'FIFA 12' Developer Diaries Talk Impact Engine and Pro Player Intelligence

FIFA 12 Developer Diaries

Though we have heard many details about FIFA 12's two marquee improvements, the new impact engine and Pro Player Intelligence, not many gamers know just how deep these features' implementation goes. To correct that, EA Sports has release two behind-the-scenes looks at FIFA 12 that are solely devoted to explaining both the impact engine and Pro Player Intelligence, and boy are they impressive.

According to the team at EA Canada, FIFA 12’s Pro Player Intelligence actually got its start with the Personality+ feature that was introduced during last year’s iteration. Personality+, for those that don’t know, allowed the gamer to utilize a particular player’s natural tendencies to their advantage. For example, if one were taking a free kick with David Beckham or Landon Donavan, they would be more likely to strike on target than, say, a defender.

With Pro Player Intelligence, the computer-controlled player will calculate several different factors — from the competency of teammates that are in close proximity to the strength of the player in the 18-yard box — to determine what is the best course of action.

The example in the diary explains how one player’s skill in a particular area, like striking or headers, will determine whether or not their teammate delivers a cross to them. It’s a fairly complex idea, all of which will be running under the hood of FIFA 12, but one that will help improve the realism of matches.

Take a look at Pro Player Intelligence:


The other new behind-the-scenes feature that is introduced in FIFA 12 is the revamped impact engine. Explained in some detail before, this new engine allows for collisions between players to accurately account for elements like momentum and points of contact.

While most gamers won’t even notice the impact engine at work, its implementation is a real benchmark for EA Sports, so much so that DICE sought fit to borrow it for Battlefield 3.

Something that hasn’t really been stressed so far with the impact engine is the contextual dribble turns, and how player and enemy AI react to those quick moves. In previous FIFA titles, cutting a 45-degree turn to get past a player sometimes led to collisions based solely on the engine's capabilities rather than the point of contact.. In reality the player could have moved past the defender, but the animation set just didn’t allow it.

Using the new impact engine, the player will now be able to dodge, brush off, or still collide with the defender, dependent on how close they are when they make their move. It also depends on the resilience of the player — meaning that someone like Kaka or Lionel Messi would barrel through his or her defenders than a player who is more prone to “flopping.”


With both the new impact engine and Pro Player Intelligence at their disposal, EA Canada is able to create the most realistic soccer game yet.There might be a few less gameplay features than with previous iterations, but being able to make almost a carbon copy of a TV telecast is very impressive. FIFA 12 definitely ups the ante for soccer games to come.

What do you think of FIFA 12’s impact engine and Pro Player Intelligence? How would you rate this year’s gameplay features as compared to previous iterations’?

FIFA 12 releases September 27, 2011 for the Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, PC, and PS2.

Source: VG 24/7

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