Xbox 360 Review: FIFA 11

Does FIFA score an own goal or a hat trick this year?

Let’s face it. The World Cup was a major disappointment, not just for England but in terms of an actual tournament, it lacked goals, had awful decisions made and the less said about vuvuzelas the better! On a personal note, this year has been quite good as Newcastle got promoted back to the Premier League, so they are back where they belong in FIFA 11.

FIFA 11 has all the typical modes that you would expect like a full fledged career mode, tournaments and online play. As with every year, this version makes small improvements like better control, precision, smarter AI and this time around they’ve added more realism so certain players will perform like they should instead of being a Jack of all Trades. There’s also a stamina bar as usual, so you have to keep an eye on it and use it carefully.

Before you even play FIFA 11, the game scans your achievements to see if you’ve played any other FIFA games before and adjusts the game accordingly. So if you haven’t played FIFA before, the game will be extremely easy and tough if you have loads of FIFA achievements. The good thing about this system is that it makes the game accessible to both veterans and newcomers alike.

If there’s one complaint to be had about FIFA 11, it’s that the improvements are only minimal and have been for years now. The FIFA games have constantly got better over the years, but only slightly to the point where it’s about as perfect as it’s going to get. Having said that, I personally think the game needs to evolve into something else instead of what happens every year. Basically the point I’m getting at is that it feels all too familiar every time I play a FIFA game…sure the new features are great and all, but it just doesn’t feel enough to me.

Visually though, FIFA 11 has improved a lot this year. Stadiums, players and pitches all look better than they did last year. Commentary is impressive and you can play your own custom music in-game if you want to.

The Verdict

FIFA 11 does improve upon last year’s game, but only marginally. It does handle a bit better, it does look better too but I think its time the series took a risk for once and strived to be different from the likes of Pro Evo. Will it happen? I doubt it, but fans will be pleased with FIFA 11 all the same.