Well its time for another article guys and under the spot light this time is EA’s other flag-ship feature for Fifa11, Personality+. The series has been crying out for more feeling and individuality for some time now and it’s great that EA have finally acted.
However, there is another side to personality that’s far more dependant on the community and the way we play.
Find out what that means, after the jump.
Personality has always been something that EA have struggled to inject in to the Fifa series and for me it’s been one of the games biggest deficiencies over the last few years. As the engine revamped between 2008 and 2009 personality seemed to get lost amongst the more technical upgrades like the now bedded in 360 degree dribbling. As it turns out personality may have been lost but it was never forgotten.
Meanwhile, Fifa’s rival PES was going through problems of it own. One thing you could always rely on with Konami’s stuttering series though, was the games personality. No one can really seem to put their finger on why personality stands out so much in PES but it does and with aplomb.
So this year EA are trying to bridge that gap with the aptly named Personality+. As some of you will know I’m not a huge fan of these tag-line names but it’s the idea and implementation which are most important.
Personality+ this year takes in a huge spectrum of traits, features and behaviour and the affect it has on Fifa’s player individuality is there for all to see. The uniformity of previous games is now gone with players really looking and feeling like the real McCoy. From the diminutive Aaron Lennon to the gangly Peter Crouch, the game now covers it all and the attention to detail is at times, staggering. I really can’t stress enough the difference the new player models have made to Fifa’s visual impact.
The personality also extends to player behaviour too with the idle Dimitar Berbatov a shadow of his rampant, enthusiastic team mate Wayne Rooney. You’ll also notice a greater urgency for attack minded players to get up and support with Danny Alves in particular a constant menace from right back. The defensive behaviour hasn’t been forgotten either. You’ll now see Fifa10’s huge midfield gaps instantly plugged by defensive generals like Cambiasso or Alex Song who now patrol with purpose.
My one and only concern with Personality+ is with how far it goes. Not in terms of overall features or behaviour but in terms of its effects on the lower leagues. Fifa’s player database is huge and there will always be an inevitable focus on the crème de la crème but EA neglect the lower leagues again this year at their peril. It will be some feat if EA do manage to scale Personality+ so that it affects every level of Fifa’s vast player database but I’m afraid only time, will tell.
So that’s EA’s side of the bargain kept Personality+ is in, but what about us the gamers? After all once Fifa11 hits the shelves it will be us in control not EA and with that power comes great responsibility.
The community has been a-wash with discontent over the last year mainly down to a few key exploits which are very well-known, so I won’t bother going over them again. But were these problems down to deficiencies in the games design, or our own player behaviour?
The short answer is both. EA needed to do a lot more to minimise the potential for exploits in Fifa’s code, simply through miss-use. Thankfully they are starting to do this, however it will always be a continual process. The community needs to take on some of the responsibility as well though because at the end of the day, we were the ones in control and we were the ones making all the choices.
Personality may be a part the games core design now but for a truly great Fifa experience it’s the personality we put in from behind the controller that’s going to be most important. How you take on and use the new features Fifa11 offers up will ultimately determine the amount of feeling and joy you get from it.
The game is a much more balanced affair this time round and what that does is open up a whole world of tactics and systems that you can potentially employ. You’re no longer bound by the strength and speed attributes which were so crucial to victory in Fifa10. That gives us all the opportunity to do something different this year and finally shake off the bad habits we’ve picked up from previous games for good. We just need to make a conscious choice as a community that simulation is what we want and to all play in a manner that reflects that.
For the first time ever in a Fifa game that I can remember the emphasis on style and personality is going to be firmly placed upon our shoulders. The games design will enhance and guide our journey but Fifa11 is essentially a blank canvass waiting to be composed. All we need to do is embrace it and use the gameplay engine to its full potential though sensible and realistic choices.
The community and the development team will always be on a close knit journey when it comes to improving Fifa but with something as abstract as personality the partnership has to be tighter than ever. The barometer for Fifa11’s success is firmly in our hands this year and Personality+ will be where the battle for simulation is won or lost.
We’re the ones in control so let’s stamp our own personality on Fifa11.