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FIFA 12 Review: The Verdict

So here we are, the business end of the FSB FIFA 12 Review, where the team share their final verdict on this years football gaming delights. There’s also the small matter of the final FSB score for FIFA 12 which hopefully you’ll agree with.

Don’t worry, we won’t judge you if you scroll right to the bottom to see the final score first and then come back to the top to read the more detailed final verdicts. After you’re done hit the comments and share your own final verdict of FIFA 12.

Suffwan’s Verdict

With the launch of FIFA 12, EA have managed to push the bar tech-wise with sports video games once again. With a plethora of improvements to graphics, audio, gameplay mechanics and features combined with improvements to both offline (Career Mode) and online game modes FIFA 12 offers a much improved gaming experience when compared to it’s predecessor. However, whilst FIFA 12 manages to impress with it’s bold implementation of new gameplay features, it is hampered by the same fundamental issues that existed in previous iterations and remain unresolved.

For all it’s glory visually and mechanically, this game remains an enigma. The simple fact is that FIFA 12 allows you to play football the beautiful way with skill, precision and finesse. However, the basics of the sport that include pass, move and support are not endorsed by the almost lathargic AI that fails to support build up play and seems static. For this reason above all it has surely been the most difficult football game to ever review due to the gulf in variability within the game’s various aspects.

Take nothing away from the FIFA development team in Vancouver, FIFA 12 is the best FIFA game to date and is a joy to play! However, on a personal level I feel that the potential of this game was immense and I keep wondering “What if”!

Tom’s Verdict

FIFA 12 has shown that EA are capable of making bold moves. A lot of FIFA 11 has been ripped up and disposed of, Menus, Online systems, Career mode has seen drastic changes, as has Creation Centre, and that’s before you go into changes on the pitch. I want to see more of this bravery going forward. FIFA 12 is very much a step in the right direction in so many ways, but there is more work to be done. Those largely cosmetic changes don’t alleviate the issues with player movement and AI, which I feel haven’t really moved on from last year. That’s what frustrates me most about FIFA as a franchise, with every step forward, certain aspects get left behind, leaving them to stand out even further than they previously did.

At this point 12 months ago I was already picking holes in FIFA 11 and becoming more and more frustrated by the day, but currently I’m still very much enjoying the game overall, which excites me because there’s still so much left to explore. That said, it’s early days and there will no doubt be problems that arise and exploits that appear, but for the first time since FIFA 09 I feel confident that I could be enjoying the game right up until the next release.

Toby’s Verdict

Overall, FIFA 12 is a game which has improved a lot over FIFA 11, and represents the single biggest yearly improvement in recent years. We have a bulked up Career Mode, an entirely new online setup, and in some ways, revolutionised gameplay, but in far too many areas the game is all too recognisable. The Be a Pro side of Career Mode, and Clubs modes are almost unchanged from last year, and there are far too many problems in FIFA’s gameplay which have been there for far too long.

In that way, FIFA 12 is a contradiction. EA has bravely shown that they are completely capable and willing to make big and risky changes to their core engine, while still experiencing sales growth and great critical acclaim. At the same time, they have been unwilling to expand this revolution any further, spending a lot of time implementing the complex Player Impact Engine, barely noticeable but for the glitches, yet leaving the AI in a frankly appalling state. FIFA 12 may be the best FIFA yet, but at the end of it all I’m still mourning how much potential is still unrealised.

Dave’s Verdict

One thing EA always seem to nail with new FIFA releases is the feeling that you can never go back, and with FIFA 12 that sentiment is perhaps greater than ever before. If that was the only barometer for success, then FIFA 12 would be without doubt a 10/10 game. For me though, improving your product immeasurably year on year is simply expected and not necessarily cause for celebration.

With fundamental issues surrounding AI, inertia and variety of team styles still prominent for many FIFA gamers there’s only so far the largely successful trinity of new gameplay features could ever carry FIFA 12 on the pitch. Tactical Defending has forced FIFA in the right direction but until the intelligence is there to back-up the impressive tech, it will always fall just short of the mark.

FIFA 12 is an immensely enjoyable experience this year and it’s probably the best FIFA game I’ve ever played. My major disappointment is that I don’t believe FIFA 12 is as good as the potential many of its features possess.

Asim’s Verdict

Thanks to new gameplay features and revamped modes, FIFA 12 represents the biggest change in the series since FIFA 09. Tactical defending, precision dribbling, an improved online structure and a bolstered career mode all make the game a much more enjoyable experience than its predecessor. Yet despite all that, FIFA 12 still has some of the same old problems and a few new ones too.

Whilst you’ll get a decent game of football out of FIFA 12 (especially if you play with friends), thanks to the lack of AI, you won’t get a great one. It’s a shame really because the potential for a truly amazing representation of the beautiful game is there, hiding somewhere deep inside. EA promised a revolution, instead what we have is more of a slight evolution. Still, even with that in mind, FIFA 12 is quite possibly the best addition the series yet. If you loved FIFA 11, chances are you’ll love this too.

And the Official FIFA Soccer Blog Review score for FIFA 12 is:


* The final score is not an average of each element reviewed, additional weighting was given to more prominent game modes.

Join the discussion
  • dejilinho PSN(Manual)

    Dave, I play on manual and I changed my CPU slider just slightly and I think its fair by increasing passing and shooting errors by 10, that is, to 60 each.

  • David Bryant

    @Sam smith I have to take the flack for the 9/10 which I awarded FIFA 11 it was my first review ever and incredibly naive. It was a bad review and one I’ve learnt an incredible amount from.

