They say only two things are certain in life – death and taxes. True. However, there is also a third. Death, taxes and an EA Sports tie-in to every World Cup or European Championship. This year however, proves slightly different. Instead of an entirely new game, such as Fifa 2010 World Cup, we get Euro 2012 for Fifa 12, in the form of a downloadable add-on. Cheaper? Yes, but only just. The add-on costs 1800ms points, or £15.99 for PS3 users. Better?

Positives

+ Official… ish

Euro 2012 is as close as you can get to the real thing without, you know, actually watching Euro 2012. Every stadium used in the tournament has been recreated and added, including Warsaw’s National Stadium and Kiev’s Olympic Stadium (home of the final). Every team that entered for qualifying can be played, complete with kits and players. Always wanted to ensure England get out of the group stage by placing them with San Marino, Georgia and (for home pride sake) Wales? Enjoy. The game has even added in the annoying overhead camera shot from just before kick-off. If you love the minor details, you’ll love this. Wondering about the ish? Keep reading.

+ Game Modes

The game comes with the standard modes, as well as a few additions. Kick Off (pick a team and play against another) is there. Offline Euro 2012, where you play through a Euro 2012 campaign as one team, is there. Online Euro 2012 adds the needed competitive play. A new mode called Expedition has been added as well. It plays similar to World Tour in Fifa Street. You pick one player, or your virtual pro, as your captain, and then choose a qualifying group to start off in. The objective of the mode is to beat every team in the game and assemble a European XI of sorts. After beating a team, you are given a random player from their squad. Beat them once and you get a reserve player. Twice, you get a sub bench player. Third time bags you a first XI player. It’s a decent concept and works well for the most part.

Negatives

– False Advertising

You might be confused when first picking a team in this game, especially if you happen to be Welsh. After all, Wales’ renowned left winger is not called G.Belth. Nor is their golf club swinging forward known as Belmont. In fact, 24 of the 53 teams in this game are unlicensed. That’s almost half. Of course, the major nations are all there.  But I would have thought a lot of people would be interested in playing as Wales, or owning Gareth Bale in their Expedition team. Other unlicensed teams include Estonia, Belarus and co-hosts Ukraine. EA have blamed ‘market size and limited resources’ for not acquiring licensing for the teams. Whatever the reasoning, there is no excuse for continuing to brand the game as official and authentic without full licensing, especially when you’re charging nearly £20 a time.

– Needs More Testing

The game is rife with crashes, bugs and glitches. People that claim they have found none are LYING. Constant crashes on the menus become tiring quickly. Online, you will be frequently disconnected from the EA servers, but still be online. It’s the sort of frustrating experience that comes with nearly every release from EA. In game, my camera resets to default everytime someone pauses the game, meaning I have to go back into the menus to fix it. It’s a near constant hassle. Some things you can overlook; you’ll struggle to overlook anything this throws at you.

– Squads

There is no option within the game to change your squad how you want. You can download the most recent squads from the EA Servers (a requirement for online play) but you cannot switch players in and out at will. Perhaps this is to help balance and protect online play, but you can’t even change the offline squads. You can in Fifa 12, but not in this add-on where it is almost a necessity. It seems like a complete oversight on EA’s behalf.

– Game Modes

While the game does several things right when it comes to modes, it also does some things terribly wrong. The lack of an Online Head to Head mode is disappointing, but being unable to play a friend online is almost criminal. Expedition mode is okay, but tires quickly. An option to import your Expedition team into the Euro 2012 modes would have been nice – another missed opportunity. The Challenge mode is another nice addition but being unable to play previous challenges makes them pointless, especially when the game keeps a record of the ones you missed. This almost sums the game entirely – an exciting prospect but woefully short of expectations.

– It’s Fifa 12 with new paint

Of course the game is not going to be dramatically different from Fifa 12. However, it does mean that the add-on suffers from the same problems of Fifa 12. The impact engine hinders you constantly. Referees make completely inaccurate calls. Players don’t make proper runs; defenders fall over at will; finesse shots are overpowered; Ronaldo is broken – whatever your complaint with Fifa 12, it applies here. It’s not necessarily bad… It just adds to the overall frustration with the game.

Overall, Euro 2012 isn’t a bad add-on. It adds some longevity to Fifa 12 without costing £40. With a proper challenge mode and online modes, it would have made for a great addition to the tournament itself.  As it stands, it’s a collection of poorly implemented ideas. With a bit more polish and ideas, this could have been great. Without them, it’s just disappointment. The lack of official squads makes this entirely criminal for the price.

Agree? Disagree? Leave a comment below or tweet me – @colemansa.

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