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Well, I've been playing Fifa games since I was eight with Fifa Football 2004 being the first incarnation I ever played. I have always enjoyed playing them and I have never really been dissapointed with a Fifa game before.
The same old.
Unless there is a new generation of consoles, the core gameplay or graphics isn't going to change too much. The game is still running strong using the same engine since Fifa 08. Nothing has radically changed since last year's game which obviously means fans like me will always be happy to a degree.
So what new tricks has the old dog learnt?
The new features for this year are Pro Passing, an attempt to stop the 'ping-pong' passing (were a player could simply keep pointing toward the goal and pressing pass to get up the pitch quickly, barely resembling real life football), this is in conjunction with a slow down of game speed to make sure you can't get the ball down the pitch too fast. This had made for a much more realistic feel for the game and it is a huge improvement from Fifa 10. Sadly, this feature has been made optional for online so, the problem isn't entirely solved.
The other two big features have been a bit of a dissapointment for me, Be a Goalkeeper and Personality+. Be a goalkeeper is exactly what it says on the tin, the chance to play as goalkeeeper, I can't say I have played it extensively but, I have had little to do in the matches I have played as a goalkeeper. Personality+ is a feature to reflect player's abilities and also to provide more true to life movements for each player to make each player slightly more distuinguishable. The only player I have seen this shine through for is Cristiano Ronaldo and while his movements are spot on and you really feel as if it is him playing, it is dissapointing to see it not applied effectively to more players.
Improvements to player graphics, a big improvement to pitch graphics and a lovely new overhaul to career mode make me happy enough though.
This brings me on to the game mode most players will dedicate their Fifa playing time to, career mode. EA have scrapped the entire code for manager mode and replaced it with career mode, a cross between manager mode and be a pro. This gives you the option to be a player, player manager or manager. As a player, you play as one player on the pitch while as a manager you run the transfers and take complete control of the team in matches, player manager is a cross between the two.
I am personally playing as a manager and I can instantly see an improvement to realism, I dip straight into the transfer market and find that players that regularly start for their team require you to stump up a higher fee to lure them to your own team. A new feature to advance to which date you want is available now which certainly makes signing players easier as you don't have to wait for another match, another nice addition are the main hub images and layout Overall, I'm loving career mode and it is certainly a step up from last year's manager mode, my only real gripe with it is the lack of staff upgrades.
Gameplay - Obviously sticks to the good old core gameplay with a few new improvements to make it a bit more realistic. 9/10
Graphics - Some slight improvements to player graphics as well as a huge improvement in the looks of the pitch. Still a little below the standard set by PES though. 8/10
Life Span - Career Mode can last you a long time and online matches will also rack up a lot of game time. You can bet your house on the addicting Ultimate Team add-on being available at some point as well. 9.5/10
Online - Fifa 10 was still in the top 10 most played games on xbox live last month which shows how many people like the online. Online leagues, 11v11 as well as the normal head to head matches make for a lot of options. 9/10
Overall - Another great Fifa game from EA. A few slight problems here and there but it was definitely be another game to distract you from the real world.8.9/10