FIFA 11 • Page 2

Personality+! Pro Passing! Er, custom chants?

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.

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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.

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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!

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