FIFA 11 takes you closer to the grass than ever before, this is easily the best footy sim we've tried

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FIFA 11 Improvements in terms of goal keeping, dribbling and shot control make FIFA 11 an entertaining and challenging game
By  Jason Saundalkar Published  January 4, 2011

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Key Specs

Number of players: 1-4
Online play: Y
Price: $73

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FIFA 11 was developed by EA Canada and for the first time ever, the PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation3 versions of the game use exactly the same game engine.

On starting the game you’re presented with options to choose your level of football gaming experience; beginner, intermediate and experienced. Depending on the level you choose FIFA 11 will give you varying degrees of control over its play settings. The game then also asks you to choose your controller layout and this reviewer found the ‘Classic’ setup the easiest and most natural to live with. A couple of minor options later and you can finally play.

EA’s latest football simulator throws a dizzying number of match options and career modes at you, so there’s plenty to keep you coming back for more, even after months of play. Before starting matches the game allows you to setup your team in terms of the squad (players), formations, tactics, roles and even man marking. All fantastic options if you’re a proper football nut and want control of every aspect of your team. Once you’re actually on the grass you’re even allowed to assign behaviour to each player, so you can set them up to be offensive, defensive etc. Playing tough matches, micromanaging these options can make all the difference to the outcome of the game.

Although FIFA 11 asks you to select an experience level when you start the game, you can still change the difficulty of your opponents from the ‘Game Settings’ menu. The difficulty options on offer are Amateur, Semi-Pro, Professional, World Class and Legendary. This reviewer found that the Professional difficulty setting offered a challenging but fair balance. World Class and Legendary on the other hand proved beyond this reviewer’s skill level (and most other peoples’ skill levels in the office), as the computer controlled opponents’ surgical precision and tricks proved impossible to beat.

One area that FIFA 11 is way ahead of its predecessor is with goalkeeping intelligence. Whereas in the past you could, fairly easily, trip up the AI goalkeeper and score an easy goal, with FIFA 11 the keepers are more agile and perceptive and are capable of making some truly spectacular saves. Dribbling and passing have also been improved in FIFA 11 as well, so if you’ve got the skills, you can manage some amazing moves and passes.

In terms of presentation FIFA 11 is supremely polished. The menu system while packing loads of options and settings is easy to follow and never comes off as overwhelming. On the visual front the game looks great, player animation is spot on and there’s enough detail to keep hardcore fans happy. Audio too is impressive, there’s fairly diverse commentary and the menu music is perfect for a footy sim.

For: Dribbling and goalkeeper intelligence are a marked improvement over FIFA 10. The game just feels more realistic with these improvements.
Against: Legendary setting is impossible.
Verdict: There’s no mistaking FIFA 11 for its predecessor, it’s more playable, a lot more fun and thus offers hours of footy gaming.

2299 days ago
miles bowler
User rating: 4 stars

Pros: Realistic players

Cons: Poorer teams play very well against humans

Legendary is difficult, but NOT impossible. Just have to lay off the ACCELERATE key when dribbling in a crowd and know that when two defenders are against your dribbler, you need to get rid of the ball. The main thing to do is NOT get upset when they slide tackle in the Penalty box and not get called for it. I am totally addicted to this game. Have played over a thousand games since last January.

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