Its fair to say that the entire PlayEject team have a soft spot for FIFA games. Since the early days on the Sega Mega Drive, the FIFA series has been in our homes and consoles (even through the Pro Evo and ISS glory days). EA Sports have pulled out all the stops this year to get FIFA 12 not only looking better than ever but also being the best soccer game on the market to date.
FIFA 12 game review Playeject
The most obvious change since the last FIFA rendition is the defending – a quick tutorial pops up when you first start playing which takes you through the basics of the new controls. Most FIFA players will get used to these new controls relatively quickly but they are confusing at first – allowing you to take control of 2 players at a time to box in a defender but after a few games it becomes easier and it wasn’t long before we felt like we had it sussed.

FIFA 12 has a massive amount of options facing you when you switch on. The emphasis this year is on the Support your Club feature – deciding who you support when you set up your FIFA profile is important as anything you do in FIFA earns you xp which levels you up as a player but also contributes towards your club’s overall standings for the Support Your Club leagues.

Another key feature which we really enjoy playing is the Head to Head seasons. This is basically the old fashioned ‘Ranked Online’ matches but are so much more rewarding to play – you get 10 games per season to either be promoted (and play other gamers in the same division) or be relegated. Each time you move up a division you have to earn more points to avoid relegation or staying in the same league. As you can see immediate results for your hard earned wins, it provides so much motivation to have just one more game to see if you can get another 3 points!

FIFA 12 game review Playeject

Support your Club on FIFA 12

The Career mode has been polished up to add a plethora of more game options including the excellent Transfer Deadline Day where you have the entire day counted down to midnight to do the last minute deals in true Sky Sports style – it adds more excitement to the Manager mode of the Career aside from the usual feature of levelling up your Virtual Pro.

For those who played FIFA 10 or 11 might be familiar with Ultimate Team – EA’s brilliant feature that allows you to buy or collect cards and use them to build an entire club from the individual players to the Manager, Stadium, kits, ball and training. If you purchased the Ultimate Edition of FIFA then you’ll have been rewarded with 4 free packs a month to get you off and running but play some of the tournaments (offline or online) and you will start earning more coins to spend on more packs or head off to the Auction house where you can buy or sell cards against other FIFA 12 players.

So far we have probably spent the majority of our FIFA 12 time playing Ultimate Team. It’s so addictive as you better your squad with the careful balance of the players ratings against how their chemistry affects the overall team. Using the web app from the EA Football World website is a great advantage to do some wheeler-dealing as well.

To help boost your FIFA 12 xp and make a change from the usual 90 minutes, FIFA 12 now offers a Challenge mode where you are given a set scenario which you must re-enact to earn xp boosts. The challenges vary every few days and mostly require you to make a classic comeback from a losing position but so far each Challenge has featured different clubs in game-changing moments from Penalty decisions to Beckham taking a Free Kick outside the box. Each challenge has varying difficulties and are rewarding to complete.
FIFA 12 game review Playeject
Another great feature about FIFA 12 is being able to constantly track your progress and results against your friends. Friendly online matches can be set into a friendly league so you can prove once and for all who the best player is, your Career or Virtual Pro achievements will pop up onto other friends’ home screens so you gain bragging rights and even goals scored from range will crop up in a leaderboard style – everything has been thought of.

Its not all good though – playing online brings about some of the same old problems – the cut-back goals that still manage to elude goalkeepers and slow defenders or the early quitters. However, EA have been clever about combating these players – penalising their results on Head to Head seasons if they quit early and also you can opt to play against teams of the same rank as your own meaning those supporting and playing as a lower-level club won’t always face Barca!

Once you’ve gotten your head around the new defending, FIFA 12 is simply the best football game we have ever played. The amount of detail and options is fantastic, the presentation of the overall game is superb and most importantly, playing the beautiful game is captivating, addictive and a real pleasure. There really is no better feeling that smashing home a volley from a chipped through-ball from 30 yards and celebrating however you see fit. Superb game – FIFA 12 is one of the best games we have ever played.

Check out the FIFA 12 Achievements and Trophies here

FIFA 12 Gameplay Trailer:

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