FIFA 12 on Java will be 'quicker, smoother, and more intuitive'
EA Mobile going back to basics
It’s almost that time of year again. The pre-pre-pre-qualifying rounds in Europe have started in earnest, last-minute transfers are being finalised, and EA Mobile is readying its latest FIFA squad to challenge for the mobile football game crown.
We spoke to the producer of FIFA 12 Rick Skews (previously responsible for titles like Pocket Gamer Gold Award-winning Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3), over the phone earlier today to discuss what this new iteration brings to the field.On the ‘ead, son
Anyone that felt a little let down by last year’s entry (and that includes us) will be heartened to hear that, rather than simply adding more bells and whistles to the already packed roster of modes and officially licensed squads, the team has looked at how to improve the basic gameplay.
One of the major changes is to the camera, which has been pulled back to reveal more of the field and to “keep things moving”. It doesn’t sound like a major addition, but EA is hoping that this new view will allow for more tactical options and better appreciation of the AI movement.
Control-wise, the divisive Sprint button has been altered to either a double-tap or an auto-run feature that kicks in when needed to “simplify the experience”, without necessarily sacrificing any depth.First touch
The EA team has also focused on trying to improve that always flaky area of football games: the goalkeeper. FIFA 12’s men in the #1 shirt react more intelligently this time around, picking out better players to throw the ball to, as well as understanding when not to dash out and attempt a suicidal catch.
It’s not just the side's last line of defence that’s getting an extra brain, however. Passes and tackles have also been tweaked, giving the game a slightly speedier feel.
Touchscreen Java phone owners aren’t being left out in the cold, either. Improvements have been made to the menus and interface over last year that should see the game handle just as well without physical buttons as with them.Statto
Given that this is a FIFA game, you can expect all the usual features, including fully licensed teams and players, as well as the correct squad listings at time of release.
Indeed, this is one area that Rick admits has been “making the porting team’s life a misery”. The coders are constantly updating the rosters in the run up to FIFA 12’s launch date and handing builds over for porting, only to then have to update them again.
FIFA 12 should be sprinting out of EA Mobile's tunnel and onto the Java pitch on September 30th.