About a month ago, we had the opportunity to talk to EA Canada regarding the upcoming Nintendo Wii release of FIFA 12. The big new inclusion for this year's release is FIFA City, a level-based system that rewards you for playing the other modes in the game. It sounded quite interesting when we were told about it over the phone, but we finally got to see its inclusion firsthand.
For those unfamiliar with FIFA City, it acts as the main menu for FIFA 12. Upon starting the game for the first time, you're asked to name your city and your club. Once that's completed, you are greeted by a fairly bare-looking city with various near-empty sections, each corresponding to the different modes available to play with. The modes will be instantly familiar to fans of last year's release and include Street to Stadium, Be a Manager, and Tournament, to name a few. To improve each section of your city, you have to play those modes and unlock in-game achievements. These vary from easy-to-complete tasks, such as win a game on any difficulty, score your first goal as a created player, or win by four-plus goals, to long-term requests like becoming a 90-plus rated player, playing in every stadium, or scoring 50 goals in Street Soccer. The achievements work in two ways. For starters, for every accomplishment, your population increases, and you obtain items that make your city look more populated. These items include homes, better fields, and even larger stadiums. But as your city increases in size, you can take part in the game's Intercity Cup mode.
FIFA City has a level system that lets you obtain the rights, each time you level up, to select a player who will become a member of your city's football club. Once you have a team in place, you can play against other fictional created cities as part of the Intercity Cup. Defeating cities will unlock more to play against and will increase your rating as the best city in this fictional nation. Early on, only Street Soccer tournaments against rivals will be available. As you level up your city and earn additional players, you'll unlock the ability to field a proper, 11-player squad and take part in full-field matches.
During our few hours with FIFA 12 and FIFA City, the new feature really caught our attention. Trying to find ways to complete the easy objectives had us playing games in a number of different ways, either by adjusting the difficulty or by increasing the length of halves. Of course, there are objectives that will take a significant amount of time to obtain, but purists willing to take the time to do so should feel quite proud as they reach the level 52 cap. Be sure to find out more and see our final verdict of the game when it hits stores at the end of September.