We've been clamoring for the latest in the hit soccer series FIFA ever since we spoke with FIFA 12 producer David Rutter. (Read more in our interview with Rutter and learn about new FIFA technology.) Thankfully, with the release of the FIFA 12 demo, the gaming gods have given us a taste of what to expect.
The FIFA 12 demo might be one of the most user-friendly games we've ever experienced. After installation, you're taken to a screen to select a club. The demo offers a handful of great teams, including F.C. Barcelona and Manchester United. Then you're walked through a tutorial to learn how to play both on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. Other sports video games would do well to include similar tutorials, because nothing feels more awkward than jumping into a game without a clue about how to control your players. After working our way through the tutorial, we felt right at home on the field in the subsequent match.
The "beautiful game" reflects beautifully in FIFA 12. Passing, shooting, dribbling—everything feels smooth and natural. The FIFA series also features some of the best color commentary in sports gaming. This year, former England forward Alan Smith joins Martin Tyler in the EA Sports broadcasting booth.
FIFA 12's visual are as impressive as ever, in large part due to the company's commitment to creating authentic player models. Even with a controller in our hands, we felt like we were watching a live soccer match between two of the world's most talented clubs.
All in all, the demo is an amazing experience. But be warned: downloading and playing the FIFA 12 demo will only make the wait for the Sept. 27 release more difficult. Of course, if you're too impatient, you can always subscribe to EA Sports Season Ticket for early access to the title from the gaming juggernaut.
Photo: EA Sports