There are days I look forward to every year. Christmas, Easter, talk like a pirate day, and of course, FIFA day. That annual event when the new version of FIFA is released to the world. The hope is that it will be better than last year. This year does not disappoint.
The game looks nicer. Animations are fresh, stadiums look prettier, and player likenesses are, well, more like real life. But in all honesty, it’s not the visuals that bring me to FIFA. It is the gameplay. To put it simply, crosses are now vitally important, and players can now successfully run with the ball. Dribbling has been completely revamped, and the balance between strength and pace makes for some really interesting battles. It takes a while to get used to the changes, but from what I hear, this is far tougher for those not in the hardcore.
Passing has also been revamped, in a positive way that feels more reliant on skill. This also takes some getting used to, but as long as you always playing the way you’re facing, you can still ping about passes like Barcelona. At the same time, referees have become especially cruel. This frequently slows down matches, but it does have the positive outcome of stopping cynical opponents fouling at every opportunity and escaping punishment, one personal gripe from last year.
Aside from those tweaks it is mostly same as before. There is a career mode, and playing as a single player, and playing with friends, but these all feel very similar to before.
Oh, and one other thing. FIFA 11 needs to be registered online before you can play online, and this locks your game to just one console, and it will cost you £6 to unlock it for another console. This will probably never matter to most people, but it does mean that buying pre-owned will cost you extra to play online. I feel slightly sorry for the innocents who’ll be caught by this, so be on guard.
To put it simply, you already know if you wanted to buy FIFA 11. This is a good game, better than last year, and that is saying something. It is the best football game ever made. But whether it is £40 better than last year, which is the difficult choice. Standing on single-player, which is effectively the same as last year, it doesn’t quite hold up to the pricetag. But to play online or with friends, it definitely is.8.5/10