The bi-annual tournament release of FIFA is with us once more with UEFA EURO 2012, but unlike previous World Cup and European Championship releases from EA, this edition has been released as DLC rather than a full retail release. At a price point of £15 the big question is, is it worth it? Hit the jump for the verdict.
I’ll start with some of the negative aspects of this DLC, the most glaring is the complete absence of any qualification mode, you can’t take your home nation and guide them through qualification and to glory in the European Championships. Rather, you can just swap teams in and out of the groups in the tournament proper, which of course does mean you can swap San Marino into the event in the place of Spain, but this feels like a cheap way out. A full blown qualification mode would have certainly added to the depth of this expansion.
When you then consider that there aren’t any changes to the match engine unlike some previous tournament incarnations, you wonder why EA didn’t spend a bit of time developing a qualification mode. That would certainly make the DLC feel worth £15, but without it I find myself wondering whether it really is, especially when you look at some of the squads.
Of the 53 teams present in the game, only 29 feature fully licensed squads, the rest are full of woeful false names and likenesses. While it is great to see countries that weren’t playable in FIFA 12 appear in EURO 2012, for a team like Wales which contains a large number of Premiership players not to be fully licensed seems like a cop out. There isn’t even an in-game editor which would allow you to bring the teams fully to life. It is limited, and I wouldn’t be surprised if fans of un-licensed nations feel like they are being ripped off with this content.
Things aren’t all doom and gloom as the presentation of the game is delightful, everything from the menus to the players walking onto the pitch feel like they have received much more attention that in the base game. I would much rather the menu interface of EURO 2012 to the somewhat bland style in FIFA 12.
The main tournament is present and correct with all the official stadiums, groups and fixtures in place though for some reason, Mr Rooney is able to the play the first two matches in-game despite being suspended in the real world. A small thing, but worth noting for realism fanatics. Beyond the tournament proper are challenges, one of the best features of FIFA 12 and one that will surely throw up some great possibilities over the summer. Indeed, the challenges are probably your only chance to get a taste of the qualifiers with various one-off scenarios to give you a taste of what is missing.
Expedition mode is where EA have focused their efforts giving you the chance to create your very own European Dream Team by playing through a lengthy series of matches with a starting team of no hopers. You compete against various nations in your group, but you can only play against teams you have a connection with, so you have to defeat the first team you can play to build a link to other teams. While you get to pick a player when you first defeat a team, you are limited to reserve players, to get the best from each nation you need to defeat them three times. Further, each victory gives you a tile for a giant mosaic, to get the ultimate team and complete the mosaic you will need to beat each nation three times. It is a hell of a lot of matches to play, but it does give a reason to play the game beyond the European Championship tournament itself.
I’m torn about this EURO 2012 DLC, I really like the game modes present, but I feel let down by the lack of qualification rounds, licensed teams and not being able to any matches as Be a Pro. But the stuff EA have put into the title is really good and has a general high level of polish. At the end of the day though, I think £15 is just a bit too much for what you get, but it is still a good bit of DLC. If it was £10 or offered a bit more content it would be a Headshot, as it is, it only gets On Target.
Verdict – On Target
Platforms Available – PC, PS3, 360
Platform Reviewed – PC