on September 28, 2011
This is a fantastic game but I have to give it 4 stars because I think the way EA marketed this game, i.e. as if they completely revolutionized the FIFA franchise , is a tad misleading. Maybe it's just me but I found the whole 'impact system' that this release is centered around to be very over rated and , when I did experience it during games, to be pretty glitchy (more on that later).
1) Let's start with my favorite part about this game - I feel that FIFA 12 really introduces a whole new level of realism into the franchise in that it really does seem to be a game that will require players to think differently in each match as the improved ball physics makes every shot move different ,even if hit from the same spot using the same power. One of my biggest peeves in FIFA 11 was playing against the hardcore FIFA players who mastered the game to the point where they knew where to shoot from, how much power to use - strategies which almost always resulted in a goal. I think 12 has gone some way to addressing the scenario of players being able to beat the game engine which will be a relief for casual players such as myself. Bear in mind , I think i felt similarly about FIFA 11 too so if i find myself once again getting scored on from the same spots, I'l edit this portion of the review.
2) Improved player AI - Absolutely fantastic. After playing about 10 games against the computer, I could really feel the difference. In fact, the only reason playing against the computer didn't seem as fun as playing online was because i knew I was playing against the computer. The scores were always vastly different i.e. 6-0 in 1 game , 1-2 in another and the AI's decision making ability ,even at the semi-pro level I am currently playing at is extremely smart. Case in point - I rushed my keeper on the AI player and the player actually chipped the ball above the keeper. Maybe it's just me but I never saw the computer do that in FIFA 11 even at the 'legendary' difficulty level.
3) Defending - Ok I admit it - I was one of those whose defense strategy in 11 was to simply rush onto the opposition with the X button pressed. I tried the same strategy in 'amateur' difficulty in FIFA 12 and almost lost the game. In short, defending in Fifa 12 is much more about anticipation and interception than it is about tough tackling - just as is the case in the real sport.
4) Dribbling: Just like the improved bal physics make it difficult for the very good players to master scoring positions , shooting power etc. , the improved dribbling makes it very difficult for amateur players to just come in and steal the ball by just running into the player with the x button pressed when a player is pulling of a skill.
5) Commentary - Having 2 separate commentary teams certainly goes a long way towards not hearing the same thing again and again.
6) Graphics - Player faces have been enhanced to give a more real life look as compared to the glossy look players had in Fifa 11.
7) Other: As with recent FIFA releases, you really have to keep playing Fifa 12 to really see all the new subtle tweaks in the game that really add up to making a big difference and hence i will continue to update this section as and when i notice something really cool. Here are some I have noticed
a) Injuries: I actually had a player get injured mid run and just go down, possibly because I had maxed out his stamina and was still exerting him
b) Game customization: You actually have the ability to increase/ reduce several attributes of both you as well as the computer (on a scale of 100) such as shot speed, acceleration, pass speed, injury frequency, injury severity, goalkeeper ability etc. - kinda helps if you want to make the game even more easier/challenging in addition to the difficulty setting you selected.
How much of a difference does that make? I set my team's sprint speed and acceleration to 100 and that of the computer to 0; in the previous game where all attributes were equal, I won 2-1 but with the edited settings, i won 35-0 , both at the exact same difficulty level.
Revamped Start Menu - Is cool but not a big deal for me. it's just one of those things that gives you that 'oh yes this is a new game' feeling for the first couple of times but after that, you just feel indifferent towards it. Personally , I don't think it improves or decreases the user experience but yes it does look a bit better.
1) Player impact engine: The primary reason that I consider this to be a negative is that i hardly ever see it come into effect in the game and when there is impact between players, the results are either over exaggerated or glitchy. 2 examples - The first was when I launched a sliding tackle straight through a player in the penalty box and it just made the player slightly imbalanced when he really should have gone down - no complaints from me as I avoided conceding a penalty but it will make it frustrating if i'm on the receiving end of one. The second was just plain ridiculous - I literally just walked into a defender but my player went somersaulting a few meters as if the defender had grabbed his leg and flung him full force. If it were Busquets or Alves who went flying, then i would commend the extreme realism in the game in that it really took player personality to a whole new level but it wasn't a player known for being a notorious diver.
Perhaps I may change my mind about the impact engine but , as it stands, I am disappointed in this feature as this was marketed as some sort of revolutionary change in the game but I could hardly ever experience it and when I did , the results were disappointing. I assume EA will release a patch to address these glitches after which I will edit my review but personally, the inability of this feature to meet my expectations is the primary reason why I took off 1 star.
