As Manchester United heads off to face FC Barcelona for the Champions League title, EA Sports has released new and interesting details for this year’s FIFA 12. Though FIFA 11 was the most polished fútbol experience yet, the team at EA is outdoing themselves once again with three exciting new features.
Poised to deliver the most realistic soccer matches, FIFA 12 features a new set of AI and player controlled mechanics that focus on individual players’ strengths. There are still elements that will rely solely on the skills of the gamer, like this year’s improved dribbling, but some features will see your teammates playing up their skills to your benefit.
Probably the most exciting new feature for this year’s iteration is the new impact engine. Allowing players to interact with each other in more physically realistic animations, the impact engine will all but eliminate those awkward collisions that have plagued sports games for years.
Taking the idea of game intelligence a bit further, the new “Pro Player Intelligence” sees your AI teammates playing up their strengths in reaction to your movements, both on your and the opposing side. If a player like Kaka is advancing on an opponent, that player will try to defend a bit more cautiously, expecting Kaka to use his explosive speed to blow past them.
Other key areas that “Pro Player Intelligence” will come into play is in teammate placement. Where a player sets up during a corner kick, how they run off the ball, and how they approach a player on defense, will all be determined by their individual strengths. It’s a simple concept, and one that might go unnoticed by a large group of gamers, but it helps take the realism to the next level.
Not only will AI-controlled defenders have a new set of interactions, but gamers will have access to them as well. Gone is the day of “closing in” on a player via the A or X buttons, in favor of a new system that has the player gradually containing them. As the player advances on their opponent, subtle tweaks can be made in order to play as tight of defense as possible. In essence, it eliminates that almost “rubber bandy” feel of last year’s honing in defense mechanics.
Of course, with more realistic, and arguably harder, defense mechanics comes increased attention to dribbling. As with previous iterations, precision dribbling puts the player in even greater control and slows the pace of games down considerably. How exactly the dribbling will work – whether it will be a joystick-controlled motion or a button press – is not revealed, but expect more details in OXM’s feature on the game.
It’s hard to believe the folks at EA Sports when they claim to be delivering an even more realistic soccer experience with each subsequent FIFA iteration. However, when they pull out new features like “Pro Player Intelligence” and improved defense mechanics, they prove us wrong time and time again.
Which of the three new features are you most excited about checking out in FIFA 12? Is there enough new content thrown into this year’s game to warrant another purchase?