The improvements made to the FIFA franchise year in year out are often though of as minimal, and I probably agree. However this year EA have taken a massive step. The game is like nothing I have ever played football wise. I played FIFA 10 every day for the last nine months and it had gotten to a point where I was unbeatable, I don't remember the last time I lost a match on it, and that's including playing online every day.
But I picked up the controller to play the FIFA 11 demo yesterday and couldn't get a thing right. I'll play as Andre Arshavin, through a little trick , skip past a defender and he'll stumble but manage to drag me back. Then lay it off to Fabregas so he can have a shot. He unleashes an incredible swirling dipping drive from the edge of the 18 yard box (and this swirling and dipping effect is very popular throughout the game, ive often seen keepers misjudge a long range shot, or even had the ball dip over them into the far corner) but the slide tackles have been revamped and Samii Hypia slides in from behind and hooks away the saved rebound.
It's all different! But so much more fluid and realistic. The celebrations have been redesigned, albeit on the basic structure or previous, to allow you to celebrate with other players on the pitch. Your player might get up and spring away from goal, or as Arshavin casual jog away before pulling whatever celebration you choose. There's a new match highlight system that allows you to view specific highlights at the end of a match them save them to your hard drive too.
The biggest addition feature wise is probably the goalkeeper. You can now choose to take control of the keeper for a whole game. It's a very odd experience that you can test in the arena, through a combination of the right stick to dive and square and triangle for other manoeuvres you take control of the keeper as he attempts to keep a clean sheet. Good fun for a while, but not sure it's something I'd get too excited about.
Also, I don't think it's any coincidence that you can unlock Arsenal to play as after you win 5 games; the game is definitely aimed towards their style of play. It requires clever passing, keeping possession, then finding that killer pass to split the defence.
Must buy for me. The most realistic football simulation ever.