As I write this a mere two days after the curtain finally fell on what was quite possibly the most thrilling end to a domestic season our English league has ever witnessed normally I’d be feeling a tad deflated. As a devotee of the beautiful game, the summer drought spent fervently scanning Sky Sports News for a crumb of transfer rumour or reliving magical nights like Istanbul 2005 on the DVD player isn’t one that fills me any particular joy.
It’s fair to say that for a lot of footie fans time never drags quite like it does between June and August.
But fear not brave fan for this year is one of those special ones. This year we have the mighty European Championships to lead us through the barren wasteland of a, normally, football free summer.
This summer heroes and villains will rise, tears will fall, vast armies from every corner of Europe will descend upon the playing grounds displaying colours and proudly waving flags, voices will be thrown to the wind from the terraces encouraging, berating, pleading, the warriors will clash, most will fall but for the chosen few the taste of glory will be so sweet, their legend will be born and, perhaps most importantly, there’ll be no vuvuzela’s present at all! Thank **** for that!
Oh and an even better slice of news is that thanks to EA’s Euro 2012 DLC for FIFA 12 you can now experience the competition first hand.
With this release EA have moved away from their normal tactic of releasing a boxed tie-in for the summer football tournament, maybe the fact that it’s also Olympic year has played it’s part in that, and instead opted for the DLC route and to be fair what EA have delivered really wouldn’t have held up as a stand alone title.
Euro 2012 is basically FIFA 12 as we know and love it but in it’s International kit. There are no tweaks or improvements to gameplay and no outings for bold new ideas, as a slice of content this is very much a bare bones release, the game is as it was, thankfully of course that remains just about the closest depiction of real life football available on console but well, chances are if you’re reading this you already own that, so do you really want to shell out again for a few extras.
The extras you’ll receive if you do decide to take the plunge are, of course, the teams, players and tournament mode for the Championships themselves, nicely presented but nothing particularly remarkable and one of the most bizarre modes I’ve yet encountered in a FIFA title – Expedition.
Here’s how Expedition mode works. You are given a ragtag bunch of less than glamorous players from with which to begin what is essentially a fantasy football roadtrip around Europe. With your newly assembled team you get to challenge other nations to a match (the nations available to challenge build with each victory as roads are built from country to country) if you win the first match against another team you can then choose one of their reserve players to add to your own squad, win a second encounter and you can snag one of the subs while a third win allows you to take a first teamer. I said it was bizarre. Did I also mention it was quite brilliantly addictive? No. Oh, well believe me it really is!
Despite being completely off the wall as far as ideas go within the football game world Expedition mode works a treat. It holds a tough challenge combined with the collective nature of Ultimate Team. Although not worth the entrance price alone, as part of the whole package it certainly goes some way to offering value for money with this release. Some way, but not enough.
The DLC is priced at 1800MS points which definitely puts it at the high end of the pricing scale and in all honesty, from a personal point of view, it’s not quite worth it. Although the presentation is as polished as ever and the new Expedition mode is very entertaining the actual core gameplay is as it was. Nothing in the actual way you play football here, which is why we play FIFA in the first place, has changed. Of course if you want the fullest FIFA 12 package on offer then this is a good bit of DLC, there aren’t any faults with it, at least none that weren’t already present within FIFA12 itself, it’s just that for 1800 of your hard earned points you really should be expecting a little more than this fairly sparse release.
Euro 2012 looks good on paper, it picks up the ball, beats it’s man and bears down on goal, then, just as it’s about to pull the trigger and burst the net, it trips on it’s expensive laces and the chance is gone, climbing to it’s feet the manager shouts ‘good effort,’ and that pretty much sums this DLC up.