FIFA12 arrived yesterday—Thursday—after I’d gone out for the day. I started playing this morning. What with all the settling-in and menu exploration that goes on (always an enjoyable aspect of a new football game), I only managed to play 5 six-minute matches in Exhibition mode.
I like FIFA12. After I went overboard with FIFA10 and eventually recanted, I’m not going absolutely crazy about FIFA12. Not yet. But I’m ready for more, and looking forward to putting in some serious time over the weekend. Monday’s post will be a lot more in-depth. I can smell a 1500-worder.
I always open a new football game with England vs. Scotland. It’s become my football game calibration tool. I always rely on it to get an early feel for things.
All settings on default. I’m a great believer in playing a new football game out of the box, so to speak. For a little while.
I played all games on Professional. 3 of the 5 were England-Scotland; the remaining 2 were England-Germany. I lost all but one.
TACTICAL DEFENDING: This thing works for me. To defend now, you have to exercise skill and judgement—not just squeeze a few buttons and wait. No more homing-in pressure button. It’ll be a shock going back to PES’s traditional sprint-clamp model after this. I welcome it with open arms. It’s arguably the most innovative development in football gaming since ISS brought in the through-ball. That moved things onto another dimension; so does this. I know that the kids don’t like it. (I’m not laughing. I’m not!)
MAKE YOUR OWN FOOTBALL GAME: I never saw this coming. You can play with various sliders in a back-screen and effectively make your own football game. The passing and shooting values you prefer. You can even alter the heaviness/lightness of touch needed to pass and shoot. That is immense. There’s one galring drawback to this. With all the myriad gameplay settings that can be tweaked, the FIFA12 each individual ends up playing won’t be anything like most other people’s.
GENERAL HANDLING: This is what I’m most concerned with when I’m playing a football game. How does it feel to be in control? What’s the overall sensation of playing it like? Am I being allowed to play—or allowed to play too much? It’s too early for me to judge properly, but I liked what I felt in my 5 matches.
SHOOTING: FIFA12 has finally got it right, it seems to me.
My first goal—another finessed curler, a common type of goal in next-gen FIFA:
Are there negatives about FIFA12? Again this is only after one micro-session of play, but they are:
GAME SPEED: It feels noticeably faster than the demo to me on Normal. I don’t know if it’s the extended time I’ve spent recently in playing the PES2012 demo on -2 speed, or what.
ALAN SMITH: This man must have the best agent in the world. A nice guy, no doubt, and a decent CF in his day, but he’s a wet blanket on the commentary team. (That’s not anti-Brummie of me. It’s not!)
DARREN BENT: What is Darren Bent doing in the England team? I bet even Darren Bent wakes up at night asking himself that question.
Overall—after a ridiculously short amount of time, I know—my first FIFA12 impressions are of a great game of football.
Now why is that such a hard thing for some people to accept?
It’s not being disloyal to PES to like FIFA.
I’m not one of those PES fans with that stubborn and irrational belief that FIFA nowadays is all about flashy graphics and fancy tricks. FIFA’s graphics are good but not mind-blowing, and I’ve only ever done tricks by accident.
I’m more than ready to be told that I shouldn’t like FIFA12 for this reason or that reason. No doubt something is lacking in the interstitial animation matrix during the fullback’s overlap double-pop, and that kind of thing.
Oh what jaded epicures we have become!
Much more on Monday.