The Sims invade FIFA

That’s the first thing I thought when I tried the demo for FIFA 11.

First thing I did was choose my team (and since I’m following my man David Villa, I chose Barcelona).

By the by, they are now probably the most unstoppable team in the Spanish League, let alone league football. Villa, Messi, Iniesta, Puyol, Pique, players at their prime and at their peak, all playing together.

But I digress.

Every year, we’re treated to a new FIFA game, a new Madden game, new NHL, a new sports game. And every year, gamers complain because it’s the same game again, just for that year.

And honestly, with FIFA 11, I thought this would happen. How could you possibly improve on what FIFA 9 and FIFA 10 had already improved on without just adding a bunch of fluff?

I decided to really look into what they changed, and so as I said, I went straight into the squad line-up to take a look at Barcelona’s new set up. First thing’s first, Mr. Villa was dead center (and I squeed like a school girl, because alas FIFA 10 had not been updating and I had to play with Valencia to play with Villa). Interestingly enough, I grew to like Valencia thanks to this, so I try to follow them as well, but once again I digress.

The point was, as I looked at Villa’s name, I noticed icons next to it, and I assumed this was the new personality traits EA had been going on and on about.

I looked into them, and although I can’t remember exact names off the top of my head, I noticed stuff like Villa being a able to score from distance, and being good with the ball, etc.

Some of the defenders, like Puyol, had traits that were about how they were tacticians, or had good vision, or where fast.

These seemed like arbitrary traits, but then I actually got into the game.

It makes a difference.

Actually, quite a difference.

Compared to the other defenders, I felt Puyol had power, and was able to make plays and get the ball rolling into the offense much better than normal.

Although Messi is amazing, I felt that Villa provided more opportunities to score just from his positioning and his traits. He handled the ball closer to his feet, and thus I was able to squeeze through and pull off shots I normally couldn’t with greater ease.

It wasn’t just that he was a forward, and thus could make these shots, I felt that he specifically had he ability to be a playmaker just because he had the traits to do it.

The other forward, Pedro, just felt like he could move the ball forward, and maybe make some shots.

It was just little things that made it feel like each player was different. Villa and Messi, without me even doing tricks, would do small tricks with their feet, getting the ball into open areas and firing off shots.

It was actually quite enjoyable. I felt that Villa was now able to get shots off easier because he was given the tools to do so.

I made my first goal from a header, and it looked oddly similar to the header Villa got off in the match against Racing. It’s possible that reality is slowing seeping into a soccer sim. Which is awesome.

Another “realism” bit they threw into this game was the full, 360 fight for the ball. Now, instead of just being a lateral fight for possession, you actually fight at any angle to get the ball. This made for a lot of pushing, falling and quick recoveries if you were tackled. One thing that always frustrated me in FIFA 10 was the tackling was NEVER a guarantee of keeping the ball in possession. If you tackled away from the lateral fight for the ball, you ended up with a stray ball that normally was picked up by the opposing team, even though you just fought for 20 minutes to get it back.

Now, if you tackled, 9 times out of 10 you can gain possession and start your attack. Now if you slide tackled, you’ll actually get up to get it, unlike FIFA 10 where you would lay their and enjoy the sunshine.

The game, overall, does feel a lot more realistic, and it’s to the point where they should stop.

I love realism as much as the next guy, but I have been noticing that this game is a little harder than FIFA 10 just because of how real it really feels. Scoring is a little more difficult, and the 360 fight for the ball makes it so that possession stays about 50-50… then again, I was playing against Chelsea, and then Real Madrid, which are not push over teams and have plenty of traits of their own.

I liked it though, and I actually can’t wait for it to come out, but where will they go from here? This seems like a pretty good stopping point for realism, so what comes next?


~ by machombie on 09/17/2010.

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