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Review

UEFA Euro 2012 DLC Review (FIFA 12, PS3, Xbox 360)

A new shirt.

In previous years, EA has used its biennial tournament games to introduce new gameplay tweaks and test out certain developments to their core FIFA franchise. They’ve bundled it up and sold it as a full game. This year, they’re treading a different path. The UEFA 2012 content is being sold as DLC for the existing FIFA 12 game. It’s still a premium price, for DLC at least, but it is significantly less expensive than a new disc-based game would be, provided you already own FIFA 12, of course.

The download is around 650Mb, it varies slightly depending on your platform. The price is 1800MSP or £15.99 on PSN. So it’s expensive on the stores but less than a budget range retail title, although judging from the increase in sales that FIFA 12 received after this DLC was announced, it has led some to pick up that game in anticipation of this expansion.


Essentially, it’s a content pack, game mode and a new user interface skin for FIFA 12. There are no obvious gameplay tweaks or differences. The new UEFA Euro 2012 mode is selected from the main FIFA 12 menu and that takes you into what is perhaps best described as a Euro 2012 hub with all the new content in it. It has the usual sparkling presentational values that we’re accustomed to in FIFA games.

The problem with this new method of distributing the game is that corners appear to have been cut. Presumably there was pressure to keep the price down because of the nature of distribution and that has resulted in a game which doesn’t feel complete. Several of the lower-ranked nation’s squads consist of made up players – most notable for our readership is probably the absence of the real Wales squad but plenty more are incorrect (of 53 squads in this expansion only 29 are licensed). Realistic kits are usually something FIFA games are known for but plenty of those are generic – and often poorly constructed – approximations of the real thing.

There is no qualification campaign. The Euro 2012 mode features the teams that qualified by default, although you can randomise a selection or replace teams at will, and you play through it either against the AI or against online human opposition. This mode is solid enough, with the real stadiums and squads all present. The ability to play the entire tournament online is smart and although it’s all a bit obvious, it packages everything up as you’d expect and presents an enjoyable way to play.

The stadiums all come with different cameras so in some you’ll feel almost like you’re in the dugout and in others you’ll view the action like an away fan at the Nou Camp. You can, of course, change the camera to the usual angles but little touches like this add to the realism and give each stadium that little bit of post-introduction-sequence variation.

There’s a Challenges option that gives you a new challenge, only active for a set period of time, with which you can earn big XP bonuses for your level. At the time of writing, this was Spain vs Czech Republic when Spain were 1-0 down with half an hour to go. Your task is to meet the requirements of the challenge – in this case, to score twice and win the game. The higher difficulty setting you select, the more XP you’ll win.

The Expedition mode is the most innovative and interesting. You select a captain and then you’re given a randomised team of reserve players with which to tour Europe. You’ll have to beat a team in order to unlock a road to travel to another country and take on their team. You can beat a team three times, unlocking a player from their reserves the first time you beat them, their substitutes the second time and finally, a first team player. Players are awarded, rather than selected so it’s slightly restrictive but you can choose which of your squad to swap for them. The idea is that over the course of many games against varied opposition, you’ll explore European football and assemble a multi-national team of stars.


Gameplay feels exactly the same as FIFA 12 but I got the impression (and anecdotally others have agreed) that the AI is a bit tougher this time around. Referee decisions also seemed to favour the opposition more often than not, as did lucky bounces and ricochets. That’s all anecdotal, of course, and might simply be the result of tweaked difficulty settings causing frustration.

Commentary has been revamped slightly too, with the abysmal pairing of Townsend and Tyldesley back on the microphones. There are new phrases and stories of European exploits to hear but most of it uses phrases like “this team” in order to avoid having to record for too long – another corner cut that is painfully apparent in every match. If you’re a fan of this commentary duo, and I think it’s only the bosses at EA and ITV that are, then you’ll be happy enough with their delivery but otherwise, it’s worth turning them off altogether after the first few matches. I also found several instances of incredibly bad mixing in the commentary where Tyldesley would be mumbling along before suddenly booming a single line of dialogue much louder than his preceeding and ensuing speech had been. In fact, the crowd noise is also often subject to sharp and unnatural spikes and dips in volume.

It’s not a bad package and it’s difficult to argue with the way it is being delivered this year but the efforts to keep the cost down have hampered the game in a number of ways that make it feel like a slightly unfinished product.

Pros:

  • Expedition mode is innovative and interesting.
  • Challenges keep you up to date with the tournament.
  • Play the full tournament online.

Cons:

  • Silly made up player names and ugly fake kits for some squads.
  • Lazy commentary with characterless delivery.
  • Poor audio mixing in general.
  • No qualification campaign.

UEFA 2012 is what many of us have been asking for since DLC became a major part of console gaming. Unfortunately, the desire to deliver it as an expansion, rather than a unique product has meant that corners have been cut. While that has made the end product less expensive than in previous instances, it still appears quite costly when measured against other items on the relevant stores. Trials Evolution is cheaper on XBLA, PSN users could get Journey and keep plenty of change. Both of those options, while not directly comparable, are potentially much more enticing value propositions.

Score: 5/10

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11 Comments
  1. tonycawley
    Pint! Pint!
    Since: Feb 2009

    I’m so disappointed by this, it went from being a definite to a probably-not when they omitted the staple of FIFA – correct licenses.

    I was looking forward to expedition mode being like ultimate team, collecting the players until you’ve got an awesome squad. While the big players are still there, the journey to get them is ruined by having stupid made up players. Utter madness.

