gamers (79%) found this review helpful
As a lifelong FIFA connoisseur, im quick to notice the changes from game to game. When World Cup came out, it was a wierd change from FIFA 10, but 11 is perfection. The way the players move are so lifelike, and now players will actually put up a fight against each other when going for the ball. The graphics are also much crisper and vibrant. The announcers are boring as usual, but with new quotes this year, it makes the game a little more interesting and funny. There are two new features which I thought were a great touch to FIFA this year. First, the Be a Pro: Goalie mode, is epic. You play as the goalie, and when you're facing Messi coming at you, it gets your heart racing not knowing which way to dive. Second, the game now has a Highlight mode, so after your games, you can actually check out your nice goals or saves.
FIFA 11 is very close to being perfect. 99.9% perfect.
As poor of a score I gave the game, remember this is cumulative. The multi-player of Fifa 11 is absolutely amazing. They did an awesome job on it. In fact, if you plan to play this online or with friends, I HIGHLY recommend picking this up until Fifa 12 comes out. The play is much more organic from Fifa 10, and the ability to go 11 vs 11 with virtual pros is crazy good (especially if you have friends online with you).
That said, single-player is horrible. To be honest I'm not even sure EA bothered testing their single-player side of things. The higher difficulty you put the game on the more flat every player's talent levels become. I'm sure this was to prevent people from leveling up their virtual pros by playing garbage teams, but it takes all the fun out of the game. When your pro is and 85 and is being chased down and stripped with ease by a 55 it raises some questions. The ref AI for solo play is also horrible. This in no small part is due to the lack of collision detection in single-player. I've seen opposing players' legs pass right through my own player's to make a steal, though my favorite was losing a 50-50 in the air as the opposing player headed the ball through my chest. Even though these have been issues for years now, I can stomach it (though, I really would rather see those issues fixed rather than being able to see a more photo-realistic Rooney year after year). What I can't stomach is what they did with "Become a Pro". One reviewer on here said "there's not much change". Clearly we are playing different titles. They've removed your character being called up by his national team; there is no resting your player unless you're borderline dead (and stamina requirements get lower at Fan Fave, Captain, etc.) which will cause you to miss big games for your team due to fatigue from playing in needless games; and unless you choose "Player-Manager Mode" there is no control over your team even as a captain. And, Player-Managers are a pain for changing teams.
There are several new features this year which improve on the series' already solid core game. Personality+ is EA's way of representing players more accurately on the pitch. Basically the intention was to make small fast players look and feel differently than larger, stronger players and a player's physique and real life personality will determine how they behave in the game. EA have also reworked Manager Mode and Play as a Pro mode. In FIFA 11 they are combined into a single mode called Career Mode. In Career Mode you can choose to play as a player, a player-manager or simply a manager. Choosing to play as a player is basically Play as a Pro, however after your career as a player ends you can transition into a manager for a more complete experience. Player-manager mode is what it sounds like, your virtual pro plays for your club but also manages it.
Gameplay on the pitch is as good as ever as well. Passing and crossing have been improved which make the game more strategic and realistic. In FIFA 11 you can have either strict or lenient referees which will be announced at the start of each match. It's a novelty but it does add some variety to the game. All of the action on the field is smooth and it looks and feels just right, especially if you've enjoyed the past games. One downside is the AI which oftentimes does not play as it should (for example AI players rarely go after a bad pass so you have to manually take control to run after a slow or off target pass).
Overall the game is enjoyable and I'll be playing it a lot throughout the soccer season. One note, if you wish to access online multiplayer you will need a passcode made available to those who purchase the game new (as EA has been doing with it's other sports titles). If you plan to buy the game used you will need to purchase a code for $10 (effectively negating the benefit of buying the game used). If you rent the game you can obtain a temporary trial (only available to you once) to play online.