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UEFA Euro 2012 review: FIFA ditches the discs - and much of the content

Cheap, but not cheap enough...

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It's a fantasy romp around Europe, beating teams, taking their players as prisoners of war and eventually establishing a team of superstars. It's FIFA Street on a continental scale, each win opening routes to countries you've never heard of. You'll start by picking a player as captain - your created Pro will do - and then designing crests, kits, and a team name that strikes fear into the hearts of men. The rest of your ranks are swelled by random no-names; win one match and the defeated will offer their reserves as spoils, win another and you'll get someone off their bench, and win a third time for a member of their starting 11.

Zoom

With 53 teams in total, and three matches each necessary to win players that won't trip over their own feet, there's a lot of game here. Once again, though, matches themselves are still FIFA 12 at their core. It's also ineffective as a dream-team-builder - seeing as each player you receive is random, you're limited to Europeans, and it takes so damn long to assemble even a halfway decent squad.

INSTANT REPLAY

The last hope lies in multiplayer, allowing 16 players to compete in an online Euro 2012 tournament (a nice touch) and offering a bread and butter scenario mode which EA promises to bolster with a downloadable stream of mid-match objectives post-launch.

What we played of FIFA 12's multiplayer is near perfect, so by default this is too - seeing as it's pretty much the exact same game swanning about in new tournament livery. Computer-controlled footballers still frustrate with ludicrously accurate passes and an annoying and uncanny knack of fleeing back to their own goal when the pressure mounts, but fortunately human opponents make human mistakes.

When you're playing against real life people, skill moves actually work, for one, and the ability to beat your marker (a feat that's almost impossible against a cautious AI that backs off and backs off and hardly ever jumps in) completely changes the way the matches feel and play.

Zoom

The good news is you have the choice of partaking in friendlies both split-screen and online, as well as the aforementioned 16-player official tournament. But the novelty of a competition that contains nothing but all-Euro teams wears thin pretty quickly, and you'll soon find yourself going back to FIFA 12's more extensive multiplayer modes and larger team list. It's not bad if you want to relive the games from Euro 2012 as they happen, but we'd imagine you'll be hard pushed to find a game online once it's finished.

And that's just the problem with Euro 2012: there's little to justify playing it ahead of FIFA 12, other than to coincide with three weeks of Euro footy fever over the summer.

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The verdict

Cheap but not cheap enough, EA have smartly ditched the discs - and also much of the content. Plus, it plays identically to FIFA 12.

  • The best football game on the market, reskinned
  • Expedition mode is the best/only new addition
  • Lacks the depth and content of FIFA 12
  • For once, limited by its official licence
  • Almost nothing new here for long-time fans of the franchise
7.5
Format
PlayStation 3
Developer
EA Sports
Publisher
EA Sports
Genre
Sports

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