“Players now have the chance to recreate Messi’s genius for themselves”
realistic reproduction of facial expressions, and the gameplay, which is absorbing.
While improvement in graphics are welcome, it’s the accompanying changes in gameplay – more realistic, more absorbing, more fun – that really make the difference to gamers. It’s a package deal.
The launch of Fifa 12, EA’s football franchise, will provide a similar leap forward for the sports game. Fifa 12 has upped its game in graphics as well as play. Most of this is down to the Impact Engine, the new physics system behind the game, and its development team’s current pride and joy.
Lionel Messi’s skills were much admired in the Champions League final, and now players have the chance to recreate his genius for themselves. In Fifa 12, players get Precision Dribbling, which provides far greater and more realistic control of the ball. Tactical Defending has also been added, which brings greater skill than previous versions of Fifa offered.
Collisions are more accurate – players are taken off their feet and you’ll see fewer arms and legs appearing through opposing players’ torsos as they collide. And they’re more realistic, so you don’t automatically lose the ball in contact.
The AI has also had another intelligence upgrade, known as Pro Player Intelligence. A player with Peter Crouch’s particular attributes, for example, will lean more towards using his height advantage. Someone of Cesc Fabregas’s ability could use Fifa 12’ s “Vision Mapping” to pick out opportunities that lesser skilled players could not.
Players can build up injuries as well, meaning a relatively minor tackle could put them out of a major game at a crucial moment.
The end result is a more realistic attempt at a soccer sim, one that wouldn’t have been possible 10 years ago.
As this year’s E3 showed, developers are not resting on their laurels. We can expect bigger, better, more realistic games over the next year and beyond.