On December 12th, Manchester City Football Club finally gave up the right to pride themselves on a defeatless campaign in the Premier League, succumbing to a coolly-taken penalty by Chelsea’s Frank Lampard. At the PS Vita event held later that day, I helped a jersey-clad City fan (and lead producer of the game) get over the disappointment by replaying the encounter on the upcoming FIFA Soccer.
Brought to you by a handheld. Believe it.
It was 1-0 in favor of City already when I took the helm, and I doubled the lead with a low strike just by the left post. The funny thing is, I usually score with my right thumb (we’re talking about a video game here, remember?), but this time the trusty thing was on the bench; FIFA Soccer on the PS Vita allows for passing and shooting commands to be given via the handheld’s rear touch pad. When you’re shooting, Vita’s dorsal piece of technology represents the goal frame, power still dictated by the duration of the touch.
So that is of course the game’s biggest novelty. The rest is FIFA as usual. In fact, beyond a few (certainly missed) features – the player impact engine, precision dribbling, and tactical defending – the game on Vita’s 5-inch screen plays just as FIFA 12 does on the big rig, from the game’s comfortably distant perspective, to support for full 11-on-11 play, to its graphic design and feel. That in itself should make for plenty to love when the game launches along with the PS Vita in February.
Beyond that, the developers were open enough to talk about future ambitions for the franchise on Vita, going as far as to say that it would be realistic, at least, to imagine the availability – in future titles – of both the player impact engine and cross-platform play (featured in WipeOut 2048). I personally won’t hold Electronic Arts to that projection. But I will say “yes, please.”