FIFA 12: The most intelligent football game ever?

We catch up with EA and get hands on with its golden goose...

Forget your team losing by a humiliating scoreline. For the fourth time in a row. Following your star striker being sold to your closest rivals, the club chairman filing for bankruptcy and the team mascot running off with the captain's wife.

No matter how your team has done this season, we've got something to make you look forward to next season. Even Arsenal supporters.

Lucky old us were recently invited out to Vancouver, Canada, to go to EA Sports' HQ to get a first look at the forthcoming FIFA 12 (you knew it was coming, right?). And because we knew we'd get a chance to grill the developers on what's new this year, we thought we'd take your questions straight to them.


So we asked you for your suggestions on what you'd like to see in the new game via Facebook and Twitter, then took these over to Canada and hurled them at FIFA supremo Dave Rutter like a Rory Delap bullet throw-in.

Only we didn't need a crafty towel at the side to dry our hands as we did it. Though we did need to takea run-up... But that's just the writer's peculiar interview technique...

Despite EA Canada's attempts to throw us off our mission via a fire alarm as we were interviewing Dave (true), we've got the dev's responses to what you want to see and we're sure you want to know what's happening with the new game, what's being added and why FIFA 12 is already looking like a real humdinger. We're impressed by what we saw. So much so that we've forgotten about our team's relegation last weekend.

The most significant news is that there's a new physics engine. The devs are calling it the new 'Impact Engine' and essentially it means the game will be more realistic. This new tech means there'll be less 'clipping' - that's where players' body parts unrealistically contact and 'ghost' through someone, and not where a sly fullback like Gary Neville trips up a speedy winger.

Players will collide in more realistic fashion than ever before and you can really boot the opposition up into the air now - time a challenge incorrectly and they'll cartwheel into the sky like a cheerleader.

Midfield hardmen will weep with joy at the news, as the likes of Didier Drogba roll about on the floor in proper pantomime fashion. Get ready to boo a lot more loudly with FIFA 12. Coupled with the improved physics, there will also be refurbished 'Precision Dribbling' - a term coined by the devs to explain how skilful players will be able to better utilise their close control of the ball.

You'll be able to 'shield dribble' with strong players with good technique: this means keeping the ball under control but placing the player's body between the opponent and the ball. It was in FIFA 11 but didn't work very well so few people used it. Now they will.


Players will also use more contextual dribbles and touches to keep control of the ball, particularly when near the sideline - the top pros don't just let the ball run out of play, unless they play for Bristol Rovers...

The devs also noticed that in real matches skilful players might take many slight touches of the ball in a confined area. If you tried this in FIFA 11 you'd end up moving across two-thirds of the pitch. No more. The devs are hoping this will encourage creativity in the middle of the park in a Barcelona style, and add a new pace to the game.

And coupled to the precise dribbling is another major change: gone is the holding down of A/X to 'press' the ball. Instead this will get your defender to 'contain' an opponent.

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