FIFA 12 iPad will turn your tablet into a football console game capable of making any iPhone owner weep tears of joy. First demoed at E3, FIFA 12 for the iPad will let you use the Apple device as a screen, while using a Bluetooth-connected iPhone or iPod touch as a controller. And it can pair two at a time, to boot.
So, when we sat down with EA to have a preview of FIFA 12 on the iPad 2, that’s exactly what happened. And it is, in a word, brilliant.
It’s brilliant because there is a fair chance that if you own an iPad, you probably have an iPhone as well. You'll almost certainly have a friend with one too, so that means you’re all set for two-player FIFA at the drop of a hat.
To play FIFA 12 with iPhone controllers you’ll need a copy of the game on the iPad and then a controller app (which will be free in the App Store) for the iPhone(s) or iPod touch(es) you’ll use as controllers.
We took it a stage further, connecting the iPad 2 up to a bigger display so we could sit in relative comfort and play away our precious briefing time.
It gave us plenty of time to admire the enhanced graphics of FIFA 12 (although we weren’t allowed to take any photos) that have been configured to take advantage of the iPad 2 hardware. You won’t get Xbox or PS3 quality out of it, but it's good enough on a bigger screen. And, on the iPad itself, it looks stunning.
But it didn’t give us much time to admire the wholly new Manager Mode. We didn’t spend long looking at the emails we were getting from the board, offering more cash because of our great performance, nor did we get to spend much time looking at the player stats or transfer list.
We didn’t spend much time looking at the scouting system for up and coming players either, but all these juicy elements find their way into FIFA 12 on the iPad for the first time.
Of course, that means you really have two games here. You can play the matches and basically ignore the management, you can play the management and simulate the matches, or you can do both, which, let’s be honest, most of you will.
Taking things a stage further, you’ll also get a daily challenge mode. This is essentially a new challenge that arrives each day, designed to give you a quick 10 or 15 minute game, rather than diving into an important match in your season. The example we got was Arsenal being 2-0 down against Man United after 78 minutes and you have to basically come in and win the match.
You’ll also get updates to the stats in the system, reflecting the changing state of the real football leagues on licence with FIFA 12. Although EA wouldn’t be pinned down on the timing for these updates, or the frequency, it did say that if someone was having a particularly bad season (Torres, for example), this would get reflected in the game.
Finally, there is also a new control mechanism, which we did try out. Set pieces have a new sweeping control for the kick, a bit like Flick Football. This means you can attempt to curl the ball from the corner, or around a wall. It’s a welcomed addition, but something we need a little more finger time with.
FIFA 12 for iPad will be available from the iTunes App Store 29 September. Check out our review then.
Do FIFA 12's new features get you excited? Let us know in the comments below...