FIFA 11 for iPhone was released months ago, but EA Mobile have only just recently released a HD version for the iPad. Updated to take advantage of the larger screen, FIFA 11 HD also features an updated price that weighs in at a hefty $9.99.
Before drawing any criticisms let me first say that there are many things that FIFA 11 HD gets right. The visuals are glorious, with highly detailed player and pitch models and great on-field animation. The commentary is likewise brilliant, with witty well-timed repartee from the recorded commentators that adds that extra touch of realism to the game.
While FIFA 11 HD lacks popular game modes like Be a Pro, there are comprehensive league and cup games which allow you to play as your favorite team in the quest for championship glory. There is also a quick-play scratch match mode as well as a practice pitch to sharpen your skills on.
On the whole, the game moves quite well – players make intelligent runs that facilitate the progression of play, and you can make a screen swipe to put a player on an attacking run. However, the control system isn’t quite as fluid as you would hope for in a game that hinges on its ease of play.
As in every football game, there’s a different set of maneuvers in and out of possession. While on the offensive, three buttons on the right allow you to pass, shoot or make a through-ball to a running team mate. When you lose possession, these buttons simply change to switch player, tackle and slide. A small analogue stick on the left of the screen controls player direction and, apparently, speed. Whether you jog or sprint is supposed to be based upon how hard you ‘pull’ the stick, but I invariably ended up jogging towards the goal when I had intended to sprint.
The main problem with the control system lies in the sluggish responsiveness of the players and the accuracy with which you can control an individual. It can be very difficult to turn quickly and make those quick, tight cuts you need to power through defenders.
Despite its flaws, FIFA 11 HD is easily one of the most realistic depictions of a football match that you’ll find on any mobile device. It’s almost the football game fans have been waiting for, but still suffers from the same issues that plague the earlier iPhone release.
FIFA 11 HD is compatible with iPad. Requires iOS 3.2 or later