Title: FIFA 12

Developers: EA Canada

Publishers: Electronic Arts

Platforms: Playstation 3, 2 & Vita Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, Wii, PSP, Mac OS, Xperia Play, 3DS, iOS

Release date: Out Now

With the latest edition of FIFA just out, Ryan Mackenzie explains why it’s one you won’t want to miss

Around this time every year a new version of the FIFA franchise is released and, for the most part , it’s just a standard purchase for football fans. These games are usually good, but the problem has traditionally been that the changes made from year to year have often been small and underwhelming. It always felt as though EA were holding back in order to lure people into buying the next edition. You couldn’t not buy it, but often it felt like you shouldn’t have bothered.

FIFA 12 is different.

If ever there was a football game that teetered on the edge of absolute perfection, this is it. The graphics are spectacular, the gameplay is incredibly realistic and the soundtrack isn’t too bad either.

The first difference you’ll notice is the menu, which is now along the bottom of the screen. It has the same options, but much like the rest of the game, there’s more of an emphasis put on enhancing what was already there rather than adding new gimmicks.

Career mode is also much improved, with new facets such as a youth academy and player comments – such as pleas for more playing time – adding to the intricacy and realism. The most impressive inclusion, however, is the addition of a dramatic transfer window and Deadline Day’.

As far as online gaming is concerned, the introduction of a Head-to-Head league represents the greatest change. This adds more competitiveness to online matches and is simple to understand.

For all these minor changes, gameplay is where EA clearly focused their efforts. Even though they’ve thrown out the usual jargon, like ‘Player Impact Engine’ and ‘Pro Player Intelligence’, the changes made are far more noticeable and have really worked out the kinks that plagued previous editions.

The biggest difference is in defence, where you can no longer just hold the tackle button and let the computer do all the work. Now the onus is on you to position the defender correctly and time your tackle correctly. A small change though it may seem, it has the effect of changing the entire dynamic of how you play. The game is now more open and free flowing, making weaving Messi-esque runs a possibility. Other additions like precision dribbling and various new graphical improvements to player realism and movement further improve the gameplay.

Although certain elements of the game can still be improved upon, FIFA 12 is arguably the best football game to date and if you’re a football fanatic, or even just a fan of the games, you’re sure to love it.

Score: 5/5