    Looking back FIFA 11 was probably a 7/10 therefore there has been significant progress.

    No excuses, last years review was poor, but this years is on the money I feel. Many lessons learned.

  • Tom Mills

    @samsmith as i mentioned earlier in the comments the process was completely different

  • sam smith

    well m8 if fifa11 was rated in a short amount of time how can it properly be reviewed without goin thru it in depth if fifa 11 was overrated and they only gave fifa12 a 8/10 fifa11 should have been about 7 then not a 9/10

  • Tom Mills

    @anthonyoa thanks fella

  • sam smith

    wot i can remember about fifa11 reviews in xbox mags and gamesmaster mag they gave it i think it was about 8.5 in most mags.

  • sam smith

    ea should have left custom weather and stadiums in cm .so you could set it your self .

  • sam smith

    thanx for the reply dave.and tom

  • Markov

    The AI needs work, but the main issue is the following.

    Why put effort into creating tactical defending only to make it utterly pointless by allowing be a goalkeeper on H2H games? It has taken away all the fun online and I may as well play offline. At least offline once you get passed the superb AI defence you don’t have to get passed a spammed super human keeper.

    What is worse is the deceit by EA in promoting and pushing tactical defending, but not one mention of be a goalkeeper in H2H until release day. Very cheap of EA.

    I will probably keep the game to play offline with hope that this ridiculas feature is removed. However, the longgevity of this title will be far less unless online is sorted out due to the fact that offline can become very repetitive due to the AI restrictions.

  • Keloo

    What I’m trying to understand is why everyone complains so much about the AI of fifa 12 like it’s the worst AI ever seen in a football game, and they enjoyed so fifa world cup 2010 and consider it the best or something. Or some keep saying how great PES 6 was. Were the AI in both PES 6 or fifa wc 2010 better then the one seen in fifa 12, or you expectation increased so much during the years ?

    Just curious, because I think some really exaggerate about the AI. Maybe I don’t know football, or maybe I don’t have such unrealistic expectations but I think it’s decent, not bad, especially when you increase the sliders, the game gets much more dynamic. Or maybe I’m expeting different things when it comes to player movement in a football match.

  • BC87X

    Personally, I think the overall review was a good one. Obviously like most on here I also think maybe a rating in the 7′s is more fitting.

    The one think I am a bit disappointing is that you guys haven’t emphasized the flaws more especially the returning ones and new ones.

    VP hack that is still in the game with the profile transferring plus the added VP slider glitch it seems EA really doesn’t want you to spend time and level up your VP properly.

    Then their is the Goalkeeper in H2H, which complete ruins the fun for Online. There is also there the CM transfer extravagance that happens every window be it the scripted transfers or the insane CPU player growth.

    And two of the most annoying Gameplay flaws for me is the inability or unwillingness for defenders to intercept the most simplest of balls or make the most obvious runs in attack, which triggers me to rage like never before in any other game.

  • Keloo

    “which triggers me to rage like never before in any other game.”

    Lol. Chill dude, is just a damn video game. Defenders not going in attack ? Seriously how much have you played this game and on what difficulty ? Cause every time I’ve played I can clearly see the wing defenders running forward helping the offensive.

    What did you expect ? The whole defence line to go forward ? You got some unrealistic expectations from a football, sorry…

  • BC87X

    I play on World Class and Legendary, but I don’t think you fully understand the concept of support or attacking runs. When I am in midfield I expect some movement around me not just from wing backs or wingers, which is none existent in this game, but also movement from my strikers and other central midfielders.

  • prabs

    H2H is a huge let down for me , i rather have the old system.

    1. same team vs same team

    2. CLASH colours is very gamebreaking… horrendous.

    3.GKS contorl … LAME GKS !

  • Total Football

    It’s odd reading these comments, all reviews say Fifa 12 is the best Fifa to date yet no one seems to like it?

  • Keloo

    Well I like it, but I’m kind of the only one around here(well I guess I didn’t expect the unexpected from football game, and maybe because I came from fifa 10(11 PC) I think fifa 12 is a big improvement).

    But I smell many PES players here that decided to play fifa(expecting the holy grail of football games) and now their constantly whining because they didn’t get it.

  • Keloo

    I agree with Total Football, and also if some of you really can’t stand the new gameplay, the AI, why waste your time with it, feel free to play PES(I’m not being ironic nor sarcastic), it’s pointless to spend your time with the things that you don’t like.

    Games are supposed to be fun and entertaining, and to make us play them with pleasure and excitement, not with frustration and anger. What’s the point then ? I’m playing a game just to get more and angry and frustrated, I’m playing it to relax and have some fun, forget about the daily stuff that bothers me. Just saying, no need to be rude ey ?

  • Toby Ross

    People who love football and gaming are perfectly entitled to spend time talking about football gaming.

  • Total Football

    @ Keloo

    Yeah it was the exact same on here with last years game, The thing is on the internet it’s just full of idiots wanting to moan while the millions upon millions that buy the game dont bother spending all their time on the internet moaning about it they spend their time playing it. :)

  • Xavi

    I personally have FIFA 09, FIFA 10 and FIFA 11, I think 10 and 11 are more or less identical , so is FIFA 12 to FIFA 11 apart from this gimmick called the ” trinity ” I’m gonna stick with FIFA 11 for now and wait what they’ll offer next year !! Wise choice I reckon 40 quid for minor updates are not worth it . Might pick up FIFA streets 4 though !