With the release date for FIFA 12 just barely over a week away (September 27th), EA Sports has released the FIFA 12 Demo to satiate our FIFA desires until the game is released.
As soon as the demo opens up, you are immediately faced with Wayne Rooney bearing down on you wearing his trusty Total90 laser IV soccer cleats and in his Manchester United home kit. Martin Tyler then begins telling us how the game has changed, with the one of the new differences being the new tactical defense system. With this new system, you won’t be able to just charge head-long at the opposing team hoping that you will snag the ball, you will actually have to time your tackle and make sure that your jockeying skills are up to the task. As soon as you begin this tutorial, you realize very quickly that playing defense will now require as much attention as we all spend on the attacking aspects of the game.
After your tutorial and a few successful tackles, you enter into the Arena mode as Rooney. After taking a few shots on goal with the Adidas Speedcell, you begin to realize that EA has done some serious tune-up work on the shooting aspects of the game. The ball seems heavier, and you can really put some power into the shots without seeing them enter the stratosphere. The “finesse shot” has also been altered, and has become more realistic. No longer will you be able to straddle the 18 yard box and easily curl shots into the top corner with “cheat-code” like consistency.
Once you exit the Arena, you can scroll through the menu gazing at all of the new game modes that FIFA will offer this year. The most notable ones being EA Sports Football Club, Online Friendlies, and an online mode called Head to Head Seasons. The last two being modes with the emphasis placed on being able to play with your friends in online modes rather than with the vast unknown that is the FIFA online universe. EA Sports Football Club is a much-hyped new mode from EA, allowing players to pledge allegiance to their favorite team and help them accrue points across the online section of the game.
The demo also has an occasional pop-up telling you about the new player impact engine. A new feature that will create realistic tackles, realistic injuries, and realistic (and often times very interesting) collisions. No longer will a player hit the deck from being lightly touched (anyone that has used Messi in past versions will be thankful for this), but if you get rocked by a hard challenge then expect your player to feel the pain.
Once you finally enter into the exhibition mode and choose to be either the home or away team, you are given six teams to choose from (Arsenal, Manchester City, Barcelona, AC Milan, Borussia Dortmund, and Olympique Marseille). After picking your team, a player steps forward wearing your team’s kit choices-this gives you a more accurate visual when choosing what to have your team wear when they take the pitch. You then proceed to the play match screen and, after tweaking your squad (sorry Barca and Man City fans, Nasri and Fabregas are still playing for Arsenal on this demo), you are ready to take the field.
The only stadium available on the demo is Manchester City’s ground, and it has been meticulously recreated for FIFA. You are also greeted by a few cut scenes that “may” occur during your game. Martin Tyler then welcomes you with his new partner Allen Smith, and it’s nice to hear a few new sound bites with this game.
After a few losses, draws, and wins, the demo gives you everything that one would expect from the FIFA franchise. Although you can definitely tell that this is the demo and not the finished product that will be on shelves on September 27th , it definitely gets me excited for the release. The visuals are improved, the technical aspects are improved, and this incarnation of FIFA may put the PES vs. FIFA argument to rest for a long time.
Go out there and download the demo on your favorite system ASAP, and pre-order FIFA 12 from Soccerpro.com for $59.95 as soon as your bank account allows. It’s nearly time to take control of your team’s future and plot their course into the world’s elite. Will Fulham win the Champions League? Will LA Galaxy win 5 MLS Cups in a row? Will Wayne Rooney get sold to Real Madrid? You’ll have to buy the game, but the storyline is anything you want it to be.
Written by: Andrew McCole, soccer video game guru, soccerprose.com
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