FIFA 12 hands-on: Our impressions after playing 26 games

previous hands-on experience

Dribbling is

The good news for cack-handed FIFA players is thatyou no longer have to rely on the right stick twirls and swirls to trick your way past defenders. It’s great for mocking opponents but in truth twiddlingthe stick – unless you’re an expert – is like spinning a roulette wheel and hoping the right number drops out. In FIFA 12 you can beat a player with close control andthe right player.

EnterArsenal’s Samir Nasri – destroyer of worlds. Well,not worlds but definitely defences. Myinstant reaction to the news that the dribbling had been fixed was to give a silent shout and tiny air-punch in celebration. As we only had Arsenal and Chelsea to play with Ichose the Gunners because they have more flair playersto try out this new control system with. A couple of runs with French international, Nasri,left my opponent with twisted blood as heturns them inside out with close, quick movements. You have far more space thanks to the new defensive system in place (more on this later) whichmeans defenderscan beisolatedand ripped to bits.

Above: OK, it’s Andrei Arshavin here but he’s almost as devastating on the ballas his team-mate, Samir Nasri

Holding R2forprecise control (I change thedefault buttons) keeps the ball really close to Sammy’s body.Chelsea’s Ramires is trying to dispossess him – he can’t. He’s being made to look a fool and keeps stepping in fortackles and leaving himself off-balance. Finallymy frustrated opponent dives in to try and snap Nasri’s little legs, but a quick flick of the leftstick andhe’s leapt the danger leg andleft the Chelsea midfielderon the floor in his wake. Magic.

More personality

The whole system is an evolution ofPersonality Plus from FIFA 11. PPaims to make key players stand out from the rest of the cloggers by emphasising their individual traits.It’s worth mentioning that at preview stage with FIFA 11there was talk much talk of Iniesta Touch – a phrase coined to describe how the Barcelona midfieldercould keep possession in tight situations evenagainst powerhousedefenders such as Manchester United’s Nemanja Vidic. The results were incredible, and as David Rutter – FIFA’s line producer – admits, it had to be dialled down as it was creating super-players.

Only time will tell whether Samir Nasri will have his winged-heels clipped, but right now it’s a welcome treat. EA are planning to drip-feed us with morePersonality Plus attributesuntil the launch in September, but they did give us a taster of how giant players like Peter Crouch will become a real force to reckon with in the air. It’s exciting and we can’t wait formore of these.

On the next page… injuries, tweeked defending and more

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