Gadgets and Gizmos (India) - - LEVEL UP - —ARUP DAS

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.

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