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The latest issue of UK lads mag Zoo has revealed details of FIFA 11.

According to the mag, new systems include Pro Passing, which makes it harder to perform ping-pong exchanges up to the halfway line, and a new emphasis on players' individual attributes.

These should be more evident during regular play all over the pitch, rather than just in obvious areas like speed and acceleration, and new body types will make it easier to distinguish players at a distance.

Other new tricks include swerve passes, driven and backspin lofted through balls, and refined goalkeepers.

It will also be possible to customise your team's chants and intro music.

Look out for a massive FIFA 11 "blowout" tomorrow on Eurogamer based on our experience with the game, which should be out this autumn, and our discussions with developer EA Canada.

Sweeet custom chants, its everything I dreamed they would introduce swoooooooooooooooooooon.

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If the custom chants can be used to insult other managers in the rllmuk league, consider me sold.

"PrimeAran, what a wanker, what a wanker" for instance. :(

Sadly, I doubt this'll be possible.


The PC version can be patched with some crazy chants. Something like this would be amazing. :(

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If the custom chants can be used to insult other managers in the rllmuk league, consider me sold.

"PrimeAran, what a wanker, what a wanker" for instance. :(

Sadly, I doubt this'll be possible.


I wonder if they'll have Olympiakos fan chants:


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If they haven't got the ability to save replays in 11 I'M NOT BUYING IT...I'M FED UP OF NOT BEING ABLE TO SAVE THEM!!!!!!

EDIT - To clarify, I'm just fed up of what, 4 iterations now, and you STILL can't save replays? Also, can EA please hire someone able to design menus? I'm fed up to the back teeth of menus that look like they were designed by a mental patient. Why do I have to choose the save game, the confirm I want to overwrite the save game etc etc ad nauseum.

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there isn't even a mention about any dribbling improvements, which is the biggest weakness in the game.

Dribbling is fine. Players still run in '8-directions' when sprinting - aside from that, its a massively broad tool that players generally don't use, aside from sprinting.

The weakest part of the game is the modes available - Manager Mode and Be A Pro could be so much better, particularly if they were merged for a player/manager mode.

I don't know wether FIFA is trying to be Football Manager, but I think the variety of modes more than makes up for the standard of each. Granted, all of them definately need improving - although I read before FIFA 10, that the game modes were a small part in a bigger picture, they have a long term plan and are executing it game by game.

To clarify, I'm just fed up of what, 4 iterations now, and you STILL can't save replays?


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Agree on saving replays. I'd also like the 360 version to have more than three highlights at halftime and fulltime. The game knows I'm using a fucking hard drive so react accordingly and give me proper highlights dagnabit.

Also I'd like to be able to press the back button at any point and have it save the previous ten seconds for the highlight reel as I'm a bit bored of hitting the woodwork four times in a half only to see a couple of mis-hit crosses in the highlights because the keeper caught them.

I have said highlights too many times in this post, sorry.

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I have fairly modest requirements this time. Integrated save & upload from online games, including BAP matches. BAP match set-up to not be a total ball ache with a stupid 2 minute limit. Ability to do custom set pieces in BAP (including deciding who starts where on corners). Stop the BAP crashes and dropouts. Fuller match stats direct to email, especially from BAP matches (i.e. captain gets sent all players' stats).

And 1v1 not to be shite online.

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If they haven't got the ability to save replays in 11 I'M NOT BUYING IT...I'M FED UP OF NOT BEING ABLE TO SAVE THEM!!!!!

That's in:

When you score an amazing goal, you'll also - finally - be able to save the replay locally, even if you're playing an online match.


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While other 10-million-selling game developers throw their lawsuits out of the pram and cuddle up to new sugar daddies, one of the biggest and most bankable development teams in the world quietly gets on with business in Vancouver.

EA Canada's FIFA series will break the 100 million sales barrier with this year's iteration, FIFA 11, and so far the only casualty has been EA Sports boss Peter Moore's credit card: after the last version clinched a 90 rating on Metacritic, Moore threw the team a massive party.

With Konami regrouping for the impressive-sounding Pro Evolution Soccer 2011, however, this is no time to get sloppy, so initially it's a little surprising to discover that FIFA 11's headline features are Personality+ and Pro Passing - systems that emphasise player attributes a bit more and make passing more realistic. Is that it?

Both features are more dramatic than they sound. "We want to use all of our player attributes more fully," creative director Gary Paterson says of Personality+, before explaining that in FIFA 10 the key stats for each player were shot power, strength, speed and acceleration.

