FIFA 12 is the latest installment of EA's epic soccer game saga. Besides updating the game with the latest team and player data, FIFA 12 has been furnished with some impressive new features.
In recent years, the FIFA series has developed into a worthy rival to Pro Evolution Soccer, and in fact many will argue that FIFA 12 is a more complete soccer experience than PES 2012.
What's new in FIFA 12?
Building on the success of recent years, FIFA 12 introduces three main developments: precision dribbling, tactical defending and the player impact engine. These all - and especially the latter of the three - have a major impact on the gaming experience.
What does this mean?
The impact engine has arguably the greatest impact on gameplay, and it really changes the dynamics of tackling and contact in the game. FIFA 12's impact engine makes tackles look and feel much more realistic, and will no doubt result in more player injuries! When two players jump for a ball in the air in FIFA 12, they will no longer always land together perfectly, but may fall depending on the contact made with the other player.
Defending in general has been refined, and it's not longer possible to just hold down the 'pressure' button and expect the nearest defender to squeeze up and snatch the ball from the attacker. In fact, do that in FIFA 12 and you can seriously mistime the challenge and allow the player through. Timing is everything in this new tactical defending system, and while it's frustrating it's ultimately more rewarding when you start getting it right.
When dribbling in FIFA 12, you do feel in much more control than previous versions. Getting past defenders is more enjoyable as a result, and neat tricks seem easier to pull off.
How realistic is FIFA 12?
Very. As always, FIFA 12 is fully licensed so you'll be able to play with your favorite players and clubs, and the game will follow the summer and winter transfer windows, so teams will mirror their real life counterparts.
Graphics have had an incremental improvement, and animation is also better than last year's game. The full version of FIFA 12 will also have a big online component, with a much greater social element. Support Your Club League Tables will exist, allowing your performances with your favorite teams to contribute to their community standings overall. EA is also promising to keep FIFA 12 fresh with real-world soccer news.
What's in the demo?
The FIFA 12 demo gives you access to Manchester City, AC Milan, Olympic Marseille, Borussia Dortmund, Barcelona and Arsenal. The options are fairly limited, and settings such as choice of ball, weather and length of the halves are not incorporated in this demo. All other aspects of the game are also missing, so you play just one practice game, but it still gives you a good impression of FIFA 12.