UEFA EURO 2012
UEFA EURO 2012 for FIFA 12 adds more content so that your game is still fresh and reinvigorating the game. With the most complete package from EA’s FIFA 12, is it additional content that makes it worth shelling out? This year, it was the first attempt for EA to package a full game on a huge scale of features and infrastructure into the existing framework of FIFA 12. There’s no doubt some sacrifices were made along the way – some more glaring than others – though, the core experience of what the DLC offers is refreshing and captures the heart of the tournament if not wholly, the majority of it.
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Our first impressions left us satisfied with what we saw. After much more time with the DLC, our feelings for the spin-off DLC were pretty much in the same ball park – UEFA EURO 2012 is a decently sized DLC package but we can’t help but feel the offering is much less compared to the retail package we were used to. From the beginning, integrating into FIFA 12 is how the game benefits from it, all the goodness of the gameplay is present and is as easy to get into the game as ever. Being a DLC safeguards the game from criticism of not branching out of what we are used to with the mainstream FIFA series, as it uses the same infrastructure. It also safeguard’s the package from why differences are marginal because we know it ties into the same game.
The overall feeling means that what you get is a much rounded package where you can experience a wider football experience without having to change the disc – it’s as smooth as starting up the FIFA 12 career mode to launching expedition mode in the UEFA EURO 2012. The benefits are there as a DLC and one that EA has executed mostly right. The theming and design around the UEFA EURO 2012 mode when you enter looks great, resembling easily to the tournament and changes the feel of the game which is refreshing. The menus are nicely designed and polished whilst the interface makes it seem like its a new game to get into.
In reality, the core layout and system are the same though the visual appearance adds a nice touch to something we always just skip to get into the game. Expedition mode is the highlight of the offering, easily a different way to engage with the game as it brings a different career mode that isn’t as deep, but very enjoyable. Being able to use your virtual pro as captain is a great way to level up your character with more control whilst building up your squad, with a mixture of the card system of Ultimate team and some management control makes for a good combination. Playing countries from different groups awards you with mosaic pieces, roads to build to other countries and players to strengthen your team.
The mosaic is merely a little touch and another collectible content that does little besides a token of team history in the UEFA tournament. The roads is an interesting aspect where winning against teams forms roads to gain wider freedom in movement to play other teams. However, losing can also destroy roads which attempts to act as a penalty but a light one at that. Playing 3 times against a team rewards a reserve, substitute then starting XI payer that is randomly awarded to you – playing again from there on awards a random player from that team. It’s an incentive to play and complete against all teams, even if they’re teams that you wouldn’t glance after one match.
Winning against more teams unlocks other groups and teams for you to attain total conquest by defeating all teams. The mode can be addictive and is an enjoyable aspect though once you’ve completed it, it leaves little to replay besides reward hunting for respective platforms. The DLC introduces it’s own challenges like that in FIFA 12 which pits you in situations to win from behind or hold against teams throughout the history of the UEFA tournament. You get a large sum of XP awarded depending on the difficulty level, tying in somewhat to the main game. Nothing new here but provides a wider variety of challenges to face.
For a game that is supposed to provide an authentic and official experience, the lack of licenses of nearly half the teams is disappointing
You can also play the UEFA EURO 2012 Tournament, selecting a Euro nation and playing through the group stages up to the finals. The tournament is like any created tournament though with the visual additions and authenticity. The mode is as you’d expect, easy to setup with friends and quick to go through. Like FIFA 12 in general, the tournament lacks the final celebrations that is too short, generic and not as climactic as one would hope. You can take the tournament online which adds for better competition, pitting you against opponents at the same stage as you and working to win the cup final. The game would have benefited if you could also take expedition mode online, however it’s not possible. On the plus side, the game does include officially licensed stadiums that host the tournament and look great.
On the down side, unlike FIFA 12, the DLC aspect misses nearly half of the team licences which is very disappointing when this is the official tournament DLC for UEFA EURO 2012, disjointing from FIFA 12 itself as a result. Not playing with real player names or kits – 24 out of the 53 teams in fact – does detract from what the experience should be. Why the DLC has this problem and not on UEFA EURO 2008 is mind-boggling and a let-down.
That pretty much rounds up the DLC for FIFA 12 – the bold move by EA to bring this year’s UEFA EURO 2012 as DLC has worked for the most part, however suffers as a result of this format with sacrifices made in content and authenticity. It also means that the game doesn’t add anything new since it’s tied to FIFA 12 mechanics. Expedition mode was refreshing, enjoyable and turned out to be pretty addictive though the tournament mode was as you’d expected and nothing more. The disappointment came with half of the teams unlicensed and the missed opportunity with expedition mode online. For how much the DLC costs, whilst it is a package that you can put plenty of hours into, unless you’re a football fanatic or spend a lot of hours into the FIFA series, you’d have to think long and hard about whether it’s worth the large amount.