FIFA 11 will expand on that so things like dribbling, passing, work rate, tracking back and defending are more personal. There's a huge difference in how Andrei Arshavin and Sol Campbell dribble, for example, but in the past it might just be recognised visually; now the time it takes between touches, the length of stride, the ability to link multiple turns and other attributes will be recognised in gameplay.

Distinctive dribble styles like Arshavin's should be evident visually but also have gameplay ramifications.

This may be particularly interesting in defence, which Paterson acknowledges has "never been done that well" in FIFA. "We had some feedback last year that it felt like strikers could still defend and tackle as well as defenders. We're working on ways in which we can eliminate that," he explains. For example, a good dribbler will be able to cut inside a low-skilled defender, but a higher-skilled defender with a greater tackle range may not fall for it.

Goalkeepers have been a pretty interchangeable bunch in the past, but Personality+ aims to sort that out with different save styles and agility attributes. Jose Reina may be back in his feet almost instantly after stopping a low shot, for instance, whereas an older keeper might not.

With personality making a bigger difference, the EA Canada art team has been putting greater effort into making players recognisable, not just through facial modelling - although that is an ongoing process - but by implementing new body types and animations.

There are specific body types for the likes of Peter Crouch and Shaun Wright-Phillips, for example, and where the range of available animations and body types hasn't been sufficient to support particular players, artists have hand-crafted exceptions - notably Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

Players will now have to judge the trajectory of a cross rather than automatically lining up to receive it.

The area where Personality+ is likely to make its biggest impact, however, is in the new Pro Passing system, designed to lessen the effect of "ping-pong passing" - a pet hate of FIFA fans which allows players to pass the ball quickly to the halfway line and beyond without giving the other guy a look in.

Ping-pong passing "reduced the emotion and sense of achievement of getting a scoring chance or scoring a goal," according to Paterson, and he believes that Pro Passing, which comes in two parts, is the answer.

The first part is giving the player a power bar for passing, but then also providing feedback. "Say the pass is 20 yards and you only power up enough for 15 yards - it's still going to go to the player, but it's going to be a little softer, which will potentially allow defenders in to intercept it, and will at least slow down the build-up," says Paterson. A HUD element will then show you how much power would have been optimal to maintain momentum so you know better next time.

The second part of Pro Passing is contextual error. Last year EA Canada told us how it calculated the "error" on shots to determine trajectory - considering velocities, ball pressure, right or wrong footedness and other factors - and this year some of that is applied to passing. "We're not going to go too far, but the idea is the difficult first-time passes may have more error on than before," says Paterson.

For example, if you receive the ball at speed, while moving, from a player off to one side and behind you, your player is going to need to have fortune and skill on his side to deal with it without taking a touch. Take a touch, however, and you should be better placed to distribute the ball to the next man.

"You can still build plays, but if you want to do these first-time passes one after another it's going to be difficult," says Paterson, who also notes that there may be a cumulative effect. If the first pass is a bit hard, for example, and the next player tries to play it first time, their pass may have more error, which becomes an issue for the next man, and so on.

"It's a lot more subtle than at first it sounds," says lead producer David Rutter. "When we first put it in it was almost as intimidating as your first go on fully manual controls. We've kind of dialled it back a bit.

Don't get injured don't get injured don't get injured.

"Now when I'm playing the game, it allows maybe one or two maximum ping-pong passes before the ball deteriorates to the point you need to take a touch and control it - which is kind of how real football works." The idea is to make you think a bit more tactically to build play, after which goal-scoring opportunities will feel more significant.

If Personality+ works out though, you should be able to identify your most skilful players more easily during build-up, allowing you to advance by using players who stand the best chance of doing deft things at pace. "A really good passer can calm the ball down," notes Rutter. "If you're going to try to be very ambitious with lumbering players like Sol Campbell you're going to come unstuck."

EA Canada has also been taking notes from forums and Twitter. "I'm kind of always suspicious of people when they stand up in front of a room of people and say, 'hey, we're really listening to our consumers and doing everything they want,'" says Rutter. His proof that they have in this case is a massive database of user requests.

Defenders should be better at actual defending than attackers.

There's been a fair bit of minor and major wish fulfilment, in fact. Handball will be optional, for example. "I've been loath to put it in until we have AI for the players to try to avoid it," Paterson admits.

"They still wanted it in, so I put it in as a toggle. It will default to off but you can turn it to on with no penalties or fully on. I don't anticipate a huge number of people will use it, but these certain people do want it."

