Want more goals with your FIFA? You've got more goals with your FIFA. The irony is that while EA has chiefly altered the defending in this year's FIFA 12, the game has become more about attacking. As a knock-on effect of this year's changes, it's easier to dribble, and hence score. All our matches seem to be 2-2 or 3-2 thrillers. It's a bit like constantly watching Tottenham...
The main change to the core game is that FIFA has finally done away with the homing missile 'pressing' mechanic - a key control for footy games over the last decade. No more just holding A to grind away and win possession. Instead, tackling is manually operated - guide your hefty defender into the opposing player and hack away.
A new 'Contain' move (on A) helps you position a defender goal-side to give you some help, while AI defenders will also step in on occasion. Pressing Right Bumper calls in a teammate to do the hard graft of containing, while you mark the dangerman in the middle.
The beauty is that you need real skill to win the ball back. Defending is as much an art as scoring, though we doubt that there'll be a sudden clamour online to play as centrebacks. However, it does bring mobile attackers such as Messi and Ronaldo to the fore. Fail to adapt and become a pressing dinosaur lost to the ravages of time. Just ask OXM's own Mike 'Chopper' Channell who was humiliated by this reviewer 8-0 at a preview event...
Tightened up passing (especially through-balls; devastating in the right hands now), new flair passes and shots, great online additions, a more realistic yet deep Career mode, 'Precision' dribbling (another weapon for attackers - hold Left Bumper) and improved presentation and graphics all add positively to the proceedings.
When you consider the revised physics engine and fine-tuned player AI, this year's FIFA steps up as one of the best updates in a long time. A goal machine of a game and a compulsive purchase that not even Arsene Wenger could resist.
Want a second opinion? Check out CVG's FIFA 12 review.
Holds the title of the best sports sim going
- Skill-driven tackling needed
- New physics engine adds realism
- Great new flair passes and shots
- Excellent new online modes
- Slick quick throw-ins