2) Sluggishness - At least a couple of times, the navigation took at least 2 seconds to respond after i pressed a button on the remote. Eg - I pressed 'down' to navigate from 'Team management' to 'tactics' but it took a little while for the selection arrow to move down. Not a deal breaker but it will be very frustrating if it continues.
3) Player attributes don't change when you change the player's position - Not sure why EA did away with this one as i found this to be extremely helpful. Yeah everyone knows that you can't player Vidic as a striker but ,especially in the case of players whose preferred positions you may not be familiar with, it's just a bummer that their attributes don't change if you switch a specialist defender into a striker role and vice versa.
If it weren't for the glitches and the fact that i found the impact engine to be grossly over rated, Fifa 12 would be a 5 star game. The game has a more solid , realistic feel about it and the tweaks benefit both advanced players as well as the casual players such as myself. Advanced players will find it much more difficult to master positions from which they will almost always be able to score, but ,in return , they will find it a lot easier to hold on the ball because of how much EA has tweaked the defending and the dribbling in the game. The less advanced players will benefit from not being frustrated to always see players score from those certain spots but will be forced to try to get better at the game because 'brain dead' defending is no longer an option.
Is the game worth 60 bucks? I don't think so but , as is always the case, the fact that most online players will ditch Fifa 11 and the latest rosters will end up leaving you with little choice (assuming you mainly buy the game to play online). I bought the game when Amazon was offering a 20$ credit and am trading in my copy of Fifa 11 for 15 bucks so, for 25 bucks, this game is a steal.
I haven't tested the Career feature yet and have never played 'be a pro' so i can't comment on that but this is indeed a very solid football game and , money aside, will certainly provide a very satisfying experience. It's the best Fifa to date and I look forward to playing it for the next 12 months.
on October 12, 2011
First of all, let me say that I'm strictly an offline player. I don't like going online and playing against strangers. Either I play solo against the AI in tournament or career mode, or my friends and I play co-op against the AI, again in tournament and career mode. So, having a good playing experience against the AI is foremost for me.
I'm not going to get into the details of the new defending and tackling. You'll learn how to do that, as you play more and more. The same thing with precision dribbling, etc. I'll just talk about the overall playing experience, in the way that I like to play: against the AI.
In that respect, this game is a LOT less fun than Fifa 11. I'm a pretty good player, and in Fifa 11, in World Class difficulty, I can, with some challenges and struggles, win a Premier League season, when playing with a strong team like Manchester United. In 12, it is nearly impossible to win. It all has a very scripted feel, and there are some games that it becomes clear that we will not be allowed to win.
When you restart a game at the end of the season (because a loss means you're out of contention) because you lose on a 90 minute goal, and the same thing happens about 3 times, you really question if the outcome is random. We even make a concerted effort, "Let's play really tight defense toward the end of the half and end of the game," and it makes no difference. Stupid things happen to make you lose, such as the AI teammate runs AWAY from the loose ball, in that split second before you take control, so that the opponent takes possession to score. Or, the guy marking the target man on a cross inexplicably moves away to leave him wide open.
To give you an illustration of the uselessness of the AI teammates, when I played solo, with ManU, I got beaten by Tottenham 20 times in a row! When playing co-op, where my friend makes intelligent runs, or gets into space, we can usually win or at least tie.
None of the attacking strategies from Fifa 11 helps. 1-2 passing does not work, and most of the goal look the same. You pass the ball around, or make angled dribbles, trying to screw up the AI's defensive shape, then make a pass to a striker around the box, who turns and shoots. Crosses are difficult to get in the box, and even when in the box, never seems to get to the striker. Probably headed goals to kicked goals ratio is about 1:20.
Finally, EVERY single AI opponent plays like Barcelona. They keep possession with short passes, and if they are ahead with 5 minutes to play, good luck trying to get the ball back. The problem is, you can't play the same style, because the game artificially makes you make an errant pass, after a certain amount of time of possession. When we're ahead, we tried to run out the clock as well, by making doubly sure that the player making the pass was pointed right at the teammate, and making sure the pass was short and safe. But, after about 20 passes, the next one inexplicably goes way off, to the AI opponent. We just look at each other in disbelief...
So...I have to say, overall, I'm disappointed. For online play, I've heard it's great, but I'll never know.
on October 25, 2011
As a lot of people have commented on the gameplay, I'm sticking with the Career Mode for my review. I don't play online for FIFA at all, and am more of a intermediate-level player, and here are my experiences so far.