Another request - one that has gone into PES 2011 as well, amusingly - is to customise goal nets. In FIFA 11 you'll be able to customise looseness and shape.

"The feedback we're responding to is very diverse, ranging from small things like that to very big things like ping-pong passing," says Paterson. "We've not put the streakers in though," adds Rutter. "We get asked for that a lot." Boycott!

FIFA 11 also includes "hundreds and hundreds" of gameplay tweaks. Corner kicks shouldn't be so boring, apparently, with players (including the goalkeeper) now having to read the ball trajectory rather than effectively knowing in advance.

We're also going to see more idiosyncratic techniques, like swerve passes with the outside of the boot, and backspin and driven lofted through-balls.

When you score an amazing goal, you'll also - finally - be able to save the replay locally, even if you're playing an online match.

Like the excellent 2010 FIFA World Cup game, FIFA 11 also has an answer to goalkeepers rushing out and getting chipped all the time in FIFA 10 - although Paterson approached it in a different way to his colleagues on that game.

"The goalkeeper coming off the line created emotion in the game," he says of FIFA 10 and earlier instalments, "because there was pressure on the attacker. But because the chip was so easy it didn't really force you into a decision. We don't want the keeper to creep out so much, but we've also added more contextual error into the chip system."

You'll need to be more composed and on your good foot to guarantee a chipped finish, in other words. Meanwhile goalkeepers will also be smarter at dealing with loose balls and shots from off to one side of the goal.

Nani should be better at... wait, what's Nani for again?

Speaking of the World Cup game, however, FIFA 11 hasn't ignored it completely and there are some hand-me-downs. The World Cup penalty system will make the transition, as will the two-button control option. "We're not calling it the Dad Pad," says Rutter, "but those controls are coming across as well."

Sadly the scenario mode - called Story of Qualifying in World Cup - isn't making it across, and the team isn't discussing Manager Mode, Clubs or Be A Pro in any depth yet, but we should learn more about those in the coming weeks - perhaps at E3 but more likely at gamescom in August.

In the meantime though, we can chew over one more prospect - audio customisation. "It's probably not quite as glamorous as the gameplay but I think it's a bit of a sleeper hit," says Rutter.

Basically, if you happen to have music or a crowd chant you've downloaded off the internet and burned to a CD, you can rip it to your console hard drive as normal and then import it into FIFA 11. You can assign music to teams and leagues, so you hear it whenever you access them, and you can assign crowd chants to individual teams.

Nasri's head will be patched following release.

"If you were really hardcore I guess you could get your mates round and record it," says Rutter - something he does with the journalists assembled in Vancouver to see the game. The results probably won't make it into the shipping version.

The big question is, when it does ship - early October is always a good bet for FIFA, although EA's only saying autumn at the moment - will Peter Moore be throwing another party, or have they come up with a better wager this time?

"We haven't had a discussion about it this year," says Rutter. He expects to do so at Cologne though. He must have a wish list, I venture? "I am a gentleman, and all terms of a bet would remain entirely private between me and the person we might or might not be having a bet with." Yeah, until Moore whacks it on his blog anyway. "I know!" he shouts. "Ever the showman."

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Highlights schmilight, they're mere aesthetics when it comes down to it. I want to see a game that for once doesn't turn top flight players into peak physical specimens. A game where Wayne Rooney doesn't outrun most of your League Two side.

Conversely, I don't care about this. If you're good enough then you can find a strategy to combat the discrepancies between the top & bottom players' respective strength & speed abilities. I'd find it more frustrating to have more realistic representations of players' skills, for example weaker players failing to find feet with passes, or having ridiculously bad first touches.

Thanks BigShimmeryWall. <_<

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Wha? I'd put that at the bottom of my list of improvements. What do you feel is wrong with it?
Dribbling is fine. Players still run in '8-directions' when sprinting - aside from that, its a massively broad tool that players generally don't use, aside from sprinting.

It's GREAT for running down the pitch and stuff. But the entire game is so completely balanced on the side of passing that it's essentially almost impossible to dribble passed anyone convincingly. And that is the single biggest part I miss from my Pro Evo days. Pro Evo was all about timing the turn from the offensive and timing the 'X' tackle from the defensive. In Fifa, holding the 'X' tackle is SO effective that I've made many tackles coming in off screen.

(And I really don't want to hear about any trick stick bollocks, because that's the least user friendly interface I've ever used and I've won many games tackling idiots who use it all the time online.)

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