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FIFA Soccer 11
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this is a straightforward soccer simulation that focuses on an authentic presentation of the sport. There is no controversial content in this game. Players simply choose from hundreds of teams (or create their own) and play a game of soccer against artificial intelligence (A.I.) or human opponents. The Xbox 360, PS3 and PC versions of the game are similar, while the PS2 and Wii have comparable standard-definition graphics and fewer play modes. The Nintendo Wii version supports 2-vs-2 online play, though, while the PSP offers ad-hoc head-to-head matches in the same room. The Nintendo DS title is a different game altogether.
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What's it about?
Authenticity is the name of the game in FIFA SOCCER 11, the latest soccer simulation from EA Sports that slips you into the jerseys of your favorite team (or your own custom-made team) before tackling one of many solo and multiplayer modes. As with past titles in this award-winning series, gamers have access to a huge roster of players -- more than 15,000 of them, from 500 licensed teams -- but the new \"Personality+\" feature adds extra depth and realism. This feature allows a virtual player to mirror the individual soccer style of its real-life counterpart, using 36 attributes and 57 traits, all compiled by 1,700 scouts around the world. Plus, gamers can assume role of goalkeeper, tackle a Career mode that has you lead your team through 15 seasons (as a player, coach or both), and take advantage of myriad of online co-op or competitive modes.
Is it any good?
FIFA Soccer 11 looks and feels great on the Xbox 360 version tested for the purposes of this review. A revised passing mechanic that focuses on the controlpad offers greater accuracy, plus the improved physics engine accounts for true 360-degree control of the player, even down to fighting for possession of the ball. Also new are added customization options including tools to create your own jerseys, customized chants (for which you can play your own music tracks), and celebration animations. All of these customized bits can then be shared with friends. Speaking of which, an online leaderboard shows your place among others in 32 areas such as faster goal, winning streaks, and so on. The game's presentation isn't as strong as other EA Sports games this year (including Madden NFL 11 and NHL 11), and computer-controlled opponents sometime do odd things, but it doesn't take away from the overall experience. So, slip on some virtual cleats for one of the finest FIFA games in recent memory.
Online interaction: Up to four players can engage in a game of FIFA Soccer 11 online, including co-op play for 2 to 4 players on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles. The Nintendo Wii version offers 2-on-2 online play. Parents should be aware that multiplayer gaming through Xbox Live or PlayStation Network can expose children to uncensored live voice chat. Common Sense Media does not recommend moderation-free online communication for pre-teens. We suggest using the parental controls built into the game console to disable online communication features.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how much is too much when it comes to sports games? This is the third FIFA soccer game that EA Sports has released this year (two earlier games tied in to the World Cup). Is buying a new sports game annually already too much for players? Or do sports fanatics -- and in this case, soccer fans -- think it's no big deal to pick up multiple soccer games in the same year?
As this game can be played online with strangers, parents can also use it as an opportunity to discuss online safety with their children.
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.