So, was I too harsh on FIFA11—and on next-gen FIFA in general—on Friday? Yes and no. There’s still a full game of FIFA11 to come out, of course. If we based everything on shakycam vids and confused reports by guerilla poets on the Gamescom floor, no games would ever come out.
But I stand by my opinion that next-gen FIFA is heading in slightly the wrong direction—for my personal tastes. FIFA10 has always felt faster than I want it to be, even on its so-called Slow setting. Its pressure/stamina mechanic (or lack of one) is just stupid. Stupid. Much like PES2011’s, really, to judge by what’s emerging from the Master League Online Beta testers.
I won’t go into details (no time; less inclination), but I’m not hearing anything about MLO that’s making me yearn to play the mode. MLO sounds just like Ultimate Team in all but name. Super teams packed with superstars all exerting maximum sprinting pressure for entire matches. No doubt I will try it at some point. I forecast a single session that’ll last about an hour at most.
I played some FIFA10 over the weekend. I am still hip-deep in a very good PES6(360) ML career. But I’ve missed out on the Treble in my current season and I felt that I needed a break before starting to push the rock up the hill again.
Predictably, I loved FIFA10 all over again. Just as predictably, after a while I started to want something substantial to do with all this wonderful gameplay.
FIFA needs a compelling offline answer to PES’s Master League mode. It’s no longer an optional extra that EA can afford to nurture and grow organically over a period of years. It’s got to happen now.
Manager Mode has been a disaster for the series and few will miss it. Career Mode sounds sparse and utilitarian, but as ever I have a wild mad hope that it’ll be good. I’m an optimist when it comes to football games, it’s plain to see…
Below are some goals I scored in my weekend FIFA10 sessions (all using semi-assisted controls). The very first one had me sitting up and punching the air. The match was a tight affair. It doesn’t really come across in the clip, but I gave the right stick the slightest nudge in order to make the space, and then whipped the shot in. It felt very good. The other goals were one of my patented ‘reverse hook’ shots, and a different kind of long-ranger that found the postage stamp corner of the net:
A lot of people say that goal-scoring in FIFA isn’t varied or satisfying enough. I’ve never really gone along with that view. The three goals above are indeed all a bit samey—but only because I favour goals scored from outside the box when assembling clips for the blog. I’ve always scored plenty of different types of goals in next-gen FIFA, from FIFA08 through to today.
My issue with FIFA is the lack of a meaningful context in which to score the goals. What’s it all about? What’s it all for?