I have been playing FIFA since the days of the Sega Megadrive/Genesis and have had mostly good experiences with the franchise. Back in the day it was revolutionary, groundbreaking and the game to beat. As the years went by the game seemed to get worse and worse, and FIFA was losing it’s crown to Pro Evolution, then back when FIFA 08 came out, something changed. The developers were starting to understand just how important soccer was to the world and they decided they really had to make a go of making a great soccer game, FIFA was starting to get it’s crown back. FIFA 10 was once again ground breaking, it was a near perfect representation of the wonderful game of soccer and i thought it would be near impossible to beat, but then came along FIFA 11!
EA have hit the proverbial nail on the head with FIFA 11. The game just oozes class. For those that played FIFA10, you will not see much change in the graphics or hear much change in the audio, but there are enough small changes to make this feel like a whole new game!
There are many modes of play in FIFA 11. You have your standard kick-off mode which is just a quick way to get into a game and have a play around. Then there is Career Mode, which has been changed this year. You can now choose how to start out your career. You can start out as a player and work your way up from being a reserve player all the way to club legend, then you can start bringing your playing career to an end and take up the role of player manager and then you can become a full time manager. The Career mode is immense, the attention to detail is really quite spectacular. When you get into club management, the frills of trying to buy your favorite players for your club is amazing. Winning competitions so your silverware can be displayed in online trophy cabinets will keep you coming back for more and more and of course creating your virtual pro will keep you hooked, for a long long time!
The virtual pro is something that EA gambled on in FIFA 09/10 and it payed off in a big way. Create a player in your likeness, pick which position he will play, then as you play through the career mode or online modes you can increase the attributes of your player by doing certain things in the games. Want to become a pass master, then practice your short mid and long range passing. For instance there is a challenge that says “create 25 goals by passing along the ground” doing this will increase your players attributes. The attributes to increase are varied, ranging from Mental to agility, to passing, to shooting and defending. Really creating your virtual pro and increasing his stats will take a long time but it will be well worth it.
Probably one of the biggest inclusions this year in FIFA 11 is that you can be a goal keeper! This is probably the first game in soccer game history where you can do this. EA have pulled it off really well. You can even make your virtual pro have a career as a goalie. The game mechanics when playing as a goalie are excellent. Playing in this position requires great timing and great positioning. It is a really challenging and rewarding although sometimes frustrating position to play. It can be pretty boring being the goalie when you do not see any action for a while, so EA included a mode so that when you have no action a a goalie you can zoom up the field to see what your team mates are doing.
The Online modes in FIFA 11 are as great as ever. Ranked and unranked matches are easy to come by. Play in a game that is 11 vs 11 with other players around the world, you can even create a virtual club and ask your players to join, you can then take your club and your virtual pro online! You can also make a club in the creation center online. Many players have made custom made players that can then be downloaded into your game and you can use them online, nice feature.
So how does it all play? FIFA 11plays like a dream! The graphics are amazing. Super clean, clear and crisp images will fill your screen. Bright vibrant colors, excellent weather effects and awesome shadow and lighting effects all add to the experience. The amount of time spent on player modeling is mind blowing, even from a distance you can tell who your favorite players are, not only from the way they look, but by the way they move around the pitch and how they react to things are are happening in front of them. The animation is super smooth, really quite incredible. The passing mechanics in FIFA 11 have been changed this year, it is now a little more difficult than in previous years, you cannot just press the pass button and expect it to find your team mate, the game really takes into account the ability of the player with the ball, so be careful before you try a killer pass or back pass, it might not work out!
The audio in FIFA 11 is great as always in! Excellent commentary from Martin Tyler and Andy Gray really make you feel like you are in the game rather than playing it, they react well to what is happening on the pitch! The atmosphere that the crowd generates is excellent and you can really hear the crowds of your favorite team chant your favorite songs! Another awesome feature this year is that you can download chants from the internet that might be posted on your club forums and you can import them into the game and hear them when you play! What an excellent idea!
FIFA 11 is an incredible game! It is polished to a high shine and will be hard to beat or improve on. EA done a wonderful job, From kick-off to in-depth career modes to the great online play! FIFA 11 has it all! It will keep you entertained for hours upon hours, just the virtual pro creation will keep you coming back for more! This is a must for soccer fans and even non soccer fans will find something to like in FIFA 11.