It had been rumoured in the community for some time but it now seems apparent that for the first time ever, controlling the goalkeeper will be an option for all of us in Fifa11.
Kicking off FSB’s brand new guest blog series, forum aficionado Glen Cooley shares his thoughts on EA’s newest innovation.
Hit read more to do just that.
BARG. Be a Rob Green
Firstly a big hello to the FIFA Soccer Blog visitors. My name is Glen; I am a regular on the FIFA forums run by EA and have been lucky enough to experience a few choice FIFA events and play the game very early 2 years running.
So what I am I going to write about? Well I could talk at length over my frustration of online play but I think we all have the same opinion on that. Hell even my cat understands my annoyance at online H2H. So much so it can be found cowering in the corner when the words “EA Sports, it’s in the game” echo from my TV.
What I am going to talk about is the new VP position BARG (Be A Robert Green) and in more general terms VP’s and Clubs.
Firstly I was never really keen on goal keeper control in FIFA. It’s something that just doesn’t appeal because of the way the game has played over the last few years. Because GK’s were all so similar and the sweet spots for strikers were so exploitable I could never see the fun in just picking the ball out of the net or taking 5 goal kicks in a match. Again I never really saw how you would get a rewarding control system that didn’t revert to some sort of AI/Person hybrid.
Well EA think they have cracked it on both the control and enjoyment front. This will remain to be seen because if the AI isn’t improved, I can imagine long spells of watching AI v AI in Career Bap Mode where you are the goal keeper.
The interesting point about BARG (or BAS which I like to call Be A Spectator mode) is that its going to be a position that takes a certain type of person. When you look at online clubs mode, would someone really want to set themselves up as a Rob Green protégé and recreate his famous England match? You let in a howler and you know your team will be saying to themselves “I wish we had the midget 5”3 AI GK from last year” It’s a lot of pressure and in such an important position you can in one foul swoop undermine the efforts of the other 10 players on the pitch.
I am sure we will see a few exceptional people play as keepers. I can imagine though that we will see a lot more people not playing as their team or EA intended a GK would. The Ronaldo esque runs from goal to goal, or more likely the keeper making it 30 yards, failing a roulette/ronaldo chop/rainbow flick (delete as appropriate) being flattened and the other team 1-2’ing in to the open net as the rest of your team errr “disconnects”.
Revision in Personality + will hopefully allow goal keepers to stand out more and even make VP’s more individual. The current problem with Clubs is that 100% VP’s at the same height and weight are all identical bar which clown afro you prefer (white or green). I would prefer more variety in how I can actually play than what colour gloves match my fetching green afro and ankle tape. But maybe that’s just me or harks back to watching IT when I was too young.
There are going to be a lot of changes to the VP system this year apparently. Not just the advent of GK control but much wider and much more enjoyable ones too. When speaking with Mike Takla in Canada we discussed the current accomplishment system and how tedious some of them were. We also discussed the fact that early on you seem to earn quite a few then go ages to earn another. This is an interesting point, because for long periods you feel as if your VP isn’t growing, getting better or achieving anything. That feeling really took away what being a VP was supposed to mean. They have taken a long look at the current system and by all accounts are changing it to add more longevity and more regular accomplishment/growth. It will be interesting to see where this heads, but I have no doubt anything that can be done to stop the periods of having to artificially make 8 headed passes in a game less tedious the better. That and having to stand on the goal line the entire match pressing clear to get the goal line clearance accomplishment. It was no fun against the AI and it was no fun to see all the mini Ronaldo’s do it in Pro Ranked matches either.
So are we going to see a drastic change to the VP format? Well I hope not. I would like to see a positive refinement and enhancement to the current format. I am positive that with the direction the game is taking with regards to individuality that will start to happen. In addition to that the new format for Clubs means there is a real emotional connection in taking my pro online. Finding a team of like minded players and having some of that great Friday night, few beers, FIFA clubs and banter with people you call friends but only meet in a virtual dressing room somewhere on the “internet”.
Clubs now being able to enter tournaments is where I really see the mode improving. Sure the season leader board was a better idea than in 09 where it was nigh on impossible after the first month to play for anything other than fun as there was no real way to catch the teams that played intensively from the start to get to the top spot.
Now though it would be possible to have a session and accomplish something as a team. It also provides motivation for people to keep playing and getting better at the game. And deep down we all want to win so maybe just maybe most teams will get lucky and take a cup home at some point.
Clubs isn’t for everyone though, but I would encourage people to try it and stick with it. There is no better feeling than knowing that a whole team of people came together and made it work unless you happen to be trialling that guy who says he’s great in goal, list England on his CV and pwns everybody in the whole world. If he is playing for you just remember you can take your own players out with a well timed tackle if the need arises.