EA Sports Canada is looking to upgrade its annual FIFA Soccer franchise with new gameplay and concepts as usual. These tweaks in FIFA have been either great or absolutely horrid.

But since FIFA 09, FIFA has managed to provide a consistent gameplay experience. However, what was lacking for me in FIFA was its presentation. It never felt like you were at a soccer game because the game lacked a lot of emphasis on the little things.

Now FIFA 11 is trying to step it up once more in terms of gameplay, the visual presentation and emotion with a new gaming feature- Personality+

According to Senior Producer of EA Sports Canada David Rutter, Personality+ determines how individual players will play,  react and move on the pitch. For example, high skilled players will be able to dribble better and take less touches than low skilled players. High skilled players will be able to improvise and pull off bicycle kicks whereas a low skilled player has to uncomfortably turn around to hit the ball.

Personality+ sees a soccer player’s performance on the pitch mirrored authentically in game, differentiated and replicated for every player’s skill-set. New body types and player models will further help identify players. Personality+ at every position on the pitch reinvents how players look, and perform – on and off the ball. Celebrations have been tweaked so  your teammates will interact with you instead of looking on at you like retarded drones when you pull them off.

So when you score a goal with Nani of Manchester United and hold down a specific button, he will perform his signature kick-up backflip. Michael Essien, for example, has a box-to-box trait which means he’ll run like a nutter all match long from box to box – like he does. Wayne Rooney has high defence and high attack work rate, which means he will always try and attack, and he will always try and defend, whereas Berbatov might not. In addition, a new feature that’s been added to FIFA 11 is the new Pro Passing System.

Pro Passing is a new passing system where pass accuracy is determined by a gamer’s ability on the control pad, and player skill, situation and urgency on the pitch. Poor decisions or over/under striking the ball will mean error-prone outcomes. New types of passes such as swerve passes will enable players to make a safer and more effective play. This will forever rid the cheap  and unskilled strategy of “ping-pong passing” behind last year’s FIFA 10.

“Pro passing combats ping-pong passing, where people just press pass, pass, pass to easily get up the field. So you will have to think about how you’re going to build up the play. You will have to  weight your passes a little bit better or they will be underhit or overhit,”  according to FIFA 11’s Creative Director Gary Paterson.

The new changes seem like a great idea and I hope they add more substance to the upcoming title. Especially with Personality+, which will make the game more realistic and  will provide a more authentic soccer experience. Those complaining about how the new features take the fun out of FIFA should play FIFA Street or Pro Evolution Soccer. For FIFA 11 is all about real soccer simulation.

FIFA 11 will hit shelves in North America on September 28, 2010.

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