Published on May 1st, 2012 | by Louis Garcia, Contributor

UEFA Euro 2012 Review

Developer: EA Canada
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platforms: Xbox 360 [Reviewed], PlayStation 3
Release Date: April 24, 2012
MSRP: 1800 Microsoft Points (USD $22.50)

EA Sports is good at making their soccer games based on major international tournaments a spectacle. 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa was glazed in pageantry befitting of the tournament–so much so that I’d often find myself lost in the menu, an interactive globe of the world that shared information on each national team.

All other FIFA games I’ve owned that were tied to either a major tournament such as the Euros or Champions League were always fun diversions; the 2002 World Cup edition graced my GameCube’s disc tray many a morning, days and nights.

But those games had something aside from the grandeur of the tournament: quirkiness and a bit of flash not found in the series’ regular iterations.

Many critics consider FIFA 12 to be the pinnacle of digital soccer–I don’t–but with that opinion comes the notion that EA shouldn’t tinker with what works, spruce up a game mode to celebrate the Euros, and add a game mode.

They’ve done just that… but only that.

What’s included in the expansion is the option to play the tournament online (much like the last World Cup edition), challenges specific to the Euro qualifying campaign (with more to be added throughout the tournament in June), and the best part of the downloadable content–the Expedition mode.

The Expedition mode is quite simple: players use their created pro to take charge of a created team and pick a qualifying region to compete against. As you beat team’s new roads open to new countries to play. Lose and you might lose that road.

Winning against a team nets you a new random player from the opposition to swap out with one of your squad members. For example, a first win against Scotland will net you a reserve player. Play them again and you get a substitute level player, but win a third time and you get a starter. Who you get is chosen at random.

It is time consuming and repetitive to play against many of the same teams to accrue a better side, but if you like to grind there is a reward to be had.

Despite the interesting new mode, there just isn’t enough game to justify an expansion.

Aside from the opening cinematic sporting the Euro logo, some flags being waved in the stands, some new teams, and some other small visual tweaks, the game is essentially the same as FIFA 12. Designing your team badge and colors is even severely limited, and players can’t even save replays of their online forays in the tournament mode–both lazy missteps.

And that’s a terrible lot of nothing and laziness when it costs 1800 Microsoft Points, or USD $22.50, for the expansion. There just isn’t enough content there to justify the high price of admission. Even the new content is poor in some areas: the Welsh team, for example, doesn’t have any of the official players on the side. I can guess who the players are by the similar naming scheme, but it’s a little disappointing to say the least.

The lack of content is coupled with the low excitement level in the matches. They only feel different when the announcers blurt out quips of tournament history and facts.

Final Truth:

I’m not a big fan of FIFA 12’s gameplay, but it does a lot of things right. A lot of what it does right is make soccer flashy in video game form. That flash and excitement–as well as content–is missing from the Euro 2012 expansion. For $22.50 that’s not acceptable, and not even the most diehard of FIFA fans should part with their money. I understand EA’s reasoning behind the choice of an expansion: they already had another full retail release in the form of FIFA Street–but I feel as though they missed the goal when they developed this expansion, and instead sent their shot soaring over the crossbar.

[xrr label=”Rating: 5.5/10″ rating=5.5/10]

+ Expedition mode is different
Not enough content for the price

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