FIFA 10 was easily one of the better soccer
games to come out of the EA Sports franchise which was probably helped
because of the strong rivalry with Konamiís Pro Evolution Soccer (PES)
series which ensures that neither developer can rest of their laurels.
So here we are again, a year later and a new incarnation of one of the
worldís most beloved video soccer games, FIFA 11.
My first reactions to the tweaked gameplay
of FIFA 11 wasÖ what on Earth have EA Sports done? However upon further
investigation and a solid week of gaming, EA Sports have actually
improved the in-game of FIFA 11 by taking into consideration a variety
of on-field factors as opposed to a button smasher with player
statistics and timing play more of a role. Itís also the little things
that make FIFA 11 a treat to play such as recording your own crowd
chants and all those whacky manoeuvres that your players do after
scoring a victory. You can even interact with your players after you've
scored a victory as you perform your own personal celebration dances.
Itís pure soccer indulgence. Other elements
from passes to kicks, more specifically defence and offence easily
transcends the series to a whole new skill level. Unfortunately this
will rub a few gamers the wrong way as you literally need to re-learn
the gameplay as opposed to FIFA 10 or FIFA World Cup 2010. The easiest
way to explain this change is that FIFA 11 has become a soccer simulator
and definitely targets those who want to take their video gaming
experience to the next level.
The AI have FIFA 11 is more based on
individual player skill and depending on which team you are playing and
what team you are challenging. Kicking goals can sometimes become a
frustrating experience which once again revolves around the new control
system. You really need to use your team wisely in order to successfully
shoot a goal but when you do, more so your first goal, itís quite a
sweet experience. The 360 dribbling system definitely providers more
fine tuning to the dynamics of ball management and really gives you more
control of that pesky ball, especially over your opponents.
The Career mode of FIFA 11 is quite
in-depth and offers you to start as a player, player/manager or a full
blown manager which allows you get to straight into the schematics of
soccer management but if you want more football manager features, you
will need to investigate other options. The option of Virtual Pro allows
you download your face onto the soccer player which is quite surreal
seeing you play the game but boy is it cool. However for the player or
player/manager choices, these are quite interesting as you work your way
up the rankings of the soccer world. It works but it's not as fun as
just being a player.
For lovers of online play, there is now a
11 versus 11 option which includes the whole team and more particularly
the goalie! This is probably the biggest change to online player and
FIFA 11 continues to build on the strong community of FIFA 11. You can
also save highlights from your matches and even use your "Virtual Pro"
to play online.
When it comes to graphics, I really donít
know how EA Sports continue in making their games look better with every
release and once again this version is no exception to the rule and
looks quite majestic on FULL HD. From the player detail to their
movement and the amazing stadium recreations, this is like being on the
field, especially with Virtual Pro. Then you have that classic EA Sports
soundtrack, slick menu system and all the sounds from the world of
soccer which means you need to play this title with the surround sound
In the end, FIFA 11 is for true soccer
fanatics and if youíre looking for an arcade experience, unfortunately
now is the time to look elsewhere for your soccer fun. The realism has
been upped as have the unpredictability of the players. From the
improved career mode which has been fleshed out more to the refined and
new control system that allows for more interactivity with the players
and the soccer ball. Just be warned, there is a learning curve to master
FIFA 11 and patience, a couple of beers and a FULL HD TV with some
friends may be the perfect solution to become the next soccer star.