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I have long been a fan of footballing games and been one of those rare breed who buy both Fifa and Pro Evolution Soccer each year but having had the chance to play a demo of both offerings this year I have finally made my decision that I am a Fifa man.
Many people will have previously experienced Fifa games and so will be used to the exceptional graphics quality but this year has been another big step forward with the entire package made to feel much sharper and free flowing allowing you to become fully involved and feel like you are part of an experience rather than like you are playing a game. I have also this year been very impressed with the commentary which again seems to have been worked on to ensure that it flows and matches in with what is happening within the game more than in previous years and the new commentary team of Alan Smith and Martin Tyler work well together (you may find it takes some time for this to feel as good as with Andy Gray but once you are used to it then in my opinion it is actually much better).
So why is this years game so good? Well EA decided to work heavily on the games physics engine to try to ensure that this felt as real as they could make it and in my opinion the step forward is noticeable with players being knocked when they go for headers, player stumbling and more all adding to the feeling that this is more of a battle of two teams as per the real world. Many have been complaining that the skills are more difficult to do this year but that is just an indication of the game feeling more real as the skills in the game of football are rarely what we have seen in previous video games. Another of the big steps forward is that you don't always have to wait for throw ins to load up as your player will grab the ball and run to allow you to take a quick throw in...this is in my opinion one of the biggest improvements in Fifa this year and something I regularly find myself making use of. Another of the big things noticeable in Fifa this year is that movement is more free so when you run with the ball or at a player it is going to take more precision than in previous years (this is also the case with passing, tackling, shooting, etc) which for me takes a bit of getting used to but once you have played for a while you begin to develop an understanding of how the game engines work and so get more comforable with it. This game is going to take some getting used to so please don't get downbeat if you find you are losing heavily each time as this is down to EA making improvements to AI level and making it more of a challenge so with this coupled to the improved physics engine then there are a lot of things to get used to. Stick with it and it does come.
Overall for me this is a game which offers up a great footballing specatacle in some of the worlds greatest stadiums and surrounded by fans who are becomming more true to real life each year with their chants and reactions. Great gameplay, graphics, commentary and a multiplayer features all add together to make this an exceptional game and with EA promising patches throughout the year to continue to improve on things then it looks like the game is just the start.
I highly recommend this to any football fans out there.
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