Courtesy of EA Sports

EA Sports’ 2012 edition of FIFA Soccer, the No. 1 selling sports video game franchise in the world, hit store shelves Tuesday. The anticipation for “FIFA 12” around Ohio State was evidenced by the line of shoppers who stood outside the Gamestop storefront at 1611 High St. awaiting the game’s midnight release.

Once you open the case, which features Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney and North American legends Landon Donovan and Rafa Marquez on the cover, yet another refined version of the top footballing video game awaits you.

All your favorite players and teams are there, as well as some new features that simulate, and celebrate, the ins-and-outs of the world’s game.

The new “Player Impact Engine” imitates the physicality experienced by pro-footballers across the world. Players on your TV screen will react realistically to every collision and every touch on the ball — you’ll sense it immediately.

“FIFA 12’s” Career Mode track also has a scouting network feature which allows you to dispatch up to three scouts across the world to search for young talent. With the resulting player information you receive from your scouts, you can choose to retain a player’s services, pass on them or continue scouting them. It’s an interesting, new element of FIFA Soccer for those who like to exhaust the game’s many offerings.

For those who just want to claim bragging rights against your dorm or housemates, the gameplay won’t take much getting used to.

There’s also some brand new foot skills to explore and to “wow” your friends with, thanks to the Precision Dribbling feature.   

Lastly, for those low-scoring grudge matches against skilled opponents, you can utilize the Tactical Defending feature, which allows your backline to shift and move like a true defensive unit.

The graphics, including life-like depictions of the world’s great players and stadiums, are again present in the latest installment of this ever-popular game series.

“FIFA 12” has taken “the beautiful game” and made it that much more beautiful. Don’t borrow this game, buy it. You won’t be disappointed.  

Grade: A

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