Something has been sparked in the United States. Soccer used to be a game that we cared little about. It was not a part of our culture. Then, seeing our U.S. National team move through the World Cup, further then we could have expected, caused us to rally behind them. Despite the dreadful referees and the hostile environment, our country was fully behind our team. Coming off the biggest soccer off-season on record, the United States is excited about soccer.
This off-season, we saw big name players being moved to new teams, and new sponsors taking over old teams. In the world of video games, FIFA Soccer 10 made one of the biggest jumps in realistic gameplay and controllability. We saw 360 degree dribbling, as opposed to the old eight-directional dribbling, and the ability to control your whole team on the pitch, or just your individual player.
FIFA Soccer 11 may not have been as groundbreaking as FIFA Soccer 10, but it still has added some great new features. First off, without even looking at the menu (which is entirely revamped from last year) and jumping straight into a game, you’ll notice a few things. FIFA Soccer 11 has stepped up its realistic gameplay. The way defenders attack the ball and jostle for position has never been more accurate. Jostling can now occur from any direction and not just on a volley. Players can jostle for position on a pass, and even when calling for a pass, players will fight for position.
Another new addition that may not be noticed by the weekend FIFA player is the all-new personality+. Instead of simply giving the top players high ratings and the ability to run faster or shoot with more control, players now have personalities. Some players have certain tendencies to shoot very accurately off the volley while others like to settle and place their shot. If you a are a fan who picks up on these attributes with real players, you’ll be astounded at how accurate they are when playing with them in FIFA Soccer 11. This personality+ also contributes to the goalkeeper. Some keepers are better at the acrobatic recovery saves, while others pride themselves in being in the right place at the right time to make a less spectacular save. You’ll notice it all this year.
Another new addition that can sometimes be a hindrance is the pro passing system. This year you have the option to be in total control of your passes. If you see a striker stepping to an open area and you have the ball as a defenseman, however there is a midfielder between you both, you can choose to pass all the way to the forward or to the midfield. Not too much in the passing controls is different, but the game will recognize how hard you are passing the ball and the direction, and make the pass all the way to the forward. This becomes a problem, though, if you are trying to make a hard pass to someone right up field and the game thinks you’re passing through him and not recognize the defender on the backside, which results in a lost possession. You won’t find this too much, but the occasional turnover is always a downer on your counter attack.
You’ll find the same online features as in FIFA Soccer 10 with little twists in the creation centre. This allows you to create your own player, manage team formations, and add accessories, music, and attributes. Career mode is also about the same as in FIFA Soccer 10, and the AI, again, lacks the intensity or aggressiveness. During career mode, they have not fixed the problem with switching to players based on the smartest play. So if your defender has a great chance of intercepting a pass, and you attempt to switch to him, most of the time it will switch to the defender standing in the position behind the offensive player instead of allowing you to intercept a slow pass.
FIFA Soccer 11 doesn’t have any groundbreaking new additions, but is without a doubt the most accurate and realistic soccer game on the market. For the hardcore soccer fan, or even the average interested gamer, this is a must pick-up.