    Plus I’ve heard the euro comp completely crashes your system with alarming regularity. No thanks ea.

    Comment posted on 27/04/2012 at 13:14.
  2. cc_star
    Team TSA: Writer
    Since: Forever

    Lack of qualifying is a real disappointment, not fussed too much about licences although its a shame for many as some people have always pointed out what a big plus and advantage licences are… although their opinion has probably changed to suit their preferred franchise now :p

    Personally I’ve always preferred the tweaks to gameplay in the interim games (as full releases), so the new passing mechanic, new goalie AI, new way of taking pens… It’s really good halfway through the year to have things like that to freshen it up.

    So releasing it as DLC with no gameplay changes was a disappointment for me, I understand why they did it with FIFA12 hardly being out the top3 since release & FIFA Street making a comeback this year, it would obviously crowd the market or detract from FIFA Street’s re-emergence as an ongoing franchise.

    So as DLC they’ve obviously had to scale it down, but I really don’t think at £16 the cost has been scaled down anywhere near enough, for what amounts to a custom tournament with some Euro’s branding.

    I know that PES isn’t standing on the same pedestal as FIFA (not even in the same stadium… outside of South America, Far East and most of Southern Europe who still seem to side with PES) but their tournament DLC is released today and it’s free.
    Now I’m not expecting FIFA’s DLC to be free, they have a brand they’ve expensively built up and they can charge for their extras, but £16 is way, over the top as almost all reviews I’ve read point out

    IMO… they need to return for the full game which goes on sale at £29.99+ and have the benefit of all the features that brings, or stay on the DLC but get it down to a more reasonable £5-£7

    Disappointing EA, disappointing.

    Comment posted on 27/04/2012 at 13:14.
    • kjkg
      Member
      Since: Apr 2010

      Agree with you on the tweaks. I loved how it was almost a Beta to test what’s good and what isn’t. Although, saying that, what I thought was good from the interim games never usually made the next title.

      World Cup 2010 is still the best Fifa this gen in my opinion for gameplay.

      Comment posted on 27/04/2012 at 14:29.
  3. tactical20
    Member
    Since: May 2010

    Would prefer a disc version tbh. I got World Cup 2010 for £5 a few months after it had finished. I bet this dlc is still £16 in 2013!

    Also, I mentioned in another thread, I think the increase in FIFA 12 sales is probably down to the fact it’s now £25 in supermarkets, rather than the release of this dlc.

    Comment posted on 27/04/2012 at 13:42.
  4. Youles
    Member
    Since: Feb 2011

    My decision to buy The Walking Dead instead of this seems to have been the right choice.

    Comment posted on 27/04/2012 at 13:46.
    • Crazy_Del
      Member
      Since: Jul 2009

      Yeah was going to post this – ‘Youles will be so glad to purchase Walking Dead instead of Fifa DLC I seem to remember he was saving for that!’
      As for this EA – what a disgrace!
      I still have Fifa 10 (PS3) and Fiaf 12 (Vita) happy with both and can change/swap players and strips myself no need every year (Except Madden NFL)

      Comment posted on 27/04/2012 at 14:30.
      • Youles
        Member
        Since: Feb 2011

        Lol! Exactly – it needed to be spot-on for £16, since that’s a lot for DLC. I managed to buy another game instead for the same money, and will just create custom tournaments.

        Also, I’ve heard there are freezing issues with it too!

        Comment posted on 27/04/2012 at 15:09.
  5. colmshan1990
    Member
    Since: Apr 2009

    I quite like that commentary duo.
    To be honest, I think all United fans have to love Tydesley after 1999, and Townsend is a former Ireland captain (and better than most of Sky’s co-commentators since Gray was sacked. Wilkins and Le Tissier are just horrible).

    I was gutted to hear this wouldn’t be a retail release, it was never going to be the same as usual for a third of the price.

    World Cup 2010 felt like a football fan’s game, not only were the team’s kits accurate, each player (of the teams that qualified anyway) actually felt like an accurate representation of that player. By far my favourite football game.

    I was also hoping to see Euro 2012 get a Vita release. I’m off to Poland to follow Ireland against Spain and Italy (couldn’t get tickets for Croatia) and it would have been great to have it with me.

    I traded in FIFA 12 when I got my Vita [although I did get the FIFA Vita game in my bundle from GAME (RIP), I was planning to trade it in and get Euro 2012] and I’ve no plans to rebuy it so I can buy new skins and stadiums for it.

    I’ll stick with the World Cup 2010 game.

    Comment posted on 27/04/2012 at 13:46.
  6. Kronik76
    Member
    Since: Jun 2009

    This makes for quite disappointing reading. I was hoping for more, but it seems that they are pushing a sub-standard product at a premium price for DLC. Was looking forward to this, but now I don’t think I’ll be purchasing.

    Comment posted on 27/04/2012 at 14:44.
  7. Forrest_01
    Member
    Since: Jun 2009

    Fact is that if they aren’t going to tweak the gameplay or even bother to get the relevant licences for kits & players, this should have been nothing more than a £4 add on.

    Comment posted on 27/04/2012 at 14:49.
  8. Roynaldo
    Member
    Since: Nov 2008

    Funny thing is i wont buy this but would have bought a £30 full title. Replaying the last 2 years matches through qualification and then making it to the big stage with all the little gameplay tweaks were what i would buy it for…..not for a half arsed customised tournament with nothing extra to draw the notes from my wallet.

    No thanks, its just a very expensive patch.

    Comment posted on 27/04/2012 at 23:28.

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