The review embargoes for both FIFA 12 and PES 2012 are up, and EA's game has not only raced into the lead – it also looks on track to become the highest rated release ever in the series.
It's early days, but the game is currently averaging an amazing 92 per cent (Xbox 360) on Metacritic. That ranks it above the previous highest entry in the series, FIFA 10, which attained 91 per cent.
PES 2012 is currently averaging 82 per cent (Xbox 360), which although some way behind EA's title, is a noticeable improvement on the 79 per cent awarded to last year's game. Still, it's a far cry from the 89 per cent handed out to PES 5 back in the series' heyday in the mid 2000s.
FIFA 12 isn't the total reinvention some expected just yet (and we're not sure real FIFA fans would want it to be) but this year's additions are certainly more than just updates of the same old features and they're the most significant we've seen in years,” CVG wrote in its review.
FIFA has more character, depth and tactical weight than ever before, and with the new physics engine and tackling system comes promise for the future.”
IGN was also full of praise: Thankfully, FIFA 12 has not innovated simply for the sake of it. The gameplay innovations greatly improve the way FIFA plays. Matches unfold with a more authentic tempo, taking it much closer to the real thing.
Revolution? Evolution? Who really cares. More importantly, is FIFA 12 the best football game in the world? I don't think so. But I'd put it in my top one.”
Eurogamer perhaps had the biggest compliment for EA's game: What it is, though, is a step forward, and after playing FIFA 12, going back to previous entries in the series seems almost unimaginable. It's another step closer to reality, and this time it's a very welcome one.”
Game Informer, which at the moment has the highest PES 2012 score of 9/10, said of Konami's latest: This year's PES title won't change anyone's mind about the series. It hasn't gotten any less complex, but it also hasn't lost any of its brilliance. In that sense, its success is all its own.”
GamePro's three and a half star review adds: Some of the quirks I could easily write off as negatives imbue the game with a kind of personality and organic feel that's uncommon among sports games. No two matches—even between the same teams—ever feel quite the same, and it's that element of surprise that just might, at least offline, make Pro Evolution my go-to soccer game this season.”
FIFA 12 is released this Friday (September 30th) in the UK. PES 2012 will be released on October 14th.