What do FIFA 12, PES 12 and First Touch Football on the iOS all have in common?
Well yes, they’re all obviously football games, but other than that, they’re all fake.
At least according to Gameloft they are. What is surely the most prolific games developer on the AppStore is preparing to release what it considers to be the real representation of football on iOS later this month. Somewhat unsurprisingly, it’s titled Real Football 2012. I had the pleasure of visiting the Gameloft Mansion on Monday where I found various employees lounging around half naked, sipping cocktails and showing the game off to me.
Other than updating squads, it’s pretty hard to revolutionise the football genre year-on-year, so it’s very interesting to see the biggest new feature of RF12 – a focus on community. With this new version of the game, you’ll have a window into the real football world (that’s ‘real’ as in actual life, not a window into the game you’re already playing. That would be…confusing).
You’ll have RSS feeds, video and picture galleries to share with your friends, and you can even challenge them to specific scenarios you’ve set up in-game. So if you’ve always wanted to see how Malcom next door would fare as a nine-man Sunderland, down 2-0 against Real Madrid with 35 seconds left, now’s your chance. All of this is presented right from in the game, no need to navigate to an external website.
On-the-field work has been done too. It’s immediately apparent that stadiums are more expansive and graphics have been beefed up. RF titles have generally been decent in the past, but with RF12 Gameloft seems to be taking things up a couple of levels to really give FIFA and PES a run for their money. Apparently there are over 700 motion-capture based animations for each player, which is twice as many as RF11 and at least three times as many as I can manage in a game of footy in the park. I counted 35 new animations before my eyes got sore.
There are also individually controlled skill moves to master; each one has a specific input to trigger it, so it’s not just a case of one button randomly choosing which move your player performs. This is definitely a departure from current footy games, so it’ll be interesting to see if having the ability to choose exactly which move you want will prove useful in an actual match, or if you’ll end up straining your thumbs as a result.
And finally, you’ll have 14 leagues, over 350 and real player names (and likenesses for some) with the FIFPro license. There’s even a comprehensive editor that allows you to create and edit teams, kits and players.
It’s all looking rather impressive as it stands, although just like real life, there’s still time for a last second own-goal to be scored, so let’s hope Gameloft don’t think it’s all over before the full time whistle is blown.