First things first - Stewart Downing might be a Liverpool
player, but how on earth did he make the England squad?
From: EA Sports
For: Xbox 360, PS3, PC (download only)
Right, that's out of the way. On to a quick run-down of the
video game to accompany the coming European football
championship to be co-hosted by Poland and Ukraine.
I say "game", but really we should refer to Euro 2012 as
downloadable content. For the first time, I think, Electronic
Arts has chosen to use DLC to mark a major tournament rather
than a stand-alone game.
It makes sense, and not just because gaming in general is
heading down the DLC path. With Fifa 12 still going
strong, Fifa Street only a couple of months old, and
Fifa 13 four to five months away, there is scarcely
room in the market for another Fifa title.
The only issue with DLC is its cost, and there have been some
grumblings that $35-$45 is on the high side for an added
extra to a football game.
Add in some teething issues - in particular, a crashing
problem with the Xbox 360 version - plus legitimate grumbles
that just over half of the teams in the game are actually
licensed, and Euro 2012 made a bit of a poor start.
But overall, it's a more than decent addition to the
Revamped graphic touches look nice, and you can take any of
the 53 teams to European glory, as well as play challenges
that are updated every other day.
But the best part of the game, a bit that really appeals to
trainspottery football fans, is a mode called Expedition.
You create a team and begin a journey across Europe, starting
in smaller nations and unlocking "roads" to other nations
with victories against national sides.
Every time you beat a nation, you are awarded one of its
players. One victory earns a reserve player, two victories a
substitute, and three victories a starting player.
So you build your dream team and travel around the continent
unlocking more players and bits of a mosaic that can only be
completed by beating every team three times.
Sounds like a bit of a grind but it's a fun new feature.