is tricky to learn
Conclusion: Hailing from the grand old country of Scotland and writing for a mainly US site holds a few challenges. One of which is the surprising language barrier. You say trunk, I hide my bodies in a boot. You wear pants but I’m forever being told to pull up my trousers. We both call the best game in the world football but while watching ESPN I had to note that your football and my football seem like very different sports.
Excerpt: In all the hubbub about the Olympics, it's easy to forget that a major football tournament is just a few weeks away. In any other year, Euro 2012 would be dominating the TV advertising world and splashed over both covers of every red top in the country. As it is, though, we've got a national team with no manager and seemingly no hope of achieving anything, and absolutely no-one seems to care. EA still believes, but perhaps not quite as much as in previous years.
Excerpt: Forget what you know about FIFA. While EA has been keen to highlight how much of a change this year's game is going to be over the previous iteration, there have quite rightly been some sceptics, confident that it's just marketing speak covering up fairly minor changes. It isn't just marketing. FIFA has changed. For the first few hours, if not days, FIFA 12 feels wrong. Your brain will struggle to adapt to the new Tactical Defending system and you'll get trounced.
Summary: FIFA 12 is a great game when you get on the pitch and actually play football. The off-the-pitch issues are what plague it most, which sort of makes it realistic and close to real-life, just not in a way EA Sports - and certainly not the way the fans - expected it to.
Pros: Tactical Defending is a great addition, Precision Dribbling gives players a lot more time on the ball, Nice, solid presentation
Cons: Impact Engine is a bit wonky in places, Both Online and Offline game modes are plagued with bugs
Excerpt: FIFA 12 is more of the standard incremental improvement than FIFA 11 was, and isn’t necessarily worth a purchase unless you’ve not bought a new one in a while, or are just a soccer nut. That said, it still represents the epitome of the genre, and doesn’t look like it will give up that title anytime soon.
Pros: Gameplay is realistic, animations and fluid and realistic, career mode is great
Cons: Not a huge improvement over the previous entry in the series