Every year we get a new version of the worlds best football game, and every year that football game gets a few tweaks here and there, but stays essentially the same game.  Some years however, that game gets more than just a subtle makeover, and this is one of those years.

Sure, on the surface, FIFA 12 looks pretty much the same as the last couple  of releases from EA Sports, but when you play it you’ll soon notice a few differences that change the way you play the game or just add that touch of authenticity.

The first thing you’ll probably notice is that it’s not as easy to get the ball off the opposition any more.  Blindly running towards the opposition player whilst stabbing the tackle button will most likely result in a missed tackle and your opposing number running right past you to set you a goal scoring cross.  The end result of this new tackling policy is a more fluid and realistic game.  Rather than being able to bully to ball off anyone, you’re going to have the play the game properly by marking your man, keeping the pressure on him and biding your time for the chance to make a clean tackle, or for your pressure to force a mistake.

Of course, if you’re going to tweak one aspect of the game, you really should tweak the opposing aspect and with this in mind, EA Sports have developed precision dribbling that once mastered will allow you that extra little bit of agility that will hopefully put you in a better position to make that cross or shoot for the goal.

Of course, in the game of football, and in the past, these collisions have been on par with that of Gran Turismo’s inability to accept the laws of physics.  But now we have the all new player impact engine, and you’ll instantly notice the difference when you walk , or run into someone, or just try and stay in front of your man during a corner.  It’s a mechanic that really adds depth to the game and will put a smile on your face as it brings you that much closer to total immersion.

All the modes and different ways to play are back, and the whole game is nicely packaged with stunning graphics on field and in the menus. The only thing I struggled with, not being a die hard fan who wanted to know every little detail, was the time spend waiting for the next match.  If there was a quick way to jump from match to match without waiting for all the transfers and results to come through and the computer calculates what’s going on over the course of the weeks, then i couldn’t find it.

A minor gripe for what has to be the best football game around.

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