Converting the most played sport in the world into a video game format is a monumental undertaking. Just capturing the atmosphere of the sport entails a huge variety of challenges: the sound of a players foot hitting the ball, the arguments between referees and the players, and the overwhelming cheers from the crowd when their team scores a goal are all elements that need to recreated in the game. Another challenge stems from the fact that everyone who plays the game is looking for something different: Some players just want to assume a managerial role and focus on their team’s strategy, some players are looking to be a star on the field, and some players are looking an experience that is as true to real life as possible. Finally, capturing the competitive nature of soccer is the most difficult element that game designers must recreate. In addition to providing players with challenging computer A.I. to play against, it’s also necessary to provide the ability to play against other human opponents.
The good news is that Wii FIFA Soccer 2012 succeeds in recreating all of the elements that make soccer such a popular sport. This year’s iteration of the game offers new features such as a completely overhauled system for coordinating tactical defense, a realistic impact engine that accurately models player collisions, and the ability to player multiple seasons in succession. As impressive as this list of features is, the real attraction in Wii FIFA soccer is the addition of the new Sports Football Club. Using this system, players will be able track their progress through a unique leveling system. This will ensure that players set their own pace in the game, as the game will match the players up with opponents that suit their skill level. This system also allows players to improve individual aspects of their team over time, such as increasing the ability of their goalie to stop kicks or the improving the prowess of their defense’s tackles. Once all these features are added up, it becomes clear that FIFA Soccer 2012 Wii is the best game in the FIFA series. In fact, it might even be one of the best soccer games of all time.