It is that time of year again where Electronic Arts and Konami square off with their premier soccer franchises; EA with FIFA 2012 and Konami with Pro Evo Soccer.
Having trailed in sales behind FIFA for the last four years, Konami is looking to take home the cup this year with interesting and significant changes to their Pro Evo Soccer lineup. Likely to pull a few new gamers its way, Pro Evo Soccer has developed what is called the “Teammate Control System.” With this new feature, during set pieces, throw-ins or at any point during play, the player can choose to use a second character -leaving control of the ball up to the artificial intelligence- for breakaway runs, beating marks or just strong goal rushes. Beyond that, significant work has been put in by Konami’s Pro Evo Soccer 2012 team in terms of much needed graphic and animation updates when compared to PES 2011, as well as some major AI defensive fixes.
Not to be outdone with new features and updates, Electronic Arts has a few noteworthy changes as well. Like Pro Evo Soccer, the Electronic Arts FIFA franchise has been plagued with poor AI in the defense department; FIFA 2012 is promising a far less frustrating defense that will apply pressure when it is actually fit to do so otherwise the defenders will position themselves accordingly. Likewise, staying in line with PES thus far, FIFA 2012 is offering gamers more fluid animations compared to last year’s build, though the graphics look as though they were not touched. While these changes are only minor, at best, compared to 2011’s FIFA incarnation, FIFA 2012 is touting a major change to its Career Mode. The personality system is receiving a considerable overhaul, actually allowing the player (manager) to receive emails from the players about previous games, lineup changes and, honestly, what sounds to be locker room gossip, complete with in-team bickering.
While neither game, thus far, seems to be a clear victor over the other, the improvements to Pro Evo Soccer 2012, when compared to the 2008-2010 versions, appear to be vast and highly competitive against the more successful line of FIFA soccer games. Meanwhile, although FIFA 2012 still looks like it will retain its role as the champion for the upcoming year, Electronic Arts does not have an absolute stronghold on the market. The rivalry between PES 2012 versus FIFA 2012 is going to be interesting in that FIFA 2012 will make sales based on the franchise alone while PES 2012 sales will more likely have to be bolstered by word of mouth.
In North America, both games have a simultaneous release date of September 27, 2011, and this year the competition is looking to be fierce.
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