I have a confession to make… Remember when we went to Guildford for the first time? And we brought all that lovely FIFA 12 gameplay information back? Well some of you may remember us mentioning that Day 1 of the Guildford play test in May was very heavily embargo’d and there was a very good reason for that because… Six weeks ago… We were playing Career Mode!!
You have no idea how hard its been to keep that a secret but thankfully the lid on Career Mode has now been lifted. Which means we can give you a run down of the new features which grace FIFA 12′s Career Mode. We won’t be posting any opinion/impressions yet because we’re playing a newer build of Career Mode today and want to take that in before nailing our colours to the mast.
Career Mode: The New Features
Visuals: Visually things are pretty similar but the whole front end has been nicely polished. The calendar for advancing matches now embeds in the main screen allowing you to track news and events while the game progresses. You can also halt the advancement at any time if you want to stop and read an article or deal with a transfer deal. There are new colour coded calendar items for league, cup, friendly and European matches too.
Scouting: Yes, scouting is finally back in Career Mode but only for youth players players. You can hire up to three scouts and send them to different regions around for a duration of your choice. The scouts themselves vary in quality with the best scouts demanding the most cash. To get accurate data on the quality of the youth prospects in a region you may need to scout multiple times, however if you wait too long a rival club could step in and sign the player you’re after.
Youth Academy: And once you’ve scouted your young prospects and decided to sign them they get added to your Youth Academy. From here you can track their development and when the time is right either move the players in to your first team squad or realise you made a terrible mistake and send them packing.
Player Stories: Throughout the season players will now approach the manager voicing their concerns or happiness at certain decisions. The topics range from injury worries, lack of game time, unhappy about a new signings, being played out of position, morale, retirement and many, many more. How you deal with these issues is entirely down to the manager.
Transfer Deadline Day: Is now a fully fledged feature of its own in Career Mode and on transfer deadline day the game advances hour by hour to allow you to wheel and deal before the window slams shut. You also have the option to stall transfer deals to allow your self more time to decide between multiple targets.
Form and Morale: Are both back and will need to be delicately managed over the course of the season. These two features plugin to the ‘Player Stories’ system where players will become and unhappy for any number of reasons.
Player Growth: Is allegedly fixed, but we’d need to play for multiple seasons to confirm this. However one very positive example came up when playing a Career Mode as Southampton. Just 3 games in to the season Alex Oxlaide Chamberlain recieved a substantial amount of growth receiving around 10 stats improvements. Most were just +1 but there were a few, +2 and +3 upgrades too. Which when compared to FIFA 11′s +1 growth for an entire season is surely a good sign. Alex is a player who you’d expect to have fairly rapid growth too so the scenario seemed to fit well.
This post covers the Career Mode features we saw six weeks ago but we’ll bring you an updated post with impressions as soon as we’re back from the Guildford play test.