The Average Gamer

FIFA 12 Available Free On Xperia PLAY. No Multiplayer

Sony Ericsson have announced that the Android version of FIFA 12 is now available to download for free. Yes, completely free, but for a limited time only, like the 4 other free EA mobile games. Until the 21st Feb 2012, the game will be exclusive to the Xperia PLAY. Other Android handset owners will have to wait until after this date to get FIFA 12 on their phones.
FIFA12 - Arsenal Player With The Ball
Many Xperia PLAY owners will have already played FIFA 10 as it was one of the big games available when the handset was launched back in April. I asked EA Mobile Producer Andrei Lazarescu what the main differences were between FIFA 10 and 12. He said “The most significant difference is the engine. For FIFA 12 we have created a completely new engine and have adapted it to the mobile platform. All game areas have been completely revamped: AI, controls, speech, chants, graphics and menus.”

He went on to say “This year, fans can expect greater online casino gameplay depth, authentic commentaries, updated teams from the world’s top leagues, and new replay systems and stadium designs to make for a more powerful FIFA mobile experience.” When asked about real-life footballers playing the game he responded “We know that footballers, as well as athletes outside the sport are loyal FIFA fans. PLAY gives them another way to experience it.”

Unfortunately, FIFA 12 doesn”t support any multiplayer or cross-platform (e.g. PSP) gaming. Alexandru Ruse, EA Mobile Producer commented that “we wanted to make sure we get the football gameplay just right, and that we fit perfectly with the platform. So no multiplayer right now, not in the first release. We want the single-player to be 100% right first.” This is a bit of a shame given the number of people that play football games whilst travelling as you could have had some interesting matches with people playing against each other, especially on long train journeys.

When it came to optimising the game for the Xperia PLAY, Ruse said that “one of the things we spent the most time on was the controls. We went through a lot of iterations to make sure they fully exploit both the touchscreen, and the hardware PLAY controls.” Personally, I much prefer playing sports games with a joypad and buttons rather than just using touch screen controls. I find that when I”m poking the screen, particularly on a mobile I end up obscuring far too much of the action with my fingers.

When you download FIFA 12 from EA Sports or via the Get Games app on your Xperia PLAY it takes up a hefty 1.5Gb worth of space on your SD card so be prepared.

FIFA 12 is out now for the Xperia PLAY