THIS ONE SCORES
For those of you who play football on the screen, FIFA 2012 kicks gaming up a notch or two in terms of spellbinding graphics bordering on virtual reality. The realism of the game will sweep a football fan off his feet. The electrifying effect of the crowd roaring or egging you is the closest you can get to actually seeing the fans on TV. The new lighting and the default camera make sure you are a part of the match with the players just an arm’s reach away. My favourite part of the game came when you scored and all the players converged—the graphics are so good that the visual of the players is almost photographic.
This addictive game comes with new features like dribbling precision, which helps you do a Lionel Messi by bamboozling the rival teams with slick moves and accurate passes. This feature not only allows you to control the ball precisely in close quarters, but, lets you go, like Cristiano Ronaldo, for quick dashes and sharp turns to dupe the defence. Unlike the regular option of dribbling either fast or slow, this new edition lets you jog with the ball which gives more control over the ball and you get to shield it when your rivals attack you. Based on a player’s strength and weakness the computer-controlled players anticipate your team’s movements. But if you keep an eye on which players are zeroing in on you, you can outfox them.
If you have played the previous editions of the FIFA series, the standard game plan for defence invariably would be to run to the striker and tackle him. Now it’s not possible to continue with this Rio Ferdinand ploy, as tactics play an important role. The defender keeps a couple of metres away from the dribbler and only when he is in the correct position to defend or tackle will he go for the ball. But there is a neat trick to stop the rampaging rival if you mistackle the ball. You can pull the opposition’s shirt or arm. A word of advice: don’t get carried away with this stratagem because you could find to your woe that the referee has booked your player or red-carded you.
One hitch in the game is that you can’t quickly take a throw in or a free kick. The opposition regroups quickly, to prevent you from getting the edge through your quick thinking.
The game gets a couple of new online modes. The first is Head-to-head Seasons, an online league which is divided into different divisions based on difficulty level. You start in division 10 and after a 10-game season your results determine whether you get promoted or get relegated to a lower division. Your performance is tracked so that you can see how you have fared compared to the rest of the online group. Then there is Online Friendlies, where you can play against your friend in a 10-game season. If you want to randomly play against someone else online, then based on your team’s skill you will get a choice of players who measure up to your team’s ranking.
This is truly as close as you can get to real kicking.