FIRST CAREER MODE CAMPAIGN - MANCHESTER UNITED
I love that you have an wide array of players, from skilled to strong. Playing in Semi-Pro mode (I agree with another commenter, the jump to Professional difficulty is way to hard for this gamer) the game is kind of easy. You can go pretty much undefeated in the EPL, League Cup (Carling Cup), FA Cup etc. with your original squad. The transfer budget is sky high too, so you can buy players at will. Basically for me, there's no challenge playing such a good and wealthy team. I did find it funny that Wayne Rooney asked to be traded out of the blue right before the January transfer window. I stalled, hoping he would change his mind, but the Board of Directors sold him over me to Real Madrid (at least it wasn't to City!). No worries though as I was able to get Schweinsteiger AND Muller from Bayern Munich with the fee.
SECOND CAREER MODE CAMPAIGN - BLACKPOOL
I found it more rewarding and fun to go with a team that has smaller budget ($10M) and a bunch of youngsters and a bunch of aging veterans. It's also more fun to fight for promotion to the EPL and you have good balance of similar level teams, and the big boys in the EPL (during the Cup runs). Also, you have to be smart to be able to out play some of the good teams. It took me three tries to beat Manchester City in the FA Cup Final using different combination of players and tactical formations.
With a small budget, you have think smart. I found myself looking to acquire players on loan (18-20 year old players from top flight teams like Arsenal and Inter Milan) who are maybe 67-70 on ratings, but have lots of "tools." These players proved to be instrumental in big games, and lacking the transfer fee, is a good use of your funds. Also watching your youngsters grow with playing time is fun too. As the injuries can range from several days to six months, squad depth is very important. Scouting and Youth Academy can be huge for a small team - I just promoted a CB from the Youth Academy to the first team, and at 16 years old, has a transfer value of over $4M at skill level 63. I could probably sell him two years down the line at over $10M, which is great for a small team like Blackpool. Squad construction is really half the fun for me in FIFA, and playing with a lower level team makes it more interesting, as transfer budgets and youth development is much more consequential. Your player's form + overall skill number seems to fluctuate their transfer value, as I've watched a 20-year-old youngster triple in value in 1.5 years overall, but also go up and down during the season based on his form.
Going from season 1 to season 2, I found that my transfer budget doubled to $20M. I also discovered that it can vary based on how much money you have left over from last year. I spent all my "leftover funds" into my youth system at the end in one scenario, and my transfer budget for next year I found was significantly less.
It's a pretty good game. As I tend to gravitate toward "empire-building" games, the Career Mode in FIFA 12 is a lot of fun with a lesser team. Gameplay is fun, and so is searching through thousands of players to find the few who will enhance your squad on budget.
on October 2, 2011
- I'm changing the overall rating for this game to 3 Stars:
The Customization is worse than I thought. After paying for some of the creation center content I found out that the Creation Center is almost unusable. Just search for "error downloading user generated content" for Fifa 12 on Google and you'll see the issues brought up by users. EA basically took payment and did not deliver.
- Career/Management mode is broken. Causes PS3 to freeze up when using Team Management options (i.e. formations, tactics). This is pretty bad for a modern game.
- The issue with AI runs I mention below, however, slightly alleviated by changing the AI Sliders within Customization, so it's better, but don't expect overlapping/diagonal runs such as in PES.
- EA sports needs to treat their product with more respect. Be wary of purchasing at full price expecting the Creation/Customization features to be intact. Customization is great for sports games, it's something that has kept PES alive for ages, but EA's still not on board. All the attention is on Ultimate Team right now since it generates funds for the company.
I'm basing my review on a pre-order valued copy of this game (approx. $45 value). For $60, I would say this game is incredibly overpriced if you own Fifa 10 or 11. For 45ish, it's a good deal.
Good: The new precision dribbling in my opinion is the one big plus, allowing for close dribbling and tight control. No longer are acceleration and skill moves the key to winning and evading the defense. Basically, you can now play a style akin to Messi.
The tactical defending isn't too much different as most people say it is, however, I do think it is a lot better than the "homing tackling" of the past.
The graphics and animation are second to none, if PES series had Fifa's animation it would be the best football game no questions asked (and I can finally go back to buying PES)
Creation Center allows for your own custom teams and teams that aren't in the game (although the number of teams/players is capped). [However content is full of bugs when creating/downloading/using]
Ultimate Team is now free and on the disc.
