FIFA 11 Kicks Off In Style

The season kicks off with a welcome return from Electronic Arts much-loved footballing franchise.

Stunning visuals and a host of new features ensure that FIFA remains top of the Premier League of football titles.

The start of the English football season see’s with it the return to form of yet another footballing legend with EA Sport’s FIFA 11 firing in the scorchers from all angles. Although some are already wondering if the game can top the previous season’s outing of FIFA 10 we are here to tell you folks that FIFA 11 has more than just the addition of a few fancy footwork tricks up its sleeve this year. By far the main addition to the squad this season for the king of the pitch has to be the inclusion of the Personality+ mode where gamers will discover that each individual player will have their strengths and attributes affected not only by their stamina and fitness levels, but also from the position that the player adopts. So from that you will learn that John Terry plays somewhat different to Wayne Rooney, and that as it is in the reality of the high pressure footballing world, so it will be in the interactive world of the videogame. Midfielders require strikingly different talents to goalkeepers, as do defenders to strikers and so on and so forth. So expecting to play Newcastle United’s Andy Carroll as a left back may just prove to be your undoing should you chance such a reckless squad placing in your line up?

Everything ids affected from the players passing abilities, heading, tackling right through to the way that they strike the ball in a shot on goal from whichever of their two gifted feet they decide to let fly from. It truly affects everything on the pitch and is there to be ignored or overlooked at your peril.

In fact everything about the latest edition of the FIFA 11 title fields that little bit more ‘involved‘ than in previous renditions. The ‘Be A Pro’ mode has a far deeper take to it, and should you choose to carry over your own player creation into the beautiful game then this is where the inclusion of the Personality+ will truly ‘kick in,‘ no pun intended, as you will discover for yourself when first you spoon your shots into the highly animated and realistic crowds.

The way that Personality+ handles the pro’s is one thing as they are all blessed with the natural ability and talent that has led them all to the very pinnacle of their footballing careers. This will be demonstrated when using the new system and watching in amazement at how the movement and trickery of the player that you are controlling turns out to be all the more impressive for his actions reflect the true nature of the character from his real-life on-field playing ability. That being said, it will also be blatantly obvious that when you take your own character from your player creation across to your squad it is best if you try to give your man as much on the ball time as you possibly can, earning those all-important in-game bonuses so that he levels up as just as Personality+ can highlight a players individual talents it can also demonstrate a rookies shortcomings.

Another great touch this year see’s the inclusion of the keepers. So not only can you fancy yourself as a budding Lionel Messi or a Thierry Henri, but now you will be able to pull on the garish yellow jersey and crash helmet of Petr Cech. The decision to include the option to lay as ‘the man between the sticks’ is a welcome one, in our opinion, as it allows the main selling point for the title to come to the fore, the 11-on-11 online multiplayer match. This new feature for any footballing title from any developer on any format gives gamers to go online with their friends and for the very first time field a full squad just as they would in real-life. To say that this feature works well is like saying that Anglo-Irish are having a spot of money trouble at the moment. It is absolutely fantastic and if you are thinking of purchasing FIFA 11 then we can readily suggest that this one mode should be the reason why. This is how all online sports titles should be. It just gives such a sense of depth and realism to the proceedings that is unlike anything else out there on the market. Even the goalie has a vital role to play and it’s not all just about the outfield players, as thanks to the fully upgraded referee system, they are no longer just faceless drones but real-life referee’s that you will find familiar from any match that you may care to watch on Sky Sports, you will discover to your peril that they have eyes in the back of their heads and will not hesitate to point to the spot should you commit the textbook rash challenge from behind?

The graphic’s are pleasing to the eye and have the edge on the games competition. Right from the way that the crowds improved involvement in the game, with their superior chants and the fact that they no longer look like a seething faceless mass as in some other soccer titles, can bolster your spirits and lift your players, you will enjoy the way that even the individual fan’s in the stands can now be identified and don’t look like a modern art masterpiece. The sound quality of the game is second to none, and also see’s a sparkling return to form for the commentator’s Andy Gray and Martin Tyler. All we need now is the odd ‘phenomenal’ from Scottish pundit Alan Hansen and this could well stand in for Match of the Day come the off-season.

Speaking of season’s leads us nicely into the description of the Mode that see’s the return of the fans favourite with pretty much everything here that you would want to see a return of? The decision to play as Manager, Player or Player/Manager is still yours for the making and will greatly affect how you will approach the challenges of the season ahead. One word of advice that we will offer to future players is that if you , like we did, import your created character over to your season in your sides squad then be aware that your man will not have the pace or the stamina and prolonged usage will leave him open to injury and extreme fatigue. This will lead to the problem that we endured when our man was injured very early into the season and we were left having to simulate matches as our pro recuperated from his ailments.

All the usual suspects are included in EA Sports staggeringly accurate lit of the A-Z of football team’s from absolutely every major and minor footballing league from around the globe, as well as the inclusion of the national squads. So you will once again be able to fully enjoy taking your favourite team all the way to the FA Cup Final in the Tournaments mode. Failing that you could always opt to create your own tournament, again s we did, so that we could wreak revenge on all the teams who had punished our beloved Newcastle United during our relegation season a couple of years ago.

Graphics: The polished soccer sim goes that extra yard and manages to beat the opposition to the ball before slamming it into the ‘onion bag’ as FIFA 11 shows us all once more why it remains the footballing game of choice for every true fan of the game.  9

Gameplay: With the 360 gameplay that was put to good use in FIFA 10 making a welcome return and the fantastic Personality+ mode giving a sense of realism like no other, FIFA 11 really does let you take control as it grabs the ball before slotting it into an open net for its second of the game.                      9

RePlay Value: With so many single play modes to enjoy and the limitless creations in Tournament Mode at your fingertips FIFA 11 really does have it all. For it then to offer the first ever 11-on-11 footballing experience for fans around the world is simply genius as this mode will have gamers playing this game for many hours yet to come. Once again, for the hat-trick, he shoots he scores!  10

Presentation: Once again the developers at EA Sports have taken the doubts and fears of those sceptics who cry out for earth shattering changes year in and year out and they turn they criticism on its head. FIFA 11 is by far the best footballing title of the year and easily the most enjoyable of the long-established series. A true champion of the genre that deserves its crown.   9

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