Published on October 12th, 2010 | by Kyle Spencer, Editor
FIFA 2011 Review
FIFA Soccer 2011
Release Date: Sept. 28, 2010
Publisher: EA Sports
Developer: EA Canada
Platforms: Xbox 360 [Reviewed], PS3, Wii, PSP, DS, PS2, iPhone
Have you ever wondered how it would feel to walk out of a tunnel on a warm night in a stadium filled with hundreds of thousand screaming fans of your team / country? From the very beginning EA brings you into those cleats of and a franchise that has established itself as the one true soccer game to play-year after year. This was another solid entry into the Fifa books that EA has dominated for so long. There are a few minor flaws that keep it from becoming the steamroller that 2010, or World Cup were last year, but do not deter from the great experience. The penalty-Kick interface mechanic introduced in Fifa World Cup makes a return in this years rendition. It seems that this mechanic was implemented into the game with no further refinement.
The graphics look terrific. The player models and animations are just as fluid as they were in the prior year. It’s apparent that EA Canada put a lot of work into the character models and detail of the arenas in which you play. Hence the opening statement of the review. EA immerses you in the atmosphere of any of the teams within the FIFA license and do a remarkable job with authenticity. The sound is flat out eruptive. When a game is close and you are sprinting to the goal and ready to pull the trigger on a high power kick, the fans will erupt when you shoot and cheer or boo depending on the outcome of the shot. The 2011 version feels closer to an actual soccer game and the fluidity is close to accurate. It seems harder to pull off passes than previous versions, but shooting seemed to be a little bit tighter as well. Using your left thumb stick, you can position your shots, depending on your body placement. I can’t count how many times I had shots bounce off the goal posts.
The game’s AI is also revamped. It becomes especially noticeable in the career mode. This is when you create your star character that is used in the game. The AI seemed to always gets passes and shots off in a very effective way. They will back you up when going in for that big kick, and know when to go for the head but score at the right time. For instance, my character (known as SPIKE) was coming across the right side with two defenders, leaving my middle man open and when I kicked a high cross kick. My AI teammate went up and put in an easy head. Gooooaal!!! It was actually very entertaining to see an AI feed so well off of your controlled character.
The game does however have some draw backs. It seems that this year shipped with a few bugs that could become problematic. Although online is still fun, it seems that server problems are one thing EA has problems escaping. There were matches being played 30 minutes in and would close due to connectivity to EA servers. When playing as a goal keeper, it seems that the camera never seems to get right, and even sometimes gets stuck behind the goal post itself, to the point you cant see the players, leading to some easy goal for the opposition. Going through career mode also has you moving through a calendar on the wall to your next game. You want practice, you will have to quite the mode and go into a practice mode. You play from one game to the next, and get your endorsements and other contracts through a series of e-mails that you will have to answer. NCAA Football and Madden NFL say “Hi”.
Fifa 2011 is a solid game, and if your a fan of the sport you will not be disappointed. However if you were looking for ground breaking ideas that last years version had, you will not find it this year. Fifa is still a fun game to play, remains at the top of the soccer world, and will continue to do so, but I felt a little discomfort not seeing the big refinements I was expecting after a stellar release last year. If it seems that I keep reverting to last years version an great deal, I can’t help it. Last years version was a stellar upgrade, where this one seems like a re-release of 2010 with little refinement on what they already got right. I’m sure we will all be singing this same song when NBA 2K12 comes next year as well, but hey, some addition would be great.
[xrr label=”Rating: 7/10″ rating=7/10]
+ Great Visuals
+ Fluid gameplay
+ Controls are still solid
+ Career Mode is fun
+ My Create a player actually looks like ME!
– Little refinement
– Bugs can become problematic
– Online connectivity issues
– No Upgrades