For a full priced game you can expect the usual DLC from EA Sports, and I'm not talking about new features for the future, but simply features that already exist but are locked until you pay EA some more dough. The worst example of this is that you cannot use a created team from the Creation Center within the Career Mode unless you buy a "Career Mode Pack." Many of the better creation center features are also locked out until you pay for the "Serious Creator Pack."
EA's servers are prone to dropping you in the middle of various online modes. [this has improved a week after release to no drops, however my play sessions are short so I'm not certain it's fixed]
The AI players are reluctant to make diagonal runs, or many runs at all for that matter.
The AI defenders will also never foul you under the current Tactical Defending system, causing games that have zero free kicks. [Game Breaking]
Fifa removed 2 entire leagues (Turkish and Czech), and I think the loss of the Turkish league is a big negative.
The Skill moves are overpowered, it should be realized that quick turns of pace and directional changes are incredibly fatiguing to athletes, yet in this game a skilled player can do FIFA Street'esque moves non-stop for the entire 90 mins.
on September 27, 2011
FIFA 12 has a realistic feel to it. The game's tempo feels right. The already good gameplay from FIFA 11 has been altered a bit. Tactical defending adds a new dimension to the gameplay (you have the option of turning it off but not online). Patience and how you play off the ball feels like advanced simulation as opposed to tackling and sliding all over the place. You can get help, double up an opponent and jockey for position which will force mistakes (ie., like real soccer). On offense, you have better ball control which is especially good during tight situations. The dribbling is a lot more precise and when done well, you can free yourself up for scoring opportunities or to set up a teammate.
Meanwhile, visuals have also improved a bit. At first glance, it will look like FIFA 11 but the animations have improved. Primarily due to the added realism in player collisions. These along with the excellent player likeness makes an already good game more polished. (although IMO Konami's PES has the best player likenesses in soccer). In addition, the stadiums and lighting effects look phenomenal. Last but not least is the commentary, which no longer features Andy Gray. It is not repetitive and annoying like say, Madden 12. For those that love online play, there are tons of modes & features.
Pros: Tactical defending, Precision Dribbling, Polished Graphics, Solid Commentary and Lots of Online Modes & Features.
Cons: No game's perfect, there are always little glitches & not a huge leap over FIFA 11 -- just a little better.
Bottom Line: FIFA 11 was very good and FIFA 12 is even better. Worth buying? Well, that's up to you. If you have $50-60 available for video gaming and like soccer, I'd say yes. If you're on a tight budget, not worth it if you've got FIFA 11.
This game is nice to play... Which year to get? Is there a better one?
There are plenty of questions arising with series like this that get updated every year.
As it stands, this game is nice and fun to play.
on October 20, 2011
congradulations EA!!! you have made a game very realistic...and completely not fun. Either wayyy too easy, or way too hard. the jump in difficulty from semi-pro to pro is insane, and makes the game completely unplayable for an intermediate player. I have played FIFA 07, 08, 10, and 11. this one is by far the best gameplay, but it is just not fun. unless you are a hardcore fifa player ...don't bother with fifa 12. you will only be frustrated or bored.
on October 12, 2015
My sons LOVE Minecraft, but the mindlessness of it makes me crazy! I bought him this game because he LIKES soccer, but doesn't understand the game theory. 60USD for the 2016 seemed a bit much which made the price of 2012 great. He LOVES it!! The in-game drills to ramp them up for gameplay are great and easy to get the hang of. The best part... now we have a super fun way spend some time TOGETHER!!
on June 18, 2012
It seems to have become a trend for EA with the FIFA series, they give you some awesome new feature, and in the process remove one to give you back in a couple years and call it new. Or they put some nasty flaw in it that becomes more apparent over time and they wont patch it up in favor of saying it's perfected the next installment.
It's too bad I can't get enough FIFA, and I play it with most of my online friends on a regular basis. But every year we plead for something to be corrected, it gets corrected eventually but something else goes wrong, so this is in my belief the best football/soccer game available, but I don't think it will ever be 'perfected'.
on January 27, 2016
Purchased this game for son, I have amazon prime so shipping was in two days. Item was packaged neatly and case came with the disc. The game was not open still had plastic no scratches in disc. Game was a little boring once we started playing we have only played it twice, maybe once we learn how to play it will become more exciting to us. We have never played soccer on the video game so maybe that's why it not exciting like basketball or football on the game system. Overall service and quality was excellent. If you like soccer than you will enjoy this game