The World Cup is upon us and football is on the minds of millions around the world. While many are still enjoying their time with EA Sports’ latest FIFA, details behind a couple of the changes in the soon to be released FIFA 11 were provided at E3 behind closed doors. Thankfully enough, it was stressed that the complaints of gamers were taken under serious consideration and addressed beautifully.
For many, the “ping pong passing” was the biggest complaint that many felt was extremely unrealistic and, ultimately, unfair. To be able to pass the ball from one player to the next by quickly tapping a button was one game mechanic that has been consistently exploited among FIFA gamers. No more with FIFA 11 – all of that changes with Pro Passing.
The idea behind Pro Passing is that implementing a realistic touch requires a change to how the passing mechanic works. A player requires a varied amount of power when passing the ball to another player. Across the field requires a large amount of power while a player a couple of feet away requires a small amount of power. Now when executing a pass, a meter for power is displayed with a marker as to the amount of power required to execute the pass properly. Should you fall short of this marker, the ball will not make it to the player; overshoot the marker, your player may swing their foot out from underneath them, fall, and put too much power behind the ball for the receiving player to get control of it.
While this change may take some getting used to at first, the sense of realism it provides gives the game a much more skill based feel. After all, passing and moving the ball is one of the most important mechanics behind playing a good game of fundamental football – and is in no way as easy as previous FIFA games made it feel.
Another new change in FIFA 11 is something called Personality Plus. Ultimately, this is an umbrella term for three key feature changes and improvements: the visuals of the players, the way players animate and move, and the implementation of a player’s performance based entirely around individual attributes. For football enthusiasts, it is most likely the latter of the three that is the most appealing.
From what was seen, individual attributes cover skills such as accuracy in passing and shooting, recovery of a bouncing ball, dribbling, tackling, and many other defensive and offensive skills. For example, a player whose attributes are low in the area of dribbling, a wider turn radius is required as precise control in dribbling is not as easy to execute as a player with high skill in dribbling. Because of this, it will require players to be well aware of the strengths and weaknesses of each of the players on the field.
While these changes greatly improve the realism in FIFA, they also greatly increase the amount of awareness and play time required to understand which players are best in certain situations. But then again, for people like me who call this game soccer, whoever can get a shot on goal is good enough for me. For the hardcore football fans however, it is changes in mechanics such as this that will provide gamers with a perfect way to give the more experienced the upper hand